A New Proposal For Ithaca’s Downtown?

18 10 2012

This month’s planning board agenda doesn’t cover anything I haven’t already mentioned…except for one item giving a sketch plan (the first stage of proposals):

F. Harold Square (Downtown Mixed‐Use Project), David Lubin ― Sketch Plan

Okay, technically two items, because Wal-Mart Plaza (South Meadow Sqaure) wants to add more retail space. But this Harold Square project is far, far more intriguing.

A thorough search for any online documents for this project reveals as much as closing your eyes. However, David Lubin does have an appropriate background – he sits on the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and is employed as the President and CEO of L Enterprises, a real estate development firm based out of Elmira. Google Maps indicates it’s an LLC (Limited-Liability Company, a common feature of development firms) based out of a suburban office building next to the Arnot Mall, and likely developed several green-friendly chain hotels in the Elmira area. So, one could sum this up as the head of a medium-sized, regional developer.

“Downtown mixed-use” is a pretty tempting phrase. Mixed-use would likely be commercial, with residential on upper floors. The commercial may be hotel, as the developer has previously had experience with, or office, with service/retail on the ground floor. Depending on location and size of parcel, the building could legitimately reach 120 feet / 10-12 floors, but given that most of downtown Ithaca’s zoning is a little shorter, 60-100 feet, 5-8 floors (taller floor plates for commercial applications) would be more likely. This is potentially big project for the city, and certainly one to keep an eye on as it goes before the planning board next week.



2 responses

20 10 2012

I agree there is potential for some excitement. But I was unable to locate any more info on Mr. Lubin or his company (not even a web site). I’ll be a bit skeptical until I see more info about both Lubin and and L Enterprises.

If something is afoot I’d like to see the area at the southeast corner of Seneca and Tioga streets (where the current bank drive thru is located) be considered for a nice size mixed use project.

25 10 2012

Hey B.C., did you check out the Ithaca Journal article and picture gallery ref: that new sketch. Quite a bit more involved than I would have guessed. Not sure I like the apartment building’s design, but who knows what the approval process will finally let go ahead.

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