News Tidbits 11/16/2011: Cayuga Green II Gets a Revival (and a Revision)

16 11 2011

In terms of Ithaca-area development, I consider myself an optimist. But Cayuga Green’s second phase was one of those projects I had written off as left for dead. For a quick background, Cayuga Green is the formal name for the mixed-use project that has been underway on Green Street in downtown Ithaca for about ten years. The project, proposed for a piece of land that was then-used for a large parking ramp/lot, was aimed to revitalize that section of downtown, but was not without controversy due to its use of property tax abatements by developers Bloomfield & Schon. The first phase includes the new Cinemapolis (one of the results of the controversy was to switch from a new multiplex to a new space for Cinemapolis), the redone parking garage, a creekwalk, and the Cayuga Place Apartments, where the new TCAT stop is.  The first phase was completed a couple years ago.

By a fair account, the project has had mixed success. What has been built is doing quite well. Gimme! Coffee, Palmer Pharmacy and Urban Outfitters filled the new commercial space (all of which were new, not companies that moved space), and the apartments had a low vacancy rate. Cinemapolis has adjusted to its new space and the street is rejuvenated. The project spurred nearby development, including Gateway Commons and the Hotel Ithaca project. The caveat comes from the second phase, which was supposed to start in mid 2007. The financial market started to tank, and this phase had never gained financing, government or private. The space it was intended for, behind the city’s new parking garage, was left empty.

It would seem that is about to change. Thanks to a tip from from frequent visitor and favorite old fart “Ex-Ithacan”, the project is going in front of the Planning and Economic Development Board. The revision is for a six-month extension on the site (construction was supposed to start by 12/31/2011, even after a previous delay),  The amendment notes the project seeks no tax abatements, but must go to the Common Council at the end of the month for final approval.

Also notably, the project is revised. The original proposal looked like this (image from developer’s website):

Which was revised to this:

and now looks like…this (from the agenda):

The newest incarnation is 6 stories, 35 units of condos, and 8,500 square feet of office space, of which about 5,000 feet is reserved for the Park Foundation, a local non-profit. No new environmental review is required, which should save time in the approvals process, and that will be handy since final approval and building permit will have to be issued by June 30, 2012.



6 responses

23 11 2011
23 11 2011
B. C.

Thanks! I briefly touched on that a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t turn much attention to it because it’s mostly below street level:

The link in the entry takes you to some renderings, although the exterior changes aren’t especially noticeable.

29 01 2013
Cayuga Green Modifications Include Major Changes | The Ithaca Independent

[…] background on Cayuga Green, read Ithacating in Cornell Height’s 2011 […]

17 08 2013
Dear Cayuga Place, Please Settle On A Design | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] let’s see here…here are original renderings v1, v2 and v3….an updated version of V3, v3.1 if you will….v4…..and now this latest one, which […]

13 09 2014
The Past and Future of Mixed-Use | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] lot more complicated, bouncing between several iterations and layouts (here’s a few versions 1, 2, and 3, here’s 4 and here’s 5), before settling on the 45-unit design currently under […]

19 09 2014
An essay about Ithaca's growthThe Ithaca Voice

[…] a lot more complicated, bouncing between several iterations and layouts (here’s a few versions 1, 2, and 3, here’s 4 and here’s 5) before settling on the 45-unit design currently under […]

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