DiBella’s Construction Update, 5/2016

24 05 2016

One restaurant opens, another is just getting underway. NYC-based Marx Realty, operating as Ithaca Joint Ventures LLC, is finally starting work on the DiBella’s pad building long-planned for the Ithaca Shopping Plaza off Old Elmira Road.

DiBella’s first started planning for an Ithaca location back in November 2014. After a few design iterations, the project was approved by the Planning Board and BZA late last summer. The restaurant replaces what was previously part of the shopping center’s parking lot.

The exterior will be similar to DiBella’s other recent stand-alone restaurant locations – CMU faced with brick and stone veneer, decorative sconces (light fixtures), and a “patina green” patio roof. The size of the building will be about 3,400 square feet, which is typical for the Rochester-based sandwich chain. The interior will be designed with a 1930s/1940s era theme, also standard for the DiBella’s chain. Along with the building comes a revised parking arrangement for 35 cars, bike racks, signage, landscaping and a modest patio area. Early Site Plan Review documents estimate the project cost at $600,000.

As for the construction images, it looks like the foundation’s sub-base is being prepared for the foundation slab. This is going to be concrete slab-on-grade, no basement. The sub-base will give a uniform base from which to build upon, and helps to compact the soil, making it less likely to undergo excessive settling. The soils down in the flats are notoriously difficult to build on, because they are very soft and compressible – the shopping plaza, which was originally built in the 1950s, has had some mild settling issues. I don’t see anything to confirm it, and someone knowledgeable feel free to chime in, but it would seem removal and replacement of existing fill is likely to approach used here, similar to the Texas Roadhouse project. The drum roller in the last photo supports that idea. The turquoise pipes are water-sewer pipes.

The FEAF estimates a seven month construction period, so a late fall opening isn’t out of the question. DiBella’s expect to employ about 25.

A&E Construction of suburban Philadelphia is the project contractor, and the building was designed by Ithaca architect Jason K. Demarest.

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4 responses

24 05 2016
drill deep

This property is built on timber piers driven into the earth. The Geotech report you linked to is an excellent source of information.

The imported fill material is used to raise the elevation. The weight of the material is used to consolidate the softer native soils. Uncontrolled compression of the native soils can down drag the piles. The import material pre-loads the native soil and compresses the earth like a mattress. The piles are either resting with their ends on a relatively firm stratum, or they may support weight through friction alone. Bonus, the imported material raises the floor and that is good for flood events.

Some of the settlement issues at the Benderson property (Lowes/Wal-Mart/Dollar Store etc.) are the result of supporting the footings (walls) but not providing adequate support for the slab (floor). The buildings looks fine from the outside but the concrete slab and building loads compress the earth and cause uneven settlement. Not good for rigid concrete. Or Lowes asphalt. Some of the properties were done right (Lowes) some weren’t (Dollar Store).

Incidentally, the boring logs indicate the subsurface material from about 55 feet to 102 feet was very soft; the sample tools were pushed into the material with “WOH” weight of hammer. Like driving a nail by just resting the hammer on top. That’s what 10,000 years of silt erosion will do.

Development in Ithaca really is more expensive.

29 05 2016
B. C.

Thanks for your insights drill deep, they are always appreciated!

20 07 2016
DiBella’s Construction Update, 7/2016 | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] it’s in such a highly visible location. DiBella’s has made pretty good progress on their new 3,400 SF shop just north of the Ithaca Shopping Plaza on Route 13. The new building has been framed out and […]

19 09 2016
DiBella’s Construction Update, 9/2016 | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] It looks like Marx Realty might have switched contractors when worked shifted from the building itself to the outfitting of the interior. A&E Construction handled the construction of the building (the “shell space”), but Marco Contractors Inc. of suburban Pittsburgh is handling the interior fit-out. More about the project can be found here. […]

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