ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Thursday afternoon to celebrate and reveal rehabilitated apartment buildings in Elmira’s historic downtown area. The public came out to get an inside look at the new apartments and learn about how the rehabilitated buildings help preserve the story of Elmira’s past. 

“Arbor’s mission is to enhance the quality of lives by building independence and creating housing options,” Director of Real Estate Development for Arbor Housing and Development, Danielle Kenny, said. “So, that’s exactly what we’re doing here for the citizens of Elmira and the community as a whole.” 

The plans for the Reynolds Way Apartment project kicked off in 2021. Now, four buildings near the intersection of East Church Street and Academy Place in Downtown Elmira have officially been rehabilitated.  

 Kenny said there is a need for safe, affordable housing in the downtown area. 

“We’re in a housing crisis in New York State, as a whole, especially in Elmira,” she said. “Creating affordable housing for people that can live here...build that independence for their lifestyle...is just really important to our mission and our community.”  

Arbor Housing and Development wanted to keep Elmira’s story alive by rehabilitating old buildings, while still serving the community, Kenny said. 

“We’re rehabilitating those original, historic features of these buildings,” she said. “So, buildings that haven't been used in 20, 30 years...they haven’t seen any love or attention, are brought back to life. Breathing new air into them with new residents and it’s just really phenomenal to see what they were to what they are now.” 

Kenny said this project was a labor of love and made possible by Elmira City officials and New York State funding.  

“All of the funding comes from New York State Homes and Community Renewal, as well as some help from the City of Elmira,” she said.  “It was about 21 million dollars in total to bring this to life.”