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Old Library Committee Sets Stage for Review of Redevelopment Proposals

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Old Library Committee Sets Stage for Review of Redevelopment Proposals

Friday, April 3, 2015

Now that formal proposals for redeveloping the Old Tompkins County Library have been submitted, the special legislative committee charged with making a recommendation to the Tompkins County Legislature today agreed on the process for review.

Of the four sponsors of active concept proposals filed as preliminary expressions of interest, three opted to advance to the next stage of the process and filed detailed proposals in response to the County’s formal Request for Proposals.  Submitting proposals were Franklin Properties, MCK Building Associates, STREAM Collaborative, Taitem Engineering, and Dr. Marne O’Shae, MD; Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd.; and Travis Hyde Properties and HOLT Architects.  DPI Consultants, LLC did not respond to the County’s RFP.

Regarding the review process, the committee agreed with the approach suggested by Planning Commissioner Ed Marx, where staff will first review the proposals on various factors as a non-binding base assessment of each proposal, with the committee reviewing the proposals, including the suggested assessments, later this month.  The committee will then meet in open session with each prospective developer in May, with a committee recommendation scheduled by June.  The Legislature would consider the committee recommendation and decide on a preferred developer for the Old Library site by July.

Commissioner Marx stated, and committee members agreed, that all three proposals are excellent, quality proposals. Committee members also stressed that review should be an open, transparent process.  The three proposals (with any proprietary information omitted) will be posted online at the County website later this month, and the May meetings for developer presentations will be scheduled to begin at 5:00 p.m. to facilitate public attendance.

Among basic features of the proposals, as reported by Commissioner Marx today, Franklin Properties (project now known as West Court Lofts and Wellness Collective), would renovate the existing building, including 22 residential condominium units, medical offices, a café, and community room.  The Cornerstone Group (project known as Dewitt Senior Apartments), would build 63 residential units of senior housing and include community space for nutrition education by Cooperative Extension.  Travis-Hyde Properties would develop 60 residential senior-focused units, and would include space for Lifelong, professional office, and a community room.

The committee will continue its deliberations on April 30.