Yaman unveils plans to revive historic Crescent Corset building

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Calling it an “urban conversion project,” local developer David Yaman has unveiled site plans to redevelop the former Crescent Corset Company building at 165-177 S. Main Street.

David Yaman, of Yaman Real Estate, and Housing Visions Unlimited, Inc., a nonprofit, neighborhood revitalization company based in Syracuse, submitted a site plan review application to the Cortland City Planning Commission July 14. The plan came before the commission at its Monday meeting for a preliminary site plan review.

The Crescent Corset Co. building at 165-177 S. Main Street (Photos by Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

The Crescent Corset Co. building at 165-177 S. Main Street (Photo: Peter Blanchard/Cortland Voice)

Yaman says three companies, including a local daycare provider and two nonprofit organizations, have expressed interest in renting space on the building’s second floor for professional offices. The third floor of the building would be converted to 47 one and two-bedroom loft-style, upscale apartments, according to the site plan application.

Planned site improvements include a renovated parking area with about 150 parking spaces, site lighting, sidewalks, a daycare play area and utility and landscaping improvements.

On June 21, the building was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. Its historic designation means any changes to the property must adhere to state regulations and the building must be refurbished “back to its historic condition with modern-day technology,” Yaman said.

Yaman Real Estate has managed the property for more than a decade, though the building is owned by a Mexico-based company known as Cortland Realty, LLC.

Yaman said his company and Housing Visions plan to purchase the property from the company.

“One thing I’ve noticed is the owners really have abandoned it,” Yaman said. “They’ve not improved it at all. They’ve pretty much milked it from Mexico.”

Members of the city planning commission appeared receptive to the project. The plans have already come under preliminary review from the Cortland County Planning Board, which plans to submit its formal recommendations to the city planning commission.