Dryden Housing’s proposal seeks fourth review of plans for 43 units

VARNA, N.Y. — A Rochester real estate developer is hoping to attract a fourth multifamily residential development in the hamlet of Varna.

Park Grove Realty has filed revised plans for a planned 6.54-acre townhome project at 1061 Dryden Road, just east of the F.H. Fox Bridge. The latest submission is the fourth major release submitted during the long preparation period for the long-proposed apartment proposal for the site.

The 1061 Dryden Road project, originally called “The Evergreen Townhouses,” was first proposed in February 2017. The 36-unit, 108-bedroom townhouse plan designed by HOLT Architects was approved later that spring As a planned unit development (PUD). , with revisions in April 2018 to reduce the size of some units, keeping the number of units at 36 while reducing the total number of bedrooms to 90.

The project then entered a period of uncertainty as local businessman Gary Sloan sought to divest and bring in development partners for the project.

The supply remained on the real estate market for years, with prices declining significantly over time. Eventually, in 2022, it caught the interest of Park Grove Realty. The company has been looking to expand its presence in Tompkins County, where it recently developed East Pointe Apartments in Lansing Village and played co-developer on the Cayuga Park project in Ithaca, now known as Carpenter Park.

With Park Grove’s input, the proposal was revised again in spring 2022, to 42 apartments with a total of 84 bedrooms. At the time, building material costs had risen, and knowing that two-bedroom units were generally easier to rent than three-bedroom units, the revised plan was approved in May last year.

The latest rendering includes some substantial design changes. The HOLT Architects design was completely scrapped at this point, replaced with a design by James Fahy Design which is essentially the East Pointe Apartments plan with a few detail changes. In fact, the elevations provided are copies of the Genesee Pointe apartments at Park Grove on the outskirts of Rochester. The revised application outlines changes being made to ease the financial burden that was present in the applications approved in 2017 and 2022.

“Under this design, the project team obtained construction pricing and determined that the site and buildings were not buildable given the current construction climate. As a result, Park Grove Realty determined that it did not make sense to proceed with the project as proposed in the revised PUD previously,” Adam Fishel of Marathon Engineering wrote in the revised application.

The revised proposal would include a total of 43 market-rate rental units, with four 10-unit residential series, and eventually a series of three-unit single-story courtyard units. The cul-de-sac containing a decorative centerpiece in the previous site plan has been replaced by a more traditional ‘hammerhead’ shaped way station.

According to Fishel’s letter, the new project will reduce the number of bedrooms to 82, while increasing the number of on-site parking spaces from 95 to 108. The letter claims there will now be sprinklers in the units, as well as more green space. Space In the revised proposal, more areas to store plowed snow.

The plowed snow element may be a nod to the fact that while most cities still want enough parking spaces for projects, the project team hopes to ward off concerns that 108 parking spaces is an excessive amount for 43 apartments.

The City of Dryden Planning Board, which played an advisory role for the PUD amendments, supports the changes, although members expressed reservations about the proximity of the eastern rows of homes to the property line.

Meanwhile, the Dryden City Council will host a public hearing on the proposed PUD amendment in October, with an up-or-down vote possible sometime later in the fall. Park Grove hopes they can begin construction in the fall, likely with a goal of timely delivery to Cornell-based tenants in the fall of 2024.

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