When Eric Basset first visited Hornell to research locations for potential property development, he was struck by the limited options available to tenants in town.
This visit took place more than five years ago, long before a flurry of projects began adding hundreds of new units to Hornell’s housing stock.
“We looked at it and said ‘Gee, why isn’t there anything here?’ We dug a little deeper and realized that it was justified and necessary, and that it would benefit the people of Hornell,” Basset recalled. “Why don’t they deserve to have some of these types of options? We decided to make the investment, and so far it has been great.
The Bassett groupThe project, The Residences, opened in 2018 and currently offers 63 two-bedroom apartments across three buildings on Residence Road.
The project, however, is just getting started.
A total of 84 additional units are in the pipeline for The Residences. Delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated supply shortages slowed the project’s original schedule, but Basset is now moving forward with plans to more than double its footprint at Hornell.
Phase 2 of the three-phase development is currently taking shape. The exterior of a fourth building is nearing completion and interior work is well underway. The new building and its 21 units are expected to open to tenants in the spring of 2023. The platform for a nearby building is already in place, and construction is expected to begin this winter before another possible start in 2023.
“Our goal is to have one (building) ready for occupancy by spring 23 and then the other hopefully by next winter or even sooner,” Basset said. “Once things start to normalize again and we start to get back into the rhythm like we were before, I think it will go faster and faster.”
Basset plans to erect two more buildings in addition to the pair currently under construction. When this Phase 3 effort is finally complete, residences will then comprise 147 units spread across seven buildings, creating a major housing hub in the far north of the city.
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What you need to know about Les Residences
Each building at The Residences contains 21 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments that feature a minimum living space of 1,000 square feet and an outdoor patio. Five different floor plans are offered, with rents ranging from $1,250 to $1,500 depending on unit size. Fiber internet, cable TV and garbage disposal services are included with every rental.
The Basset Group found two-bedroom units to be the “sweet spot” for the market, providing options for small families, couples and single residents.
“For the professional, they have an extra room for an occasional visitor or a home office,” Basset said. “The culture has changed dramatically since COVID and there are a lot more people working remotely. We have a good square footage and it seems to be working well.
Other amenities include central air conditioning, dishwashers, stainless steel appliances, electric washer and dryer hookups, keyless entry, intercom, and building monitoring system. Each building is constructed with 19 indoor garages, 17 single garages and two double garages, available for rental.
Basset has at least one staff member on hand throughout the day to handle any issues that may arise. The company’s long-term plan for The Residences includes constructing a central office building to house staff and provide a drop-off point for rent payments.
The development sits on a lightly traveled road in the Arkport Central School District bordered mostly by farmland.
Where The Residences fits into Hornell’s property boom
Hornell’s housing boom over the past five years dates back to a 2016 study that found the city needed to add several hundred units to keep up with demand as Alstom and other employers ramped up operations.
The Basset Group was among the first investors to commit to a large scale project in Hornell and collectively The Residences will become the largest new housing development in the town when the new buildings come online. An apartment complex similar to Fairlawn Hills was opened in 2018 by Riedman Companies.
The demand for housing has also resulted in the rehabilitation of historic buildings in the city. Grove Realty Park opened The Lofts at Rockland Silk Mill in 2021, transforming the former Marion Rohr building into 23 apartments. Park Grove also has launched a project to transform the former Bryant School building into 39 apartments.
A number of smaller-scale housing projects have been selected for funding from Hornell’s $10 million prize for downtown revitalization, and a Rochester developer recently unveiled plans to build 25-30 apartments in an adaptive reuse of the former Evening Tribune building.
While The Residences, Fairlawn Hills and The Lofts all offer market-priced housing, the Bryant School Apartments will provide limited “workforce housing” to residents earning up to 60% of the County’s median income. Steuben.
“These projects really show the growth we’re seeing at Hornell,” Mayor John Buckley said. “Housing certainly plays a central role in that equation, especially when you see Alstom growing at the rate they are growing and with the success of TTA. Strobels has grown exponentially over the years. With all these growing businesses , people come here and they need a place to live in. Basset answers that call.
Basset said the composition of tenants at The Residences included senior citizens who were downsizing in large homes, young professionals employed in local industry, professors from Alfred University and nearby Alfred State College. , and retirees newly arrived in the community.
“It brings people to the area who might not normally have lived there. This could translate into additional benefits for local businesses,” Basset said. “We still have a lot of our original tenants. People love that. Some people are just passing through and take jobs in the area for a year or two. It’s a great mix of tenants.