Collegetown Construction Project Watch: 309 Eddy Street

20 05 2010

So, reviewing monthly planning board agendas turned up a proposal for 309 Eddy Street in Collegetown set to be discussed this month. Unfortunately, I can never make it to the meetings and Ithaca is terrible at posting the minutes online. However, applying a little knowledge and logic, we can get a good idea of what is proposed for the site.

First, let’s go over the site itself. This is a little ways down from Dunbar’s on the east side of the street, next to Souvlaki House. The current building is a large student apartment house dating from about 1900:

The house sits the in the middle of a series of large apartment buildings – the Fontana Apts (327-407 Eddy), and the four buildings that make up the Collegetown Park Apts. (301 Eddy-307 Eddy). All of these buildings were built in a time period from the late 1980s to early 2000s (the last was about 2002). All properties, including the house, are owned by Lambrou Real Estate, one of the major players in the Collegetown rental market with a couple dozen properties in the area (not all properties are shown in the map below).

Lambrou Real Estate seems to have a figurative love affair with the local architecture firm Jagat Sharma, which has a very distinct style but its readily apparent in all their buildings (postmodernist with extensive brick work and subtle contrasts within the facade, but otherwise not really daring). All of Collegetown Park, as well as the Fontana Apts, was designed by Sharma & Associates. It would be logical to assume that a future Lambrou project would have Sharma as the architecture firm in charge.

From a zoning and massing perspective, a review of the Collegetown zoning (which I’m not even completely sure it it was ever changed according to the guidelines of the $150k clusterf*ck that was the Collegetown Vision Draft Plan)

Assuming it is, the lot is zoned for a 4 or 5 story building with a maximum height of 60 feet, and at least 45 feet encouraged. Street-front commercial retail is virtually a must for approval.

So, here’s my verdict. Within the next few months, there will be a full proposal for a 4 to 5 story building pushing between 50 and 60 feet, with retail in its base and apartments on the upper floors. It will most likely be designed by Sharma Architects, and as I’m checking the Lambrou website and not seeing this place for rent next year (possibly because it has not been updated), this place could get final approvals and construction permit for fall of 2010 with construction lasting at least six months (if it does turn out to be rented, a construction start date of summer 2011 will be far more likely).

UPDATE 9/29/10: Now we have renderings:

Not a bad design. Fits in rather well with the immediate surroundings. A little more work on that street and it could become as popular as the 400 block of College Avenue.



2 responses

23 05 2010

As so the Collegetown changes continue. Sure doesn’t look like the Collegetown from my youth, alas.

Hope it’s OK to post a pic. The building in question is just above the word microsoft.


27 05 2010
B. C.

41 units. Ground floor will be a fitness center (which I s’pose is vaguely commercial). 5 stories, designed by Sharma. Will eliminate some parking in lieu of payment to the city’s mass transit and pedestrian upgrades. Summer 2011 groundbreaking.

Overall, I’d say my educated guess wasn’t far from the mark.

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