Press Releases


For Immediate Release: 12/17/2018


Milton Meadows Apartments Will Provide 72 Homes in the Town Center 

Investment Complements 'Southern Tier Soaring' - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a new $17.3 million housing development that includes 71 affordable apartments in the Town of Lansing, Tompkins County. Milton Meadows Apartments, developed by Rochester's Cornerstone Group, is the first phase of construction at Lansing's new Town Center and will be located near the Tompkins County Area Transit bus stop, as well as child care facilities, high-performing schools and businesses.

"Milton Meadows Apartments will provide safe, affordable housing options for families and individuals who need it most, bringing new life to the Lansing community," Governor Cuomo said. "This investment will help transform the neighborhood,create new job opportunities and build on our ongoing initiatives to keep the Southern Tier soaring."

"The Milton Meadows Apartments project in Lansing will add significantly more affordable housing opportunities for the people of Tompkins County," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This project will ensure increased access to high quality housing options and provide support services for residents. The meaningful investment advances the revitalization of the community and will continue to grow the economy of the entire Southern Tier region."

Governor Cuomo's commitment to strengthening communities and growing the Southern Tier economy is reflected in Southern Tier Soaring, a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative that builds on the more than $4.6 billion the State has injected into the region since 2012. The State's investment in Milton Meadows Apartments complements Southern Tier Soaring by increasing access to high-quality affordable housing that provides supportive services to help residents live independently in their community.

Milton Meadows Apartments complex will consist of 10 buildings, including 72 apartments with one to three bedrooms, on 13.5 acres of the 156-acre Town Center tract on Auburn Road. It is near the intersection of Route 34/34B, which is directly across from the Lansing Town Hall, library, community center and ball fields. There will be nine two-story apartment buildings, with a tenth building to serve as a community space with exercise, laundry and computer rooms. All buildings will have Energy Star rated central air conditioning and heating systems, lighting and appliances. The project will meet the New York State Energy, Research and Development Authority's Low-Rise Construction and LEED Silver standards. Construction is projected to be completed in a year.

Gross rents (rent plus utilities) will range from $680 to $1,400 a month for households with incomes below 80 percent of the area median income. Five apartments will be set aside for veterans with physical disabilities. Milton Meadows Apartments will be located near the Tompkins County Area Transit bus stop at Town Hall and will be close to child care facilities and high-performing schools, as well as a wide range of employment opportunities at regional businesses.

The project is supported by a Homes and Community Renewal award of federal low-income housing tax credits that generated about $9.9 million, and a $4.05 million loan from the Housing Trust Fund. The Community Preservation Corporation is providing a $2 million permanent loan through its funding agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. Additionally, Tompkins County Community Housing Development Fund is providing $256,875; NYSERDA is providing $63,200; and Column Financial is providing a loan of $850,000.

Since 2011, HCR has built or preserved more than 1,900 units of affordable housing in the Southern Tier with more than $158 million in HCR resources which have leveraged more than $234 million in private investment.

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund said, "We are pleased to help support access to high quality Affordable housing at Lansing's new Town Center. In partnering with the Community Preservation Corporation, not only are we helping revitalize a community, we also secure a sound investment for our retirement fund."

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Milton Meadows Apartments will provide more than 100 hard-working New Yorkers with a safe and energy-efficient place to call home that will serve as catalyst for the development of Lansing's Town Center. When we expand affordable housing opportunities, we strengthen our economy and keep the Southern Tier soaring."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "Milton Meadows highlights Governor Cuomo's leadership in making access to clean, renewable energy a reality a reality for all New Yorkers and helps advance the state's aggressive clean energy and climate goals while supporting Southern Tier Soaring. Everyone deserves safe, energy efficient housing and this project provides residents with essential services, increased comfort and the benefit of lower energy costs."

Senator Pamela Helming said, "Safe, affordable housing is critical for the success of our community. This project is a win for the entire region and will help provide new housing options for working families and disabled veterans."

Assemblymember Barbara Lifton said, "I'm proud to have supported this critical investment in the Lansing community. As the cost of housing continues to rise in Tompkins County, making it difficult for individuals and families to access quality housing, the Milton Meadows Apartments project serves a critical need and will make a meaningful difference in people's lives. Situated close to public transit, child care, schools and employment opportunities, this is an ideal site for affordable workforce housing. I'm especially pleased to see that the project sets aside units for veterans with disabilities, and that the project will be certified LEED Silver. Thanks to the Cornerstone Group, Governor Cuomo, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and all the other partners who were involved in making this important project a reality."

Tompkins County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Robertson said, "On behalf of the Tompkins County Legislature and the Community Housing Development Fund, it's my honor to thank the many project partners that have helped to bring Milton Meadows to Tompkins County! From the supportive leadership in the Town of Lansing to the vote of confidence from New York State agencies that have pitched in, I think we can agree that collaboration is the way to get things done. In addition to providing workforce housing, this project will be a model for energy-smart development, with high efficiency electric heat pumps, LED lighting and much more. Congratulations and thanks to all involved!"

Lansing Town Supervisor Edward LaVigne said, "Milton Meadows Apartments is a concrete example of the positive results that can be achieved when the public, private and not-for-profit sectors work together. Not only will our hard-working residents have new, affordable, housing options, this project will bolster Lansing's economic development which will strengthen our entire community. I'm grateful to Rochester's Cornerstone Group, State Homes and Community Renewal and our project partners for their commitment and investment in Lansing."

Roger Brandt, President of Rochester's Cornerstone Group said, "Cornerstone is very pleased to be working with Providence Housing Development Corporation to develop this much-needed workforce housing community for the residents of Lansing. Milton Meadows also represents the first development in the Town Center and is a catalyst for future development."

Miriam Zinter, Mortgage Officer for CPC's Rochester office, said, "At CPC we believe that quality affordable housing is the foundation for building strong and vibrant communities. With its 72 units of affordable housing, we're proud that Milton Meadows will provide several units to veterans, people with disabilities and others in need. An affordable place to call home, combined with a safe and supportive environment, can help people gain the stability they need to live with dignity and independence. I would like to thank Rochester's Cornerstone Group for their continued partnership and dedication to serving the affordable housing needs of the community. I would also like to recognize our funding partners at the State's Common Retirement Fund, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Tompkins County, and NYSERDA."

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 

Today's announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan - attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.



NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Cornerstone Group, Partners Celebrate Historic Spa Apartments Renovation

$7.1 Million Redevelopment Preserves 109 Units of Senior Mitchell-Lama Housing as Affordable for 30 More Years

Rochester, NY, May 17, 2016 – New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, local officials, tenants, and others joined  to celebrate the renovation and preservation of the historic Spa Apartments, a State Mitchell-Lama development for seniors in downtown Clifton Springs. Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd. and Home Leasing, LLC were co-developers in this undertaking.

Located at 11 East Main Street, the Spa Apartments are among the thousands of units that form the foundation of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s new, $10 billion House New York 2020 program to create or preserve 100,000 affordable units over the next five years. First constructed in 1892 as the Clifton Springs Hospital and Sanitarium, in 1974 the building underwent a State-funded gut renovation and conversion to senior housing. The funding for the new renovation requires that the development be preserved as an affordable housing resource for the next thirty years.

HCR Commissioner James S. Rubin said: “This is an extraordinary building and an irreplaceable affordable housing resource – as the many people who have called this building home can attest. HCR is committed to preserving affordable housing and improving the fabric of communities across the state. Good quality architecture matters to us as much as it matters to the people who live here. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s wide-ranging affordable housing programs and agenda, we are grateful to our partners and proud to be able to play a role in giving Spa Apartments yet another fresh start.”

The Chapel

The renovation included new kitchens and bathroom finishes, flooring, interior doors, programmable thermostats, in kind replacement of electric heat, asbestos abatement, and new entry door hardware. Windows and roofs were completely replaced. Elevators were refurbished, while improvements were made to common areas. The building, which was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1979, includes a chapel that has a favrile glass mosaic of the Last Supper designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The chapel is also home to an historic Williams and Charles Pilcher organ. In 1974 the sanitarium was converted to a 109-unit senior citizens apartment building

Spa Apartments Developer and Vice President of Rochester’s Cornerstone Group, Ltd., Carol Oster, noted “Rochester’s Cornerstone Group and Home Leasing are pleased to be a part of the lineage of this historic building which has been such an integral part of the history of Clifton Springs.  The residents of Spa Apartments now experience a significant improved quality of living as their apartments and common space were enhanced.”

Funding for this $7.1 million renovation came from New York State Housing Finance Agency, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, M&T Bank and Citizens Bank.

“We are honored to have the privilege to participate in the restoration of such a historic and significant housing community,” said Spa Apartments developer, Nelson Leenhouts, Chairman and CEO of Home Leasing, LLC.


“The rehabilitation of this 19th century treasure provides Spa Apartments' senior residents with the quality homes they deserve while also recreating a place of pride for the entire Clifton Springs community,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “These 109 apartments are part of a nationwide success story: over 50,000 affordable units have been preserved since 2012 through HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration, which we hope to make a permanent part of our financing toolkit."

HUD’s RAD is a tool to modernize the financing of federally-subsidized affordable housing. Under RAD, building owners and public housing authorities can convert their funding to a long-term Section 8 contract, providing the stability necessary to leverage private equity for capital repairs. RAD has already leveraged over $2 billion in construction activity nationwide, and its strong tenant protections and guaranteed long-term affordability mean that these investments will remain targeted to those that need them most. RAD was authorized as a pilot in 2012, and requires further Congressional action to become a permanent option available to the entire federal housing portfolio.

If you would like more information about Spa Apartments, please contact Carol Oster at 585-424-1400 or email at