News Tidbits 7/29: Hotel Ithaca Gets Green Light; C’Town Terrace Not So Lucky

30 07 2009

In the city of Ithaca, when the only thing standing in the way of construction is a parking/bus stop issue, that means things are looking pretty good for construction in the near future. As for the Collegetown Terrace Project, the anticipated summer 2010 construction start may be more of a pipe dream than a reality.

ITHACA – Ithaca’s Planning Board has given preliminary approval to the Hotel Ithaca project and has begun the environmental review process for the Collegetown Terrace Apartments.

 At their Tuesday night meeting, planning board members approved a document that laid out concerns on issues such as traffic and historic resources related to the apartment project. 

 The proposal calls for demolishing all but three buildings in the 16.4-acre area bounded by Quarry and State streets, Valentine Place and Six Mile Creek and replacing them with seven buildings that would house approximately 1,270 people. The site currently houses about 635 people. 

 The three buildings that will remain are all within the East Hill Historic District. At Tuesday’s meeting, planning board members and city planning staff said there may be other buildings in the area that are not historically designated but that merit further research on their historic value during the environmental review process. 

Board member Tessa Rudan highlighted the former nurse’s residence, which “may be dedicated” to Finger Lakes native Jane A. Delano. Delano founded the American Red Cross nursing corps, led the entire nursing corps during World War I, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Rudan said.

She also has been featured on a stamp in the African Republic of Mali because “she figured out the mosquito netting technique before there was scientific evidence to explain why it worked,” board Chairman John Schroeder said.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to weigh in on issues they think should be addressed in the project’s environmental impact statement at a meeting scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, at City Hall, 108 E. Green St. The city planning department will also accept written statements on the project.

For Hotel Ithaca, the proposed $27 million hotel at the eastern edge of the Commons, the biggest outstanding issue is where to locate the bus stop, project architect Scott Whitham said.

While the hotel is under construction, the stop is scheduled to move around the corner to East State Street, near the Community School of Music and Arts. Hotel developers, the city and Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit officials have discussed the idea of moving the bus stop there permanently so that the stop and the hotel drop-off don’t interfere with each other.

The move would require eliminating two metered parking spots, which half a dozen merchants and property owners said Tuesday would spell disaster for their businesses. Property owner Donald Dickinson said he rents to four tenants on the block and two have said that if the new bus stop goes there, they’ll leave.

But keeping the bus stop on Aurora Street could result in hotel guests parking in the bus pull-off, Whitham said.

Schroeder said he wants to make sure the Hotel Ithaca doesn’t mimic the situation at the Hilton on Seneca, where the guest pull-off squeezes out the sidewalk.



One response

31 07 2009

I’m glad the hotel is looking more like a go, but I think the Terrace Apartment project could be in for a long process. btw, that’s a nice rendering of the hotel you found, thanks.

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