City Centre Construction Update, 6/2019

18 06 2019

For my practical purposes, I’m going to call this one complete. The 193 apartments opened for occupancy at the start of the month, and interior framing and utilities installations are underway for the three ground-floor commercial tenants (Collegetown Bagels, Chase Bank, and the Ale House) later this summer. Landscaping and pavement is in, although the underground garage was cordoned off. With no good angles aloft, it’s not clear if the 7.5 kW rooftop solar array is in place yet.

Overall I think this project will be a real asset to Ithaca’s Downtown. It creates an active-use streetwall where there was once dead space, and extends and enhances the activity of the Commons and the other side of the 300 Block of East State. The addition of over 200 new residents downtown (224 if one per bedroom or studio) will also benefit local business owners with a steadier crowd than the workforce 9-5 and hotel guests. The project is a 218,000 SF, $52 million vote of confidence in the future of Ithaca’s urban core.

The design, however, is pretty average. The curved wall facing East State and North Aurora is a nice touch (and good on the Planning Board to push for the cornice), but the mishmash aluminum panels makes me think of an old beater car that had its original fender panels replaced with those a different color. As always with architecture, to each their own.

First person to name all the people in the Ithaca art mural in the photo set below gets a shoutout on the blog.

Background information and the history of the project can be found here. The project team includes Newman Development Group, Humphreys & Partners as architect, Whitham Planning and Design LLC as the team representative and point of contact for the review process, and T. G. Miller PC for civil engineering and surveying work. EC4B Engineering handled the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering, and Taitem Engineering served as the energy systems consultant.





6 responses

18 06 2019

The City Centre building is ugly!
If this is what building designers are going to be all about in the future…ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

18 06 2019

So much to like and so much to hate about this building. Could have been an absolute stunner. Overall, it’s a huge improvement for that space. I’m assuming some signage is to be installed on that massive vertical charcoal wall facing the Aurora Street bridge?

18 06 2019
14 07 2019
Lynn Thommen

A question actually. Recent local pieces about City Centre mention only Ale House and CTB as tenants. Anybody know if Chase is still in?

19 06 2019

Now, that’s a sign.

20 06 2019

Yeah, the mismatched metal panels are pretty ugly. But then again, the curved front entrance is warm and welcoming, and the street-level story is finished in a nice red brick articulated with human-scale windows and awnings. Given the soulless, dehumanizing boxes modern and postmodern architects tend to produce these days, it could have been a lot worse: there are no windowless hunks of raw concrete, uniform swaths of colorless steel and glass, or confusing and uncomfortable street-level experiences.

I’m also very happy that this building is done because now I can walk down South Hill to the Commons again, without being forced to cross Aurora Street in the middle of traffic due to the construction blocking the sidewalk.

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