By Gwen Chamberlain/Chronicle-Express
Site work has begun on the Keuka Gardens project on Brown Street Extension, which will bring 42 one and two bedroom apartments to Penn Yan in the spring of 2020.
Keuka Gardens is a project of Home Leasing, a company based in Rochester.
Thirty one units will be targeted for households with incomes at or below 50 and 60 percent of the area median income and 11 will be supportive housing units for individuals with developmental disabilities. Those units will be dispersed throughout the building to provide an independent, private living space that is integrated in the community.
The building will include six two-bedroom apartments and 36 one-bedroom apartments, a community room, fitness center, patios and balconies, secure interior bicycle storage, raised garden beds, a playground, on-site management offices, on-site parking and bulk storage.
Five of the units will be fully accessible and adapted for persons with mobility impairments, and two will be equipped for persons with audio or visual impairments.
The building, which will be two stories on the south side of the site and three stories on the north to accommodate the natural slope,will meet Silver certification level of the US Green Building Council LEED Rating System.
The entrance to the building will be from the parking lot of Brock’s bowling center.
The Arc of Yates will have private office and counseling space. Once the apartments are occupied, Keuka Gardens will become a designated stop on one of the Yates Transit public transportation routes.
The project has received $1.2 million in funding from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, and in May, the project was awarded another $2.7 million in state funding. Home Leasing will use $697,800 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a $1.9 million loan from the New York State Housing Trust Fund.
The project was approved by the Penn Yan Village Planning Board in January 2017 after extensive commentary from neighboring property owners who had concerns about stormwater run-off, the apartment dwellers’ line of vision to their property, and a sidewalk that will be built along Route 14A, among other things. Several people expressed concerns that the sidewalk which will be built within the state highway easement will be steep and difficult to use.
In a funding application, Home Leasing cited documentation from the Penn Yan Village Downtown Revitalization Initiative which states, in part, ”... the lack of development and availability of affordable and market-rate housing options has resulted in an imbalance of our housing stock and tenure,” and “Housing has been identified by all local employers as the most limiting factor to attracting and retaining employment.”
According to information provided by Home Leasing, the vacancy rate of rental units in Penn Yan has dropped to less than 1 percent. Other affordable housing in Penn Yan includes Meadowside I & II and Walnut Hills, which both maintain waiting lists.