From the Ithaca Planning Board’s August agenda:
Coal Yard Apartments – Phase 2, 143 Maple Avenue, Steven & David Beer Owner/Applicant.
Declaration of Lead Agency, Public Hearing, Determination of Environmental Significance, Consideration of Preliminary & Final Approval. The applicant is proposing to construct an Energy Star-rated, 25 unit apartment building located between the existing coffee shop and the existing 10 unit apartment building that was constructed in 2007. The new building will have four residential stories built on top of a 16-space underground parking garage. The new building will have four 3 bedroom units, seven 2 bedroom units and fourteen 1 bedroom units and will have an elevator. The applicant anticipates that the majority of the bedrooms will be singly occupied. It will have a flat roof, and will include many of the design elements of the 10 unit building. Lower levels of the façade will be brick and upper levels will use similar fiber cement clapboard and solid board panels used on the 10 unit building. Colors will match or complement the existing building. The target market for the building will be graduate and profession students, professional academic staff and faculty, and seniors. The project is in the R3b Zoning District and will require a variance for height. This is a Type I Action under the City of Ithaca Environmental Quality Review Ordinance in accordance with §176-4 B (k) and an Unlisted Action under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and is subject to environmental review.
The property is part of the Beer Properties portfolio, which includes the Grandview House in central Collegetown. The trick here will be getting the height variance approvalas Ithacans are very protective of their sight lines. Here’s a picture of the 10-unit building taken from their website:
The apartments are aptly named, since this used to be the coal yard for the city of Ithaca back in the day . Prior to discontinuation of passenger train traffic in 1963, the site was also home to the East Lehigh Valley Railroad Depot. The coffeeshop referenced in the city agenda is the “Queen of Tarts”, which sounds like a great name for a madam as well as being a cute pun.
The project falls outside of the Collegetown Vision area and would not be affected by any zoning changes as a result of the Collegetown plan.