ROME — A new $20 million housing project will soon take shape at Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome.
The mixed-use apartment community with office and amenity-oriented space will be built at the Building 240 site, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said the development is the result of the city’s request for expression of interest (RFEI). It’s the second housing project to come from the RFEI, with the first being the Copper City Lofts downtown.
“The park has been built out to the point where we need to support the workforce housing more so than we are,” Izzo said. “We’ve listened to the employers at the park, and their employees who wish to be living closer to where they work. They’re asking for certain amenities to be available in an apartment setting with some commercial space underneath to support the residents of the building.”
Amenities that building residents could see include child care, office space for tenants, a barber shop and a small convenience store, Izzo said.
Bonacio Construction plans to buy the 4.2 acres of land on the corner of Route 825 and Hangar Road, located next to Stewart’s, to develop the project.
Phase One will include two, four-story mixed-use buildings with street-level commercial space and 84 units of “upper-level, market-rate apartments,” the release said.
Saratoga Springs-based Bonacio Construction, Inc. plans to start construction on the project this fall and complete a large part of the project within one year, the release said.
"We are excited to be a part of the Rome community, starting with this project,” company President Sonny Bonacio said in the release. “Our vision for this site is a mixed-use, amenity-rich apartment community, providing Griffiss companies with much needed support for recruitment efforts, increasing overall employee quality of life, and keeping critical dollars in the local Rome economy."
Empire State Development will provide a capital grant of up to $1.25 million to Griffiss Local Development Corporation to support the development, which was recommended as a priority project by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council during Round VIII of the Governor's Regional Council initiative, the release said.
Bonacio has the option to complete up to three more phases of construction, depending on how well the first is received, Izzo said. She said if Bonacio were to build out all of the phases, they would be able to put about 300 new units at the Building 240 site.
Izzo said there is a lot of interest in living close to work, especially for the next generation, which wants shorter commutes and the ability to get outside.
“A lot of these people would like to be able to bike or walk, they’d like to have a trail system next to them, and of course we could connect the Griffiss trails from there,” Izzo said. “Of course it works with our plan to connect the corridor of Floyd Avenue down heading back into the city toward the Woodhaven site, where we hope to open a new Y and also more housing along the river.”
With all of the projects going on in Rome right now, Izzo said the city is poised to add about 200 units of housing over the next 12 to 18 months.
Cuomo said in the release that the investment will help further position the area to grow and draw more people to live in the city.
"Griffiss Business and Technology Park is home to globally recognized businesses that employ thousands of New Yorkers in the Mohawk Valley and continue to attract top talent through innovative research, products and services," Cuomo said. "This investment in Rome will further enhance the entire region by providing quality housing options close to the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, while continuing to build upon our economic development efforts in the Mohawk Valley."
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. said in the release that the project will provide a housing option that has been lacking in Rome. He said the project will have a positive impact on the city’s continued growth.
"It will prove to be a strong recruitment tool for the high tech companies operating at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park and should lead to even more employees joining the thousands who are already helping drive Oneida County's economy forward,” he said. “The versatility of featuring commercial and amenity space only adds to this projects transformative potential."
Contact reporter Samantha Madison at 315-792-5015 or follow her on Twitter (@OD_Madison).