News Tidbits 10/12/2011: Hotels, Houses and Apartments (Oh My)

12 10 2011

Lots of news tidbits today.

So, I can’t believe I missed this piece of news on Friday, but it was my department picnic, so I wasn’t exactly around my computer much. In hotel news, the Cornell Sun and the Ithaca Journal are reporting that the Holiday Inn downtown is seeking a nine-story expansion, with the goal of starting construction in November of 2012. The Sun article notes “The expansion, if approved, will replace some of the hotel’s existing structures“, with a tripling of conference/meeting space and in increase in rooms from 182 to 195. A two-story ballroom and entertainment area would also be a part of the plan, to be built on the north side of the hotel. As an added benefit, the addition would create 20 to 25 new jobs.

Looking at the layout, the “Executive Tower” of the hotel is surrounded by two-story wings, which would be demolished as part of the redevelopment. The new nine-story tower will be built on the Clinton Street side of the property (south side). The ten-story tower that presently resides on the property was built in 1984, while the rest of the property, originally built as a Ramada Inn, dates from 1972. The Holiday Inn was last renovated in 2004. The project seems to be within current zoning, which is CBD-100, so the nine story addition will be equal to or less than 100 feet in total height.

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Image Property of Agora Homes LLC

In other news, the houses and townhomes associated with the Vine Street Cottages project are officially a go. The site has been graded, utilities are being installed and they’re paving the private road through the property (which doesn’t quite make sense to me, since they’re going for a traditional-style neighborhood, but I digress).  The first model house will be complete by the Spring, and the other units will be built as interest demands. The final build-out plans 19 homes and 10 townhouse units. Prices will be in the mid-300,000s for homes and mid-200,000s for townhomes (for the record, the average house in Ithaca is worth about $191,000).

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Lastly, the Seneca Way mixed-use project has received preliminary approval after receiving zoning variances. Final approval is expected shortly, and the project is expected to begin construction in late spring 2012, with construction lasting nine months. The original financing for the project has fallen through in the year it took to modify and approve the project, but the developer is looking to secure alternative financing. Whether or not they’ll have the resources to start construction as expected seems to be up in the air.  The five-story building seeks to have a parking garage at street level, commercial space on the floor above, and 32 high-end apartments on the upper floors. The building met with angry opposition from neighbors over its height and massing. The take-away here seems to be to tread carefully when proposing new buildings next to historic areas with well-heeled owners.

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Lastly, for those who don’t read the comment section on blogs, “cornellnz” posted a link of the revised Gates Hall design:

The “deer carcass” structure I criticized seems to be gone, which is an improvement. Those giant pinnacles by the front entrance, however, make me think of “The Aggro Crag” from the Nickelodeon Guts TV show. I’m not sure whether or not to call that an improvement.


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2 responses

13 10 2011
exithacan

These things seem to come in spurts. Hope all goes well for the
projects (ie. financing, variances, etc). Did you check out all the recent info on the Inlet Island rezoning? Strong feelings on both sides.

30 10 2011
cornellnz

Here is an image from another angle from the Cornell Sun
http://www.cornellsun.com/content/images/gates-hall-gorges

and an article “City Board Questions Gates Hall Details”­
http://www.cornellsun.com/section/news/content/2011/10/26/city-board-questions-gates-hall-details%C2%AD

I think they should get rid of the white stalagmite pillars.

Love your blog BTW!

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