News Tidbits 6/6/2011: Ithaca Is Getting Another Hotel

6 06 2011

…which depending on your stance, the addition could be a blessing or a curse. Planning board minutes from the last meeting indicate that a formal proposal is underway for a 4-story, $10-million dollar hotel to be built in Ithaca. If it was just that vague piece of news, everyone would smile, nod, and keep right on going.

However, some of the recalcitrant locals may find some issues with the project. For one, it’s a Fairfield Inn, which is a national chain (more specifically, it’s Marriott’s budget brand). The proposal is also slated for construction on Meadow Street (Elmira Road), which is as close as the city of Ithaca has to suburbia. The proposal is targeted for a parcel of land between Elmira and Spencer Roads next to Manos Diner, which I’ve taken the liberty of copying from google maps and pasting below:

The location puts it in fairly close proximity to the Hampton Inn built about eight years ago. Also, a four-story building here would be one of the tallest in this part of the city. The minutes indicate that one of the planning board members asked why it couldn’t be built taller, to which the reply was it would need to be a masonry building, i.e. much more expensive. The project would require the demolition of one house at the corner of the property. UPDATE: and according to the Ithaca Journal’s 7/26 edition the redevelopment will also tear down Manos Diner. The planning board has stated this is incorrect, Manos is adjacent to the hotel and will not be demolished.

Since the developer says this will be among the very first of a new generation of Fairfield Inns, it’s hard to guess what the building may look like, as it may be a new corporate design scheme. The developer has already secured funding and is anticipating an opening in late 2012 if the approvals are earned quickly.

So, on the plus side, it adds density and provides a modest shot in the arm to the economic health of the community. Plus, the extra hotel rooms wouldn’t hurt around graduation time.


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