News Tidbits 4/29: Massive New Development Slated for Collegetown

29 04 2009

This is a very large project for this area. The proposed location is in southwest Collegetown, an area currently occupied by mostly student houses, with a couple small apartment complexes already in the area.


The Collegetown Terrace Apartment project would remove almost all buildings in the area bounded by Valentine Place, East State Street, Quarry Street and Six Mile Creek, and replace them with 1,100 new rental beds.

Developer John Novarr presented plans for the massive, 16-acre project at Tuesday night’s city Planning and Development Board meeting.


The historically designated Quarry Arms, Casa Roma and Boiler Works Apartments buildings would remain on the site, said Kathryn Wolf, principal with Trowbridge & Wolf. Every other building on the site would be removed, she said.

The area now houses 650 rental beds, and when completed, there would be 1,250 beds and 820 parking spaces, Novarr said.

Novarr explained his long history with East Hill, beginning with growing up in Collegetown, to his purchase of land from Ithaca College in 1982, to his decision in the last couple years to buy the last 14 properties in the site area.

Novarr said that by 2007, he had already purchased several properties on the 800 block of East State Street and planned to begin re-developing them into apartments when the city’s Collegetown moratorium went into effect.

The year-and-a-half moratorium forced him to think about long-term planning, resulting in the Collegetown Terrace Apartments concept, Novarr said.

The project will meet the four-story height limit required by zoning on East State Street, but the developer will seek height variances to allow taller buildings as the land slopes downward toward Six Mile Creek, Wolf said.

The project would “meet or exceed” existing parking requirements, she said.

Parking would be placed in one or two stories on the ground floor, with apartments above, based on drawings presented to the planning board.

Above-ground pedestrian walkways would connect some of the buildings.

The project will come before the Planning Board again in May.


The proposed location, with rough boundaries of the site in question.


Trowbridge and Wolf is the firm responsible for the design of West Campus and the Health and Science building at IC, so they’re a fairly reputable choice [1].

In other news, the Ithaca Hotel is up to 124 rooms and 12 stories, according to the April 28, 2009 Planning Board minutes. Two outparcels are to be built near Uncle Wally on the flats (a drive thru restauant and another retail parcel, totaling 11,00 sq. ft and 17,000 sq ft), a 25,000 Maine’s warehouse to be built at the south edge of the city on Commercial Drive, and an eco-friendly three-dwelling development off of the 500 block of Aurora Street that is to be marketed as a co-op.




3 responses

30 04 2009

You beat me to the punch Vis. I was getting ready to post the minutes from the planning board meeting; 12 stories indeed. Go Ithaca Hotel.
And that E. State street development is going to be huge. I hope the waiver for the height variance on the hills is passed. Maybe little old Ithaca is going to “grow up” some after all.

5 01 2014
Collegetown Terrace Progress Photos, 12/2013 | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] of nearby Freeville. Certainly, the project has been fraught with contentious debate since it was first proposed. As development goes, it’s the proverbial 800-pound […]

21 05 2017
Collegetown Terrace Construction Update, 5/2017 | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] projects, I dunno if there’s been a project that’s had an impact like this. It’s been a long time since the first presentation back in April 2009. In terms of numbers, it’s enormous – $190 million investment, 1,250+ beds (net gain of […]

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