Duplicating Market St. Housing Success
Written By: Joe Melillo
Corning City Manager Mark Ryckman made it clear to city council members that if a plan isn't in place to address housing in the city, that could mean trouble in the future. I
Corning (WENY) – Corning City Manager Mark Ryckman made it clear to city council members that if a plan isn't in place to address housing in the city, that could mean trouble in the future. In recent years, apartments on Market Street have done very well. Giving city leaders the model of success they're looking for.
70 percent of the housing in corning was built before 1960, that's 12 years before the flood of 1972. Ryckamn says overall, housing needs to improve, like it has on Market Street. Rick Maxa owns bottles and corks on market street, He's also lived in corning for more than 30 years. 8 years ago he bought the 14,000 square foot building at 21 East Market st, gutted it and turned it into high end apartments. He says he's there's never been a vacancy.
“A little bit of crazy, my wife and I own bottles and corks on market street and wanted to help revitalize the town and we knew that by redeveloping and getting people living down here in town, the restaurants and bars follow,” says Maxa.
Corning City manager Mark Ryckman sees the shifting desires of home owners, and he wants to capitalize on that.
“What we're seeing is people's lifestyles are changing and people are looking for different housing options we don't have enough housing in the right condition or the right styles of what people are looking for,” says the City Manager. “So what I am suggesting to the council is a city wide comprehensive housing plan.”
That plan would look at current housing conditions city wide, what the needs are, impediments to investment, and ways to attract developers. The city can help, but its going to take private sector investment from others like Rick Maxa for a plan to take shape.
“So its really changing the image of our downtown and making it more of a destination and more of a entertainment type center. If we could expand those type of housing on a city wide basis I think more people would choose Corning to live,” says Ryckman.
Ryckman says that increasing the housing stock could take years, but the investment would be worthwhile for residents in the long run.