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Town pulled up by adaptive reuse of old corset factory

A former corset factory in Cortland, NY, has been turned into an apartment and office property as part of an adaptive re-use project led by CPC

The Crescent Corset Co., the first subsidiary of J.C. Penney Co. and manufacturer of its private label Lady Lyke corset, built the factory at 165-177 Main Street in 1923.

The Crescent Company factory, on the National Register of Historic Places, is an example of an early 20th century daylight industrial building, with a steel frame and large glass windows. At the company’s height in the late 1920s, it was a major employer, provided jobs for some 700 women.

CPC and its development partners Housing Visions and David Yaman Realty Services recognized the important role that the transformation of the long-vacant site could have in the redevelopment and revitalization of Cortland.

Creating new rental housing that will expand the community’s housing stock, and new commercial space that will help catalyze economic opportunity supports the goals of the local government and serves the needs of the local residents.

The long-vacant 149,000 s/f industrial building was transformed into Crescent Commons, with 47 mixed-income apartment units and 103,490 s/f of high-quality commercial space.

Financing included a $12.5 million construction loan from CPC, as well as a SONYMA-insured permanent loan of $8.5 million from CPC financed through their agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

Members of the development and finance teams cut the ribbon to open Crescent Commons

The Regional Economic Development Council is provided a $1,000,000 grant. National Grid has awarded the project a $250,000 grant. The project is also receiving approximately $4.3 million in historic tax credit equity.

The City of Cortland has approved a $300,000 loan, and the project has been awarded a 15-year PILOT from the Cortland County IDA.

Ben Lockwood, President & CEO of Housing Visions said, “The adaptive reuse of this historic structure on Cortland’s Main Street is the first of its kind for commercial and residential tenants. Together with our local, experienced partner David Yaman, we have provided a quality, convenient, and luxurious commercial and residential experience for Cortland.”

“By working with CPC and local organizations, we are putting our money to work in New York’s local communities, while making solid returns for the state pension fund,” New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli added.

The residential space features one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 564-895 s/f. In total, there are 28 one-bedroom units renting at approximately $900 per month, and 19 two-bedroom units renting at approximately $1,200. Each unit includes EnergySTAR appliances and HVAC systems. Common amenities include a café, fitness center, and laundry facilities. Exterior highlights include a landscaped courtyard, private and secure access, and ample parking.

The more than 103,000 s/f of commercial space is located on the middle and the lower floors. Approximately half of the first floor is already leased.

The commercial component will accommodate office use, research and development for high-tech concerns, retail or wholesale, service oriented companies or light assembly. Pre-leased tenants include a counseling center, a real estate office, and a home care services provider.

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