Suddenly There’s A Lot of News At Once

22 05 2014

Latest planning board agenda is online and there’s a lot — and I mean a lot — that will be discussed. I’m going to be updating this post as more information comes online, so this first draft is a sort of “here’s what we know” going into the meeting.

A. No surprise, the Ridgewood student housing project (the address has been updated from 1 Ridgewood to 7 Ridgewood) is up for discussion once again. The project needs a “certificate of appropriateness” from the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Council (ILPC) since it’s in the Cornell Heights historic neighborhood, and things are not looking all that auspicious, given the recent report from the Ithaca Journal. The planning board would likely give approval with stipulations if the ILPC approves the plan, but that’s a very big “if” at this point.

B. The downtown Ithaca Marriott. This site is the triangular parking lot next to the Commons at Aurora Street, and has been covered in detail both here and at IB. The history here goes back five years, back when it was going to be called the “Hotel Ithaca” (now the name for the former Holiday Inn). This one has been stalled since the fall due to financing issues, but that has been taken care of in the past couple of weeks and they want to start construction ASAP. They have several changes that need to be reviewed since they have completed “value engineering” (a phrase I fear, since it’s the pretty way to see they cut back on material costs and design features), so we’ll see what this will look like. The current proposal’s rendering, at 10 floors and about 160 rooms, is below.

Ith_Marriott

 

4-8-2013 335

C. Likewise, the Stone Quarry project was also approved a while back in the fall of 2012, but only now managed to secure funding. Here’s the previous discussion here, and here’s details from IB. The project, slated for a parcel on Spencer Road where Ithaca Taxi Dispatch keeps a parking lot, will bring 35 units of INHS-run affordable housing. This one is also up for re-approval for value engineering reasons, and looks to start construction early this fall.

stonequarry2

stonequarry1

D. 140 College aka the John Snaith House addition, discussed earlier this week here.

E. “205 Dryden Road, Student Housing, Jagat Sharma – Sketch Plan” — Now here’s something new. 205 Dryden is the Kraftee’s Building. Jagat Sharma is a prolific local architecture firm, responsible for many of the larger apartment buildings in Collegetown. I can’t seem to find the owner from the tax records, which indicate the current owner has been the owner since 2004. Jagat Sharma tends to be a favorite architect for Ithaca Renting/Jason Fane, and Lambrou Real Estate, but neither of them seem to own the parcel from what I can tell (it’s possible one of them does, but the upstairs units are not rented).  Novarr-Mackesey owns three parcels next door, but I don’t see anything on their website either. Regardless, this falls in a Collegetown MU-2 zone, 4-6 stories, and 45-80′ in height. Whatever is proposed here is going to be pretty big, comparable to Josh Lower’s Collegetown Crossing project.

Edit: Jason at IB tells me it’s owned by Pat Kraft, the guy that runs Kraftee’s.

8-21-2012 113

F. Speaking of which, 307 College, aka Collegetown Crossing, has a new sketch up for review as well. With the new zoning guidelines, the current version isn’t doable because it impedes on the lot to its east. So this version will have a 9% smaller footprint at least, but parking will no longer be an issue. For the record, here’s the site, and the old design.

11-24-2012 161

 

G. “Downtown Hampton Inn Hotel, Scott Whitham – Sketch Plan” – Another re-do of sorts. This one appeared in its original form in December 2012. The original proposal, proposed by Neil Patel (his family members are the ones developing the hotels off 13) was for a 6 story, 92-room, $16 million hotel that would have demolished the Carey Building, and the original design was by Jagat Sharma. Scott Whitham is another local architect, so given the revised space constraints and the new architect-of-record, the design of this will be something completely different.  Although hopefully it doesn’t involve tearing down buildings the developer doesn’t own.

H. 314-320 E. State Street, the Carey Building addition – discussed earlier this week here.

***

In sum, there’s a lot of stuff going on all at once. I’ll update as it all plays out, and documents and renders become available.

UPDATE 1: The new design of the Stone Quarry apartments:

inhs_stone_quarry_rev_1 inhs_stone_quarry_rev_2

Due to concerns with how the soil will settle on site, the walkways and elevations of the buildings have been altered. Each townhouse now steps 8 inches going north to south, which makes the middle ones look a little misshapen. The soil issue also forced a re-do of the ends of the apartment building, since it couldn’t be graded as originally planned. On the cost-cutting end, balconies have been replaced with windows, the south facade of the apartment building was tweaked, some of the trim has been removed or down-valued on the Spencer Road side of the townhomes, and a few more windows punched in on the sides of the townhome end units. there’s a few tweaks to the site plan as well, which can be found at the link above.

UPDATE 2: Here’s the proposed Hampton Inn, details here. The new hotel would be built on the parking lot behind the Carey Building.  The proposal calls for six floors, 120 rooms, and 2,000 sq ft of retail/restaurant space, with only about 9 parking spaces on site. The entranceway would be via a driveway between the Carey Building and the Eagles Buildling, which I imagine being a bit of a logisitical nightmare at the moment, given that the Carey Building has its own renovations underway and additions planned.
hampton_new_3
hampton_new_1

hampton_new_2

 

 UPDATE 3: Up next, revisions to 307 College Avenue, Josh Lower’s Collegetown Crossing project. Nothing fundamentally different here, but the design has definitely been tweaked. Full details here. The revision reduced the number of apartments to 43, with 98 bedrooms (previous was 103). There would be five retail spaces on the ground level of the six-story, 63’4″ structure. The size and scale of this revision fit comfortably within the rules of the new Collegetown MU-2 zoning of the parcel.

ctown_crossing_rev_1

UPDATE 4 (6/5/14): The updated design of the Marriott has been released, and will have its own special planning board meeting on June 10th. Apart from updated Marriott signage and some materials tweaks, this one has virtually the same design as the original, which has me breathing a sigh of relief. Perhaps this one will start construction in July after all.


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10 responses

22 05 2014
Ex-Ithacan

Yikes, I’ve got development overload. If most of these projects are ready to roll within the next year, the city will be like one big construction zone. The city is a-changin’. Thanks for the info and look forward to your updates BC.

24 05 2014
Cornell PhD

This is great news; can’t wait for the updates.

Still no Harold’s Square though. 😦

24 05 2014
B. C.

I remember seeing something about that on Twitter, someone asking a question to Jason at IB. He’s know more about these things than I, but he’s confident it will move forward at some point. I think it’s just a matter of getting the office space leased first.

28 05 2014
Cornell PhD

I like the new Hampton Inn design, and it works way better with the cityscape than its previous iteration. Pity it couldn’t fill out the Seneca Way streetscape and also eliminate the little parking slivers behind the Community Music School and that contemporary furniture store too. Would almost rather they use one of those spaces for a porte-cochere entry to the hotel and build out an extension over the municipal parking lot to fill in the gap in the streetscape on State St. between the Carey Building and the music school more.

As for the new Collegetown Crossing design…I’m glad it included lots of retail space on principle, but who is going to fill in those little retail spaces in that dead-end alley? It’s hard for retailers there to make rent year-round as it is…

30 05 2014
Ex-Ithacan

BC, I was looking at the drawings for the Collegetown Crossing project and noticed there is a freight elevator shown on the 1st floor next to the rear stairs (page 4) But the elevator doesn’t appear on any of the upper floors (pages 5 & 6). Is there a basement? Is it really an elevator or just a short delivery hydraulic lift? Should I just mind my own businesss? 🙂

30 05 2014
B. C.

Hi Ex,

Offhand, I’d imagine its a short lift. Greenstar Grocery has expressed intent to fill the primary commercial space on the ground floor, and perhaps the lift is necessary for their operation.

30 05 2014
Ex-Ithacan

Thanks BC, that makes sense.

2 06 2014
Insert Coin

Is there any details on the downtown Marriott? Will the project begin groundbreaking this year?

2 06 2014
B. C.

I’ve heard they found an investor and that the project was tentatively slated to start construction in July. But, there are changes that require going before the planning board again, and Urgo Hotels et al. postponed discussion of the revisions after the May agenda was organized. I’m inclined to think that the delay will be at least a month, meaning an August groundbreaking at the earliest.

4 06 2014
Insert Coin

Thank you for the update B.C.. I hope the hotel does see the light of day.

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