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Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For "Libertad Elmira" Project At Jones Court Building

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the groundbreaking of Libertad Elmira, a $20 million development that will create 90 affordable homes in downtown Elmira, including 20 supportive homes for homeless veterans. Developed by The Vecino Group, Libertad Elmira will transform the 88,000-square foot John W. Jones Court building, which has been vacant for nearly 20 years, into a mixed-use facility with a 2,000-square foot community space that will house Head Start programming and a neighborhood market. 

"This investment will further our revitalization of Elmira's downtown while supporting our veterans and helping to ensure more New Yorkers have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home," Governor Cuomo said. "As we transform cities across this region into thriving hubs filled with jobs, quality education and vibrant culture, the Southern Tier will continue to soar."

Libertad Elmira will include 20 apartments reserved for formerly homeless veterans who will receive services and support through Governor Cuomo's Empire Sate Supportive Housing Initiative. Support services will be provided by the Economic Opportunity Program, Inc.

The building's 2,000 square foot community service facility will house Head Start programming and a neighborhood market. The market will provide job training to Libertad Elmira residents and students at nearby Elmira College. The Economic Opportunity Program, Inc. will operate the Head Start programming and the market.

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Residential amenities include a fitness center, a community room with communal kitchen, a study room, indoor and outdoor bike storage, and spaces for dental and medical screenings. Each apartment will have a washer and dryer. The project includes renovation of several outdoor seating areas and courtyards.

Libertad Elmira is within walking distance to retail, restaurants, medical facilities, banks, parks, public transit, Ernie Davis Park, and advances the revitalization of Elmira's downtown core. In 2016, Governor Cuomo awarded Elmira $10 million as part of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The DRI is focused on transforming the City of Elmira's center into a vibrant, walkable neighborhood that will be an attractive place for New Yorkers to live, work and play.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal provided over $17 million in financing in the form of tax-exempt bond financing and subsidy for the property renovation. HCR's Federal Low-Income Tax credit allocation will generate additional equity for the project, as well as State and Federal Historic Tax Credits.

"Many thanks go out to Governor Cuomo, his staff and the staff at New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their continued investment in Elmira," said Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell. "With their assistance our City has embarked on a renaissance as Elmira is well on the way of revitalization which has not occurred in this City in many years. Jones' Court sat vacant and blighted for a long time. With the efforts of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, this building will be alive again."

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KRSullivan    40

I will be great if this project is successful, but those buildings have been open to the environment for 20 years rooms caving in I can't imagine the structural Integrity of those bricks is anywhere near where it should be. They've been absorbing water and everything for 20 years no heat in the winter

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KarenK    34
1 hour ago, ElmiraTelegram said:

"Many thanks go out to Governor Cuomo, his staff and the staff at New York State Homes and Community Renewal for their continued investment in Elmira," said Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell. "With their assistance our City has embarked on a renaissance as Elmira is well on the way of revitalization which has not occurred in this City in many years. Jones' Court sat vacant and blighted for a long time. With the efforts of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, this building will be alive again."

Really?

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Chris    340
9 minutes ago, KarenK said:

Really?

Maybe that should add, "Governor's probably 2020 presidential run"?

 

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Hal    93

Okay first of all I read Libertad as ... something else ! Second since when will low income housing revitalize the City of Elmira ? 

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Mark    99

I swear the only reason I looked at this article was I thought the original poster might have spelled "libtard" wrong in the title.

 

Let's look at the numbers.  88,000 sq ft building less a 2,000 sf community space = 86,000 sf 

86,000 sf less 20% or so in other common areas (utility rooms, hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc) = 68800 sf

68800 sf divided by 90 residences = 764 sf residence

$20M divided by 90 residences = $222K per 764 sf residence, or $291 per sf

Seems like they could have razed the building and put up 90 nice 1800 sf houses for that same amount of money.

DAMN!  I hope they fixed those bricks too ...

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KarenK    34
48 minutes ago, Hal said:

Okay first of all I read Libertad as ... something else ! Second since when will low income housing revitalize the City of Elmira ? 

It is not low income, it's affordable income.

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KReed    85
7 hours ago, Mark said:

I swear the only reason I looked at this article was I thought the original poster might have spelled "libtard" wrong in the title.

 

Yep.....When I saw the "mis-spelling" flash by on the news last night, I had to rewind and see it again. 

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Hal    93
9 hours ago, KarenK said:

It is not low income, it's affordable income.

LOL , okay . 

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Hal    93

Well it’s good to see I’m not the only one that had to do a double take on the Libertad thing 

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Buster    12
19 hours ago, Hal said:

Okay first of all I read Libertad as ... something else ! Second since when will low income housing revitalize the City of Elmira ? 

It did not work after the flood of 72 and has not worked since. 

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Chris    340

As for the naming of the project, yeah, me too. And I've seen on social media that others have mentioned it as well so it's not just us. 

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Chris    340
On 5/30/2018 at 10:28 PM, KarenK said:

It is not low income, it's affordable income.

I'm curious what their target demographic is. If by "affordable" they mean younger people and families just starting out in the world, housing for med students while they're here, older people who don't need huge houses anymore, then okay. I think that's been mentioned for some other renovation projects further downtown.

 

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Hal    93
8 hours ago, Chris said:

As for the naming of the project, yeah, me too. And I've seen on social media that others have mentioned it as well so it's not just us. 

Yeah but we all that in the future at some point it Will be referred to as “ Libtard Court “ at least by those of us that grew up around Jones Court back in the day ! 

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Hal    93
8 hours ago, Chris said:

I'm curious what their target demographic is. If by "affordable" they mean younger people and families just starting out in the world, housing for med students while they're here, older people who don't need huge houses anymore, then okay. I think that's been mentioned for some other renovation projects further downtown.

 

I agree , it may start out as affordable housing for the folks you mention but you know it will shortly spiral down to just what it used to be . I as with some others here remember what it was to go to Junior High School close to Jones Court , not so bad  during the late sixties but a hot bed of crime from that point on . I am not trying being negative here , really , but I see this as becoming just another of many other low income ... affordable housing boondoggles ! Come on Mr Mayor ... revitalization of Elmira with this type housing . Indeed !?

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Mark    99
10 hours ago, Chris said:

I'm curious what their target demographic is. If by "affordable" they mean younger people and families just starting out in the world, housing for med students while they're here, older people who don't need huge houses anymore, then okay. I think that's been mentioned for some other renovation projects further downtown.

 

It would appear their target demographic may be depicted in the first photo in this topic.

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Hal    93

That being the case Mark the developers need as much time at the range as myself ! Because this picture is wayyy outside the “ten ring “ ! 

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