Ithaca Marriott Construction Update, 2/2016

1 03 2016

Now that the fairly complicated foundation work has been completed, things are moving along at a good pace over at the Marriott construction site in downtown Ithaca. Concrete has now been poured up to the seventh floor of the ten-story building. USG Securock glass-mat sheathing panels are being attached to exterior metal stud walls erected over the lowest levels. The floors are covered in plastic sheets from about the fourth level down, a sign of sprinkler fitting and major utilities roughs-in underway (given the major heat wave in the medium-range forecast, they may not be needed much longer).

A story I’ve heard through the grapevine is that Marriott worked with developer Urgo Hotels to design a new room design format for this Ithaca project. The rooms will be at a premium price point, but somewhat smaller than most comparable hotel rooms, so Marriott is approaching the hotel and the rooms themselves with new styling concepts that make efficient use of the space while maintaining a high-end look and feel to each hotel room. Marriott has a history of working with Urgo for new design areas, so if done well, this will be yet another proverbial feather in their cap.

This project gets a lot of flack from certain angles for not being “Ithaca-like”, but given that the site had been a small, awkwardly-accessed parking lot since the Green Street garage was erected in the early 1970s, it’s a huge, huge improvement. The hotel’s 160 rooms are expected to average occupancy between 70 and 80% (the market average is closer to 60%, but new hotels and downtown locations tend to have higher occupancy rates). That translates to 112 to 128 travelers on any typical day who will literally be able to walk right out onto the Commons, eating at restaurants, shopping at the boutique stores and spending their dollars on the “Ithaca-like” businesses that people hold near and dear. Not only does the project create dozens of jobs downtown, it has a real stabilizing effect on other businesses by offering a steady stream of well-heeled customers that will buoy bottom lines and be an asset to shopkeepers and restaurateurs as they ride out slow periods. For nearby businesses, there’s reason to look forward to its August opening.

The $32 million hotel was designed by  Cooper Carry Architecture of Atlanta, and Binghamton-based William H. Lane Inc. is the general contractor.

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3 responses

3 03 2016
Cornell PhD

What do critics mean by it being “not Ithaca-like”? There are at least half a dozen buildings in downtown Ithaca that are nearly the same size, if not larger.

3 03 2016
3 03 2016
Cornell PhD

Good lord, the concessions these people try to wring out of any development that comes to town, even development on a challenging, expensive site. It’s a miracle they got an “average Marriott” at all.

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