Legislators select waterfront developer
PENN YAN—The Yates County Legislature voted to enter into negotiations with Chrisanntha Inc. for the proposed sale and development of the former Penn Yan Marine site during their regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 9. The finance committee made their recommendation to the legislature after a presentation by Chrisanntha President Chris Iversen during the committee’s meeting Tuesday, Oct. 2. The resolution passed unanimously with exception of Legislator Richard Willson, who abstained due to previously working with Iversen on other projects.
County Administrator Sarah Purdy said the committee has been working on the potential development of the site for years, and that “this has been a long time coming.”
The proposed development will include 42 units ranging from 1,000 square foot two-bedroom models with single-car garages to 1,600 square foot two- to three-bedroom homes with two-car garages. The current concept design includes 16 buildings on the site, each of which contain two or three units.
Iversen said they have no current floor plans for either style of units, but they are targeting the price range to be around $350,000 to $400,000.
Iversen said a homeowner’s association will be responsible for maintenance of the common grounds and building exteriors, creating a maintenance free, single story housing option in the village. He said the target niche for the project are “empty nesters.”
The site also includes a 26 slip boat basin as well as a community center where residents can gather for meetings or community parties. Iversen said he also has plans for a hotel to be put up next to the Boat Yard Grill (formerly Sarrasin’s) as well. Iverson said if the village were to also sell them the Firemen’s Field, that would allow for the development of additional units.
Iversen said they are currently working with those who own the property next to the Boat Yard Grill, and that Chrisanntha Inc. will be developing the hotel.
Dennis said the current proposal was just for the county owned Penn Yan Marine property, not the Firemen’s Field. Iversen also said that the project is still in its concept phase, not its design phase, and if they can squeeze more units in and maintain the greenspace, they will most likely do it to maximize profits.
Community Development Director for the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center Alex Taylor said the committee was initially interested in developer Bob Yoder’s plan for the site, titled “The Landing at Penn Yan,” but decided to go with Iversen’s design after additional presentations from both developers. He said there were concerns over the density of Yoder’s 113 unit proposal and whether or not there is demand for that many units. Taylor said Iversen’s plan seems to be more realistic and that it fits better in the Penn Yan community.
The site, currently owned by the county, is a 14.7 acre area designated as a contaminated “brownfield,” which reduces the cost to developers due to the expense of cleaning up the site. Iversen said he intends to take the site to an “unrestricted residential cleanup standard,” which he said is actually a cleaner standard than they need to do. He said he personally would be very uncomfortable purchasing a property that was deemed safe, but still required an engineer to come back every year to make sure it is still safe.
Chrisanntha Inc. will be purchasing the Penn Yan Marine site from the county for approximately of $400,000, while they also wish to offer approximately $250,000 to the village of Penn Yan for the Firemen’s Field.
Iversen said the key to successful development of the site is to offer something not currently offered in the community. He used the term “pocket neighborhoods” several times throughout the presentation, saying the primary goal of the development will be on creating a lower-density housing development of smaller residences around a common courtyard or “green space.”
“We want to create a unique product for the market that is not offered anywhere else, so that people will have to come here and buy it,” Iversen said. “The development concept is to create a self-contained neighborhood with the primary focus being in the green interior space.”
Iversen said Chrisanntha would be responsible for construction of on-site infrastructure, including the private roads, the pedestrian walkway to be attached to the Keuka Outlet path, storm sewer accommodations and the boat basin. He said either the county or village would be responsible for the municipal end of the project, providing water sewer and electric services to the site. Iversen also requested a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement for the duration of the site cleanup, so they would not have to pay taxes on the property before they are able to start selling units.
The proposal indicates site demolition and construction is estimated to begin April to October of 2014, and the residential marketing and construction on the county site will occur between 2014 and 2018.