News Tidbits 9/12/2012: Reading Between the Lines

12 09 2012

I tend to look forward to the middle of the month, mostly because the new agendas are released for the Project Review Committee associated with the Ithaca Planning Board (and the first official news of new projects). Apart from this debatable unhealthy interest, I’ll sometimes check out the Planning and Economic Development Committee, not because it’s as interesting to me, but mostly because I’m trying to avoid another Cayuga Green screw-up from ever happening again. So, in engaging in my monthly routine, I looked to find that while nothing was posted yet for the planning board (meh, I can wait), a curious piece of news was embedded in the PEDC’s agenda.

There’s a note from the economic development planner asking for a brief revision in the description of waterfront zones. Waterfront zones are stated as five floors maximum, and in another section states a maximum height of 63 feet. She asks for it to be stated such that the building may be 63 feet max, or five floors. I like to imagine her busting out a magnifying glass for this trick.

Now, associated with this incredibly uninteresting detail is an interesting piece of news – the clarification was proposed because a property owner wishes to build a waterfront-zoned building within the 63′ height limit, but with more than five floors. Now, I double checked Cascadilla Landing, and the proposal calls for 5 floors maximum. So, unless something major changed, it’s not that project. This appears to be a new project, for a six-story building on/near the waterfront.

A couple of details can be gathered from this type of proposal. The project is likely six floors because 10′ is fairly standard for a residential development – anything less is rarely seen, due to material insulation/layering between floors, and some desire on the developer’s part  to have decent floor-to-ceiling space. Commercial entities generally have larger space requirements for equipment and space, along the lines of 12′-15′ per floor. So if I were a betting man, I’d wager a six story building, near the waterfront, all residential on the upper floors (the ground floor may have another use – perhaps a retail space with 12′ ceiling, for example). So in sum, I think the proposal for another large building on Ithaca’s waterfront may be in the works, and the densification of Ithaca’s waterfront continues.



One response

13 09 2012

I hope you’re right. Much of that area is a bit of a waste right now.

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