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City hears more on Crescent Commons

Developers have submitted preliminary plans for a $1.24 million renovation project for the former Crescent Corset factory building at 165-177 Main St. Syracuse-based developer Housing Visions Unlimited is seeking to transform the property into office and apartment space.

Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Developers have submitted preliminary plans for a $1.24 million renovation project for the former Crescent Corset factory building at 165-177 Main St. Syracuse-based developer Housing Visions Unlimited is seeking to transform the property into office and apartment space.

More details on the planned transformation of the historic CrescentCorset factory building at165-177 Main St. emerged Monday as developers submitted preliminary plans for the $1.24 million renovation at a city Planning Commission meeting.

Dubbed the Crescent Commons project, residents were introduced to plans to renovate the building last December. At that time, it was announced that $250,000 in state aid was secured through the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council to help fund the project.

Developer David Yaman said at the time he would be working with Syracuse-based developer Housing Visions Unlimited to transform the property into joint office and apartment space. Housing Visions is the same agency behind the Cortland Crown Homes project that renovated nine residential buildings along south Main Street in 2006.

On Monday, Yaman offered more specifics on what he and Housing Visions plan to accomplish.

“The owners really have abandoned it,” Yaman said.“It’s been on a downward spiral for a long time and I’vebeen very anxious about it. I’ve always had the idea that this would be a good conversion project.”

Yaman started off by noting that as of last month, the Crescent Corset building is on the state’s Register of Historic Places, meaning part of the renovation project will include restoration that will make the building look the way it did when it was purchased by the company in 1923.

He also offered more specifics on how the building willbe divided up. The building’s first floor will house office space, 75 percent of which Yaman said already had committed tenants, including a day care and two non-profit businesses. The building’s upper floor will contain a total of 37 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom apartments.

“We haven’t had upscale, good-quality apartments in this community for a long time and I think this will set the trend,” Yaman said.

The purpose of the presentation was for the committee to provide feedback to developers about their preliminary plans, but none of the members had any suggestions or anything negative to say about theproject.

Yaman noted that while he and Housing Visions will ultimately own and operate the new joint housing and commercial office space, the property still needs to be acquired from the current owners.

Cortland County Real Property Tax Services has the property owner listed under a company named Cortland Realty LLC, which in turn is owned by the Binghamton-based Pyramid Brokerage Firm.

The project will also need at least three variances: two for parking and a third necessary to convert the second floor into apartment space. All three would need to be obtained from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals which has its next meeting scheduled for Aug. 8.