The (All Too Late) Ithaca Projects Update

24 11 2010

Since I have no life as a grad student, following progress in the Ithaca has been a little difficult. But, I figured it was time to do an updated brief list. Ithaca has made it through the recession largely unscathed (thankfully), thanks to the stable college-based economy, and various projects are in various planning and development stages throughout the area. For the purposes of this entry, I’m ignoring the projects going on at Cornell and IC.

First off, most of the larger projects are delayed. The Hotel Ithaca is waiting for a bank loan, but given the market that could take a good year or two before a loan is secured for the 10-story hotel.  In a similar boat, the 7-story Cayuga Green condos are delayed until sales pick up and financing is secured.  The six-story, 52-unit apartment building planned for the site of the Women’s Community Building is also delayed, having failed to get a grant from the state. It will be at least one year before financing is secured and construction can begin for that project.About the only going on in the heart of the city right now are the redevelopment of the Petrune Building and the starting phases of a renovation of the Ithaca Commons.

Land remediation and site prep is still underway for the Ithaca Gun condos, which are slowly (barely) progressing towards construction of what may now be either 33 units, or increased to 45 units of “market-rate” housing. On the 600 block of West Seneca Street, a 24-unit, 3-story apartment building has been approved and site prep is to begin in the near future.The Kitchen Theatre finished construction and moved into their new digs on West State Street.

Over in Collegetown, works continues on the 589-unit Collegetown Terrace proposal, which is still making its rounds after agreeing to preserve the Williams House on State Street in exchange for getting permission to demolish the old nurse’s dormitory (Delano House). Even if the project starts this summer, full build-out will take 22 months, so expect no earlier than a mid-2013 completion.  Over on Eddy Street, plans have been approved for a24-unit, 41-bedroom 5-story apartment building next to the Souvlaki House, and construction will begin next summer. A 5-story building on the 300 block of College Avenue remains in the proposal stages. Closer to East Hill, the 4-story Coal Yard Apartments expansion is in site prep, and the now-approved Vine Street Cottages project removed three homes from its plan, leaving 19 houses and 10 townhouse units for the parcel near Mitchell Street.

Down in big-box land, Walmart has finished their expansion into a Supercenter, and Tim Horton’s is seeking approval for a store on what is now a parking lot near Buttermilk Falls.The parcel where Olive Garden was proposed is once again up for grabs. Local rumor mill had it that the land was still contaminated (it was once the site of an auto repair shop, and gas and oil and other hazardous compounds might’ve seeped into the soil deeper than first thought).

Out in the West Hill area and the town, Ecovillage is in the home stretch for approval for their third 30-unit village (TREE), and 106 townhome units (Holochuck Homes site) are approved for Route 96 near the medical center. A couple of suburban subdivisions (the Goldenrod 30-unit division, and a 22-unit INHS project called Holly Creek) are planned/approved. 22 units of senior housing are to be built near Ithaca College, and it was confirmed that the 82-unit, rather terrifying and Soviet-looking Maple Hill Apartments on Maple Avenue will be demolished when the property is returned to Cornell in 2013. Cornell has long-term goals to redevelop the site into mixed use, according to its master plan.

Over in suburban Lansing, there’s some small housing developments and a new locally-owned supermarket planned, but the big thing out there is the proposal for an 82,000 sq ft BJ’s Wholesale Club next to the mall, with 12 units of senior housing and a bird sanctuary on adjacent property (basically because the project is seeking tax-exempt status and need to offer a community benefit to get the break). The 69-unit Woodland Park project doesn’t look like it will be approved anytime in the near future.

Hopefully I’ll have more and more substantial news to write about in the tidbits entries in the upcoming months. I need a distraction from my life. Especially when I grade exams and a student thinks it’s cute to bubble “C” 40 times (he received a 15%).




3 responses

24 11 2010

i am a long-time reader of your blog. we left ithaca in may and i love the updates that keep me connected to a place i truly love…

so, thanks!

26 11 2010

Great summary. Good info including a couple I wasn’t aware of. Thanks.

26 11 2010

always wonderful for the updates! It’s like “The News from Lake Wobagon” but more personally significant!

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