New Life for Birkett Mills: PY Property Transformed Into Apartments
By Jim Miller (Posted 08.28.13 in Finger Lakes Times)
Walk into the new apartments at Birkett Landing, and the hardwood floors, granite countertops and fresh paint will all vie for attention. But the ponderous wooden beams and columns are what really draw the eye. They're left over from the building's days as a warehouse, and developer Chris Iversen thinks they make the place special. "The beams, the columns and the unique spaces are what really make it completely different than the run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter apartments that we might have if we had started from scratch," Iversen said.
After a year of work, Birkett Landing should be ready for occupancy Oct. 1. Renovating the three connected buildings, which date from the late 1800's and overlook the Keuka Outlet, cost just under $6 million. A $2.5 million Restore New York grant helped get the project going, said Iversen, whose company, Gorham-based Chrisanntha Inc., developed the site in partnership with First Niagara Bank.
Birkett Landing, located at 130 Water St., includes 12 apartments ranging in size from 1,220 square feet to 1,700 square feet. It also features a penthouse and space for retail on the ground floor. To make good on the "landing" part of its name, Iversen plans to install docks along the Outlet next spring. He hopes the apartments will appeal to young professionals, lakefront residents ready to downsize and people looking for a part-time home in the area. "It's just going to be an easier way of life for folks," said Sue Stork, who is handling rentals. "They're right downtown, close to everything." Rents will range from $975 to $1,650 a month. Each apartment includes a laundry room and access to a ground floor fitness room. Parking is available on site. "We think that there's a need in the marketplace for upscale rental housing, because there just isn't any," Iversen said.
Birkett Mills had owned the buildings that comprise Birkett Landing since 1908, and they are on the state and national registration of historic places. In recent years, however, they had been used as an overflow storage site and were largely vacant.
Iversen, who'd had his eye on the site since 2009 and bought it last year, hopes the renovation will boost the whole Water Street area.
During renovations, workers carted off accumulated debris, built new walls and painted the outside. "It was gutted," Iversen said. "Completely gutted." In addition to the beams and columns, they were able to salvage pine and fir framing to use as trim. Mossien Associates of Rochester handled the design work.
Iversen and Stork said each apartment is unique, with different layouts, color schemes and flooring. Three are loft-style, and all overlook the Outlet.
Downstairs, Iversen has 4,500 square feet of retail space, which he will partition as needed for up to three stores. He hopes the remaining 1,500 square feet will become a café/wine bar. Stork said the apartment portion of the building will be secure, with a key and buzzer system. It also features a high-efficiency furnace and an elevator, so residents can easily access the upper floors.
None of the units have been rented yet because of the ongoing construction. However, Stork said people from as far afield as Boston, New York City, and Washington D.C., have expressed interest. So have local residents. Iversen seemed pleased with that response. He admitted that the project was somewhat of a risk. "Not having any comparable living arrangements in Penn Yan, it was sort of a guess," he said.
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Birkett Landing Nears Completion in Penn Yan
By John Christensen (Posted 07.03.13 on The Chronicle-Express.com)
One of the "bustlingest" places in Penn Yan this year has been Birkett Landing, Chris Iversen's redevelopment of the old Birkett Mills warehouses into a complex of 13 upscale waterside apartments. Construction has continued unabated for months with exterior residing and painting almost complete, and interior framing, wiring, plumbing, and ducting crews working in quick succession on each of the 13 unique apartments...(Click here to read the full article)