November 26, 2021

C’ville senior housing project on hold

Developer expects material prices to drop

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Vehicles drive Thursday on Tompkins Street, on the border of Cortland and Cortlandville, past the site of a planned senior housing project. The developer is waiting for housing material prices to fall before continuing with construction.

Some infrastructure work has been completed on a 30-unit senior living complex in both Cortlandville and Cortland, but until construction material prices drop, the developer said Thursday he is delaying construction.

The project, south of Route 13 and west of Abdallah Avenue, would be on 5.68 acres and would include five 18,000-square-foot buildings with six housing units each, a 4,750-square-foot commercial building, roads and a parking lot, according to the application. Of the property, 5.2 acres will be in Cortlandville with 0.48 acres in Cortland.

Residents would have to be 55 years old or older, town documents show.

Jim Reeners, the developer and owner of the project along with his sons Michael and Adam, said Thursday the sewer system for the project has been completed but due to the high cost of housing materials, he is holding off construction of the residential units.

Lumber prices, for example, are up 340% from 2020 and have added $35,872 to the price of an average new single family home and $12,966 to the market value of an average new multifamily home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

“We’re just dragging our feet until things start to drop,” Reeners said.

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

He said, so far, 18 people have expressed interest in renting a unit.

Rich Cunningham, the president and senior consultant of Thoma Development Consultants, said through assisting in planning work throughout the city and county, “there certainly seems to be a big demand for” senior housing.

Those looking for senior housing developments tend to be people looking to downsize from their homes to smaller living spaces or for people who spend portions of the year away — in places like Florida, for example — and want a cheaper place to live.

Some people also seek senior housing for better accessibility as they age, he said.

The residential units will be market rate, luxury housing, Reeners said.

Reeners said he hopes to have full occupancy by late 2022 but said he wasn’t sure when construction on the residential units would begin. It all depended on when prices for housing material would go down.

“It will go down, it’s just a matter of when,” he said.