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Opportunity Hamilton, NY Developers Welcome

This is the place. This is the time.


This is the place. This is the time.

1 This is the place. This is the time. 2 An Introduction to Hamilton Growing, Growing, Growing Target Opportunities Community Life Kudos Population & Household Trends 8 The Demand Housing Vacancy Trends Projections: A Housing Deficit Housing Shortage Already Evident 11 Current Supply Housing Units Median Home Value Age of Housing Stock

If you are a developer, consider Hamilton— it has the right alignment of factors, prime for residential development

• accessible sites appropriate for the desired type and scale of development

Norwich Pharmaceuticals, and NBT Bank, are experiencing significant growth) and expect that growth will continue. Colgate is anticipating that a large cohort of faculty will retire and be replaced in the next 5-7 years

• supportive policies and plans that allow housing

• Retirees, a rapidly growing group nationwide,

• a place where people want to live, work, and visit • a place where people can afford to live, work,

• Student housing stock is aging and limited and

development to meet market demand

and visit

• a place experiencing growing demand for housing

and a simultaneous tightening and aging of supply

Market conditions suggest now is the time to build

are seeking out college towns, such as Hamilton, for retirement not responding to the demographic trends and residential housing preferences of Colgate’s undergraduate population

• Alumni who regularly visit campus to enjoy the

Colgate camaraderie and Hamilton experience seek more than a hotel stay, and those who regularly visit campus have few options other than to purchase and renovate aging housing stock

• Hamilton is a prime market for new housing

construction in a variety of types and at a range of price points

• Demand is projected to increase especially between now and 2016, making 2013 and 2014 the ideal time to begin construction

Several attractive population targets are now and will be experiencing demand that outstrips supply

• Area businesses and Colgate University are

Development support is available

• Local elected officials and policy-makers, university leaders, and regional community development organizations are eager to help willing developers initiate and complete residential development projects

• Colgate University offers financial incentives and

support to its faculty to purchase houses locally, increasing the demand and making it possible for even new hires to purchase a home upon relocation

growing (large employers in the region, including Chobani—America’s top-selling yogurt brand,


An Introduction to Hamilton Hamilton is a vibrant and growing community situated in Madison County, in the heart of central New York State’s Chenango Valley. About equal distance between New York City and Boston, Hamilton is approximately a 4 1/2 hour drive from each and about 1 hour from Syracuse, its closest “big” city. Hamilton is home to one of the country’s elite liberal arts colleges, Colgate University. Distinguished among area communities, its remarkable intellectual spirit adds diversity to the local population and vitality to the economic life and character of the town. Coupled with rolling hills, dairy farms, picturesque barns, woods, creeks, lakes, deer and snowmobile trails, Hamilton is much more than a college town. However, its identity remains inextricably linked to Colgate University which propels it forward with its growth and commitment to excellence.

The Town of Hamilton’s population, currently approximately 6,690 (including the Village population in its center with 4,239), grew by 17% over the past decade as Hamilton’s special qualities as a place to live, work, or just visit continue to attract interest. Hamilton is far enough away from the urban hum with clean clear air and open space, yet home to important lifestyle amenities and surrounded by nearby small city attractions.

Growing, Growing, Growing Based on current trends and population growth patterns, Hamilton area residents and those desirous of making Hamilton home have largely exhausted and exceeded existing housing stock capacity. With increasing demand putting pressure on local aging resources, we need new construction and new real

estate development. According to Zillow Home Value Index (2012), the Town of Hamilton real estate market has increased 7.9% year over year with a median value of $145,000. With little new housing stock, the modern conveniences and amenities and contemporary layouts that today’s developers have as their standard are mostly absent without renovation, unless you are lucky enough to purchase already renovated. We not only need more spaces to accommodate our growth trends, but we also need housing that fits the needs of current buyers and renters and the diversity of our population, running the gamut from young singles and families to retirees.

We invite residential (and commercial) developers and builders to consider the opportunity that building here in Hamilton offers. This community is well-suited to support a developer whose scale matches our population size and growth patterns. We have the market, we have the prospective occupants, now, Hamilton needs you. We invite you to take advantage of the incentives and the market forces that would make your time and investment in Hamilton, NY, a potentially profitable and rewarding experience.

Target Opportunities We have the land, now we need developers to develop it. Given the diversity of population growth streams (type, demographics and life stage), we see development opportunity for a mix of housing types, levels and styles, with four key target groups constituting attractive development prospects: Professional community The professional community is comprised of Hamilton Central School, Community Memorial Hospital and Colgate University’s expanding faculty and staff (alone numbering almost 1,000 full-time employees), and employees from the area’s growing businesses. These residents want to situate within the borders of Hamilton’s highly recognized school district Students Students who live off-campus are likely to be in an aging subdivided home or older apartment, most without modern amenities or new accoutrements Retirees Retirees find the pace, camaraderie (recently voted 11th friendliest city in America) and amenities a reason for existing seniors not to leave and a magnet for senior newcomers to come Colgate alumni Their fierce loyalty to Colgate translates into frequent visits to Hamilton to play golf on one of the country’s best rated college courses, feel the spirit of Division I sporting events, network with colleagues at a myriad of social events or to the draw of internationally known speakers (e.g., Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama).


You’re Invited!

Colgate alumni number more than 30,000 strong. They regularly visit campus for both organized activities such as Summer on the Hill (a brief return to academia to investigate a compelling topic with professors and fellow alumni) or for the Kerschner Family Series Global Leaders lectures (2013 will feature former Secretary of State and US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as the speaker) or just to play a round of golf, take in a movie at the Hamilton Theater, see a play at the Palace Theater or just relax in the outdoor Hamilton experience. In 2012, alumni and parents* of current students participated in a professionally conducted market research survey to assess their interest in buying or renting single family homes, townhomes or apartments in Hamilton. Given their frequency of visiting, the study’s goal was to see how that translated into alumni and parent preferences for a housing option other than a hotel or bed and breakfast experience. Based on responses to different price points and housing types, the study projected that approximately 5% of the alumni/ parent body—that translates into potentially 1,500 prospective home buyers/renters—say they would be interested in buying or renting housing in Hamilton. *A surprising number of parents of Colgate students buy houses in Hamilton to enhance their frequent stays while they watch their sons or daughters play Division 1 sports or just to enjoy the many local amenities with their students. This number is expected to increase as the Colgate student body continues to diversify geographically, with California now regularly among the top five states represented in Colgate’s entering classes.


Kudos Hamilton’s many distinct and varied qualities, awards and recognition include… Ambiance

• In December 2012, Forbes magazine ranked Hamilton #11 on their list of “America’s 15 Friendliest Towns”

Hamilton is the only town in New York State to make the list due to its exceptionally low crime rate, high rate of home-ownership, and powerful sense of civic engagement and community harmony Hospitality

• In 2012, local landmark New York Pizzeria (called “Slices” by the locals) caught the eye—and taste buds—of international food and travel powerhouse Zagats which put the Hamilton restaurant at #5 on its list of “Destination Pizzas: 10 Pies Worth a Trip”

“If it’s straightforward, no-nonsense pizza you’re looking for you won’t do better than Slices. . . where pies come out of the oven with a pillowy, bubbly upper crust (the lower part is thin) covered with the most satisfying ratio of sweet tomato sauce to salty mozzarella cheese,” raved Zagats, “Its slices simply can’t be beat”

• General contractor firm Hayner Hoyt was a finalist in the Community Life Hamilton’s village core is a charming downtown area, with many properties in our historic district. The downtown features boutiques, galleries, shops, hotels, bed and breakfasts and restaurants—as well as the largest independent downtown bookstore in New York State and, in season, one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the state—live theater and independent cinema, and a charming village green (home to the market and outdoor concerts and seasonal events). Hamilton’s economic base is sustained and nurtured by independently owned and operated local businesses, as well as businesses that are owned by the Hamilton Initiative (Colgate University’s economic development arm). Coupled with the Partnership for Community Development (a non-profit economic and community development organization comprised of the Village of 4

Hamilton, the Town of Hamilton and Colgate University) and the Hamilton Business Alliance (our Chamber of Commerce-type organization), all strive to support and contribute to Hamilton’s economic energy. Colgate’s Trudy Fitness Center and Huntington Gym and Natatorium, its first class Case Geyer Library and the state of the art Ho Tung Visualization Lab are just a few of the many destinations both the local population and visitors seek out. Colgate brings to its campus a wide variety of prominent speakers and events that draw not only the academic and local communities but also the return of alumni and parents. A calendar filled with academic, cultural and sports activities add to the area’s richness as a destination and ensure that the Hamilton to-do list is never complete.

CNY Business Journal’s “A Time to Build” Annual Awards for the Colgate Inn renovation project which transformed an aging but iconic Village hotel into a stylish reinvented space that puts it at the forefront of area accommodations and ensures its magnetic appeal

• The Colgate Inn was a Wine Spectator 2012 Restaurant Award of Excellence winner Sports

• The Seven Oaks Golf Course, operated by Colgate

University and open to the public, is a picturesque and challenging course designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones Its breathtaking views of Colgate and the surrounding countryside, rolling streams, and remarkable greens, earned it the distinction of being ranked as #11 best public golf course in New York State by and #15 “best course you can play in New York state” by Golfweek in 2010; in 2011, Golfweek placed it #22 on its list of “best college campus golf courses” nationwide 5

MORE Kudos Education

• Hamilton Central Schools have garnered some of

New York State’s top achievement scores In 2012, after reviewing 22,000 public high schools nationwide, US News & World Report ranked HCS #979 in the nation, awarding it a Silver Medal and lauding its exceptionally high Advanced Placement participation rate (41%), low student-to-teacher ratio (12:1), and above-state-average math proficiency (96%) and English proficiency (100%). HCS ranked #130 out of 1,165 New York public schools

a way to contribute to the economic and cultural revival of the area”

• Thought Into Action

Colgate’s alumni-energized student entrepreneur program helps fund and award scholarships to encourage student beta sites to be located in Hamilton, where the organization has its off-campus headquarters; this is one of many business development activities helping to maintain and advance Hamilton’s economic vitality

• Entrepreneurs of New York

Newsweek put Hamilton Central High School in the top half of the nation’s 2,000 best public high schools, placing its standing at an impressive #874 nationwide

Peek into the window of 22 Utica Street to see the winning teams of Entrepreneurs of New York, students who have been awarded funding to develop and execute their innovative and promising business concepts, hard at work at their incubator location



• Good Nature Brewing

One of Hamilton’s stand-out businesses is Good Nature Brewing, a fledging brewery established in 2011 which has exploded in popularity, with craft beer fans traveling from across the country to get a growler of their unique and highly reviewed ales, and growing so successfully that it is currently eyeing its third expansion

Their hard work caught the attention of Serious Eats, whose reviewer placed it at #1 among “New York State Beverage Makers You Should Know” “Their beers are clean and easy-drinking, but also layered and surprising,” raved the author, “The brewery, less than a year old, is their love letter to New York,

In addition to great arts and cultural offerings that Hamilton can boast (including plans for a center for art and culture museum to be located in the heart of the Village), access to exciting Division I athletic competitions at Colgate, a diverse array of retail shopping and dining options, and countless opportunities for outdoor sports participation (hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, fishing and more), the community has a rare and calming peace and tranquility that suffuses its pace and tenor


• Hamilton’s Community Memorial Hospital is one of

the few small facilities nationwide to receive a VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence in Surgical Complications and Infection Prevention—no surprise for the #2 ranked hospital in the State and in the top 5% nationwide for joint replacement, with a Gold Seal from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations In 2012, the nonprofit Leapfrog Group scored CMH as an A in patient safety, the only hospital in central New York to receive the top grade, and the Joint Commission again recognized CMH as one of just 620 hospitals in the country to earn the distinction “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures”

POPULATION AND HOUSEHOLD TRENDS Population is growing, Households are growing

2000-2010 40% 34% 30% 22% 20%


10% 2% 0

Population Growth

2000 2010

Change 2000 to 2010

Town of Hamilton total




Village of Hamilton




Village of Hamilton (w/o Colgate students)




Town excluding Village of Hamilton




Madison County




2010 U.S. Census

• Air (97.3/100) and water quality (89/100) far • Hamilton is a healthy, happy, and happening

place, a “tranquil. . . sophisticated” town that a travel writer for the Washington Post called “pleasant [and] chic”

Household Growth

Population Trends

Household Trends

exceed the national averages (82.8 and 55)



• In 2012, Sperling’s ranked Hamilton #1 (lowest) in property crime (scale 1 to 10) and #2 in violent crime



2000 2010

Change 2000 to 2010

Town of Hamilton




Village of Hamilton




Town excluding Village of Hamilton




Madison County




• Madison County saw the sixth highest • •

percentage increase in population between 2000-2010 among all New York State counties Within the four-county Central New York region (Madison, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oswego), Hamilton saw the largest growth of all towns Population growth in the Village of Hamilton occurred at a greater rate in the past decade compared to growth in those areas within the Town outside the Village

• The broad population growth for •

Madison County and Hamilton in particular is likewise reflected in the increasing number of households Hamilton again outpaced the county as a whole

2010 U.S. Census


The Demand

Projections: A housing deficit for a growing community

• Lack of available housing stock in the Village of Hamilton presents

Demand for housing of varying types and price points is projected to increase substantially over the next five years in Hamilton:

a genuine challenge to growth in the community

• Demand for housing is expected to increase significantly over the

• The population of the Village (excluding Colgate

next five years

enrollment) grew by an incredible 40% over the past decade (17% in the entire Town)

• Madison County saw the sixth highest percentage

Housing Vacancy Trends 2000 Share of Vacant Housing Stock

2010 Share of Vacant Housing Stock

Village of Hamilton



Town w/o Village of Hamilton



Town of Hamilton



Madison County



New York State



2000 and 2010 U.S. Census

• The Village of Hamilton saw its share of

vacant stock drop by one-fifth, probably due to the consistent demand for housing stock presented by Colgate faculty and staff

increase in population between 2000-2010 among all New York counties

• Within the four-county Central New York region

(Madison, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oswego), Hamilton saw the largest growth of all towns

Using Census figures, Applied Geographic Solutions (AGS), which supplies demographic and economic data to Empire State Development, projects anticipated changes in the demographic constitution of the population in an area. For the purposes of these projections, a 10-mile radius area around the central intersection of the Village of Hamilton was defined (includes the Town of Hamilton and slightly beyond, into the towns of Madison, Morrisville, Eaton, Sherburne, and Lebanon). In that 10-mile radius area, AGS projects a population growth of 8.5% and a household growth of 12% between 2012-2016, with the largest growth happening in the Village of Hamilton and among higher-earning (+35%), higher educated (+19%), family-age residents (+10%)

Further fueling this demand are two circumstances not reflected in the AGS analysis:

According to Colgate’s Office of Institutional Planning and Research, the university projects hiring 10 new tenure-stream faculty per year from 2013 to 2021, for a total of 90 new residents (not including any accompanying partners, spouses or children) — The large number of new hires will further increase demand for housing in Hamilton ­— Colgate offers generous financial assistance to junior faculty to purchase houses near the college, ensuring a demand for increased stock in the Village

• Colgate is undertaking the planning of a new world-

class museum of art and culture, to be situated in the heart of downtown Hamilton “Museums can dramatically transform the culture of a neighborhood and have profound effects on its desirability.” (Halsey, Micah; “Economic Impact Analysis of Cultural Institutions,” Williams College, 2005) The facility, Colgate University’s Center for Art and Culture, will be a magnet for retirees, particularly older Colgate alumni, who will require a very specific type of housing stock The most strategically advantageous move for a potential developer would be to complete construction of this stock before completion of the museum: research has shown that similar museums have increased residential property value an average of $14,000 for up to about 1.1 miles distant (Sheppard, et al.; “Cultural and Revitalization,” Center for Creative Community Development, 2006)

• Colgate anticipates that approximately one-third of its

faculty will retire within the next 5-7 years, to be filled with new hires – typically singles, couples and small children households (a sizable cohort of faculty were hired when the university expanded its academic program to accommodate women in the 1970s, and that class of faculty will be approaching retirement shortly)



Current Supply

Housing Shortage Already Evident As recently as 2012, Colgate faculty and staff have expressed frustration with finding appropriate housing in Hamilton. As newcomers, rental properties are attractive, however, Colgate’s mortgage incentives are likely to help fuel the purchase option, as faculty recognize the cost/ benefit of rent to purchase, creating an opportunity in both rental and for sale properties. The following are conclusions from a 2012 Colgate University internal survey of new faculty and staff: It’s tough to find a place to live in Hamilton

• The average list to sale price ratio from August

• Less is not more: Demand outpaces supply • Median home values reveal a robust and tight market

2011–August 2012 was approximately 97% for the Hamilton real estate market, suggesting sellers were getting very close to their asking price on homes

Total Housing Units

• This fact provides further evidence that

Hamilton is a seller’s market for housing and that there is consistent, strong, and growing demand for housing

• The great majority indicated that it was difficult or

somewhat difficult to find housing that they wanted, with few options, poor locations and poor conditions cited as explanation for their housing experience



Village of Hamilton



Town of Hamilton



Madison County



New York State



• The declining supply of housing stock in • •

the Village of Hamilton is further illustrated by the Census figures at left While all other geographies saw an increase in the number of housing units, that figure declined slightly in the Village This drop further exacerbates the tension in the marketplace created by the strong demand for housing

2005-2010 American Community Survey, U.S. Census; 2000 U.S. Census Housing Unit: A house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall.

• About half of these recent incoming employees live in the Village, but of the half who does not, about two-thirds of them sought to live in the Village when they were looking for housing but were deterred due to cost and availability Ideal housing desired…

• In the Village within walking distance to the area

Town & Village Dramatic Upswings: Change in Median Home Value

surrounding the center

• New or renovated

— A new single family house or a renovated single family older house were cited by more than half of these new, incoming employees as ideal housing types, followed next by a new townhouse or new apartment in an apartment complex Implication: New employees are likely focused on their new jobs and devoting effort to home repairs may not be perceived as the best use of time, especially until job security is better established


Village of Hamilton



Town of Hamilton



Madison County



New York State



2005-2010 American Community Survey, U.S. Census; 2000 U.S. Census

• The state-wide increase in median home values is heavily influenced by New • • •



York City and the downstate real estate market Nevertheless, the Village of Hamilton has maintained competitiveness in the rate of increase in home values, out-pacing the Town as a whole and the County, which saw the slowest growth in home values over the last decade The high growth in median home values in the Village of Hamilton is attributable to high demand, but low supply, which has ensured that values and purchase prices continue to rise in the Village This is a trend that withstood the national real estate collapse in 2008, and is likely to continue over the next decade


Old, Ouch! Age of Housing Stock in 2000 Before 1939



Village of Hamilton




Town of Hamilton




Madison County




New York State




2000 Census

• Almost 64% of the Village housing stock

is at least seven decades old, compared to about one-third of the stock in the rest of Madison County and in New York State as a whole Hamilton’s stock is not only insufficient to meet the rapidly growing demand, it is also much older and lacking the luster and allure that contemporary lifestyles seek in design, finishes and accoutrements

• In the Village, between 2008-2011, only

3 permits were issued for construction of new one- or two-family residences; in the Town, between 2007-2011, just 11 such permits were issued

Year of Construction 80%

64% 60%





35% 29%



31% 25%



8% 0

Village of Hamilton


Town of Hamilton


Madison County

New York State


For more information: Shannon Mantaro Executive Director, Hamilton Initiative, LLC Managing Director, Partnership for Community Development

PO Box 219, Hamilton, NY 13346 P. (315) 824-1063, F. (315) 824-1064


This brochure is published by the Hamilton Initiative in partnership with the Partnership for Community Development 2013

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