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  #1461  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2012, 1:39 AM
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This project is down-sizing, I'm not sure they can find financing (from the Ithaca Journal):

Approval sought for new Ithaca apartments

9:42 PM, Jul. 17, 2012

Written by
Andrew Casler


ITHACA — Two major building projects on Cayuga Street are nearing approval after a meeting with the City of Ithaca Project Review Committee.

After some major layout changes, the Cayuga Place Residences project — named Cayuga Green Two as well — is nearing final city authorization. Also, an expansion of the Holiday Inn on Cayuga Street is nearing approval by the City of Ithaca Planning Board.

During a Tuesday morning meeting with the project review committee, the developer of the $6 million Cayuga Place Residences requested significant modifications.

The building is planned for a site behind the Tompkins County Public Library and Cayuga Street garage.

A site plan for the project was approved in 2008, but the new plan calls for an increase in the number of units to 39 from 30, reduction in gross floor area from 47,400 to 42,600 square feet, reduction in stories to four from seven, a change from conventional to loft-style apartments, among other significant changes.

Ken Schon, co-owner of Bloomfield/Schon and Partners, said the estimated project cost is $200 a square foot to build.

“The market has dropped so significantly, from maybe $250 a square foot to maybe $150 to $200 a square foot; it’s going to cost us $200 a square foot to build this,” Schon said.

Under Schon's estimate, the 42,600 square foot project would cost $8,520,000.

The building’s footprint shape is changed from the 2008 design. Removed from the original plan are previously approved balconies and a rooftop terrace, exterior patio, and a reduction in the number of new trees from 40 to 11 and removal of all landscaping on library property.

The new plan also changes building materials from wood panel to pre-cast concrete panels, increases lawn area and swapping a stone wall with hedge plantings.

The apartments will have high ceilings, and lofts overlooking the main apartments.

Schon said there are two ways to create the upscale housing his company sought. One way was using upscale, luxurious materials, and the second is spacial interior architecture.

“Since we’re hopelessly architects, we decided to go with the architecture,” he said.

In the proposed building, there are apartments that are studio-like, with a loft; one-bedrooms with a loft; and two-bedroom, two-bath units, with a loft, according to Schon.

The apartments will be high-end luxury apartments, according to City of Ithaca Planning Department Director JoAnn Cornish.

Schon said the housing isn’t a good fit for undergraduate students. “Our living rooms and dining rooms and bedrooms are way too big for them, and it just doesn’t fit. So, we’ve had maybe one or two undergraduate tenants, and we tried to encourage them to leave as quickly as possible,” he said.

“We don’t like undergraduates at all. It’s not a good fit; this is not designed at all for student housing.”


Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps...=2012307170040


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  #1462  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2012, 2:00 AM
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Aurora Street Pocket Neighborhood development underway in Ithaca
By Emmett Neno ithacatimesintern@gmail.com







A new style of living is coming to Ithaca, allowing those who wish to reduce their ecological footprint but still enjoy the modern style of living to exist comfortably in the city.

Known as the Aurora Street Pocket Neighborhood, this area currently contains builder Susan Cosentini’s house at 519 N. Aurora Street but will soon include three more houses, each of which are expected to cost between $250,000 and $285,000.

link: http://www.ithaca.com/news/article_4...a4bcf887a.html
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  #1463  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2012, 2:04 AM
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Ithaca Motion Picture Project pushes for creation of museum to mark city’s film history
By Dialynn Dwyer




The nondescript building with a sloping roof next to the large pavilion in Stewart Park may not look like much. While it now houses maintenance equipment for the park and offices for Department of Public Works workers, films starring the likes of Lionel Barrymore and Pearl White were created within its walls during the era of silent film production in Ithaca.

The Ithaca Motion Picture Project seeks to return the building, known as the Wharton studio building, to a purpose reflecting its place in history by converting the building into the Ithaca Motion Picture Museum. In order to do so, a lease must be agreed upon between the city and IMPP for use of the building which may include IMPP’s construction of a maintenance building to hold the items currently housed in the studio. And, of course, funding still needs to be received for the building’s transformation.

LINK: http://www.ithaca.com/news/article_6...a4bcf887a.html
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  #1464  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2012, 5:56 PM
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^^ Thanks for the additions kovolev. The pocket neighborhood should point the way to more density in Ithaca (besides getting taller buildings for more density). I do hope the motion picture project goes forward.
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  #1465  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 12:06 PM
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Gotta love Ithaca, here's a short story from YNN TV news (FYI - there's a 10 second commercial before the story starts):

http://ithaca-cortland.ynn.com/conte...nto-art-space/

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  #1466  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2012, 5:17 PM
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75 more units slated for a housing/apt project in Caroline (Boiceville Cottages) -

http://www.tompkinshosting.com/tompk...723.pdf#page=1

Cute development, brightly colored "storybook" cottages in clusters of three, with some other vaguely Nordic structures. Follows the nodal development scheme fairly well, just a stone's throw the center of Caroline. Apparently the developer's been on quite the building spree, adding 39 units there in just the past few years, 24 of those in the past 12 months.
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  #1467  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2012, 1:32 AM
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Thanks for the info Vis, and the new (to me at least) source.
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  #1468  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2012, 1:34 AM
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For those of you who may not know, our friend Visiteur has a great blog dealing with Cornell and the Ithaca area:
http://brancra.wordpress.com/2012/08.../#comment-1553

I'm sure he won't mind anyone stopping by to view and comment.
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  #1469  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2012, 10:47 AM
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Some good news for downtown (from the Ithaca Journal):

Commons project gets $500K loan
Funds are part of Southern Tier Regional Council awards

8:34 PM, Aug. 16, 2012
Written by
Matthew Hayes


ITHACA — Five new housing units on The Commons will be made possible by a $500,000 loan by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, part of $8 million released to 11 projects throughout the region.

Awarded through the community revitalization fund, the project involves interior renovation of 142-144 The Commons, commonly known as the House of Shalimar building. According to Ithaca Downtown Alliance Executive Director Gary Ferguson, the 40-year-old, four-story mixed-use building was purchased last year by local developer Jim Merod of Purple Fish Properties with an eye to developing the upper levels of the building for housing. Two apartments on both the second and third floors and a large apartment on the top floor are planned, and will be rented at market rate, according to Ferguson, who noted the project helps meet downtown demand as laid out in the 2011 Danter Housing Market Study.
“It’s an attractive loan for moving the project forward,” Ferguson said of the award, adding that the project will begin relatively soon, but he couldn’t be certain if it would begin this fall or into next spring.
According to the council the rehabilitation also includes installation of a new elevator, renovation of the current first-floor retail space and creation of one new commercial office space.
Other recipients include a $98,850 loan made to the Berkshire company CNY Wood Products to help process scrap wood and currently unusable timber tops to produce mulch for playgrounds and hardwood barbecue grilling diskettes. According to the council, the company is expected to create two new jobs with the loan.
Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded for job creation and community development projects statewide, with the Southern Tier allocated $8 million for the rural initiative fund, community revitalization and shovel-ready programs.



Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...text|FRONTPAGE
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  #1470  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Short update on downtown (from the IJ):

Downtown Ithaca construction clamors along
Two loud projects on Seneca Street

9:26 PM, Aug. 16, 2012
Written by
Andrew Casler


ITHACA — Whether it’s deafening metal-on-metal clanks from pile driving or the grumble of jackhammers ripping through concrete in a parking garage, construction noise is reverberating off buildings on Seneca Street.

At the work site for Breckenridge Place Apartments, a pile driver has been pounding-in the building’s metal foundation.
“It is an impact, and there is noise from the pile driving. Unfortunately, if anybody wants to build anything of any size in downtown, it’s an absolutely necessary way to build things, because of our soil you have to do it on a pile foundation,” City Planner Lisa Nicholas said.
When work is done, the $14.5 million building will house 50 apartment units for low-income people. There are 14 parking spaces on the building’s west side.

Seneca Street garage

At an estimated cost of $637,140, workers are repairing the Seneca Street garage. They’re now using jackhammers to rip through the concrete deck that’s being replaced.
“If you stand in the garage it’s deafening,” City of Ithaca Assistant Engineer Tom West said.
From outside the garage, West said, “You can hear it (the jackhammering), but you can still carry on a conversation. It’s not any louder than say a motor vehicle going by, a truck or something like that. It’s inside that it’s truly deafening.”


Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...xt|FRONTPAGE|p
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  #1471  
Old Posted Aug 21, 2012, 12:37 PM
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I'm not a big fan of the current fences, so this may be an improvement. I'm not sure if the nets will really prevent suicides though. News clip from YNN (there's a 14 second commercial at the start):

http://ithaca-cortland.ynn.com/conte...ainty-remains/
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  #1472  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2012, 2:45 PM
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Not the most pleasant description of my old hood (from the Cornell Sun):


Collegetown: 'A Really Disgusting and Uninviting Scene’

August 21, 2012
By Jeff Stein



Broken beer bottles line the streets like confetti. Garbage becomes indistinguishable from the sidewalk surrounding it. And a porch collapses on itself in the middle of a party.

Welcome home.

Thousands of students returned to Collegetown this weekend, transforming the idyllic serenity of an Ithaca summer into a hotbed of drunken mayhem. And while this picture may offer a comforting familiarity for students returning to old stomping grounds and cherished friends, for others — namely, the hundreds of Ithacans who call Collegetown their home year-round — the scarcely tamed debauchery represents something different entirely.

Take, for instance, Common Council member Graham Kerslick (D-4th Ward), a 58 year old who lives at Orchard Place, in the heart of Collegetown. Kerslick wrote to Cornell officials on Monday to lament the “appalling state” of his neighborhood.

“Many streets, including College Ave., Cook St. and Catherine St., were covered with plastic cups, beer cans, broken glass and other garbage,” Kerslick said. “In many years of residence in the area, I don’t recall such widespread and blatant disregard for the community."

He added: "If they can throw a ping-pong ball in a plastic cup, why can't they throw a cup in a garbage can?”

Kerslick’s frustrations were widely echoed by other permanent residents of the area.

“This is one of the worst starts to the semester I’ve seen,” Common Council member Ellen McCollister ’78 (D-3rd Ward) said in an interview with The Sun Monday. “It’s not just the crowds but the constant beer pong games, the cups, the litter everywhere, the shouting, hooting, hollering — it’s a really disgusting and uninviting scene when Cornell is supposed to be the cream of the crop.”

McCollister added that the severity of the problem of binge drinking has been “ratcheting up over the years.”

“Maybe it’s a sense of entitlement? It does seem to be a generational shift,” McCollister said. She acknowledged, however, that Collegetown living arrangements can be substandard and stressed that no one party was to blame for Collegetown’s current state.

“We have to get away from finger-pointing ... this is community building we need to do together. We have a real opportunity to make Collegetown a much better place for all of us,” McCollister said. “So it was very discouraging to get such a bad start.”

The Ithaca Police Department’s daily activity log illustrates her point.

On Friday, police broke up a party in Collegetown at about 11:30 p.m. Five minutes later, police responded to a complaint from a caller unable to get out of her parking spot “due to a large gathering of college age subjects.” Officers dispersed the crowd of about 70 before responding to at least three additional noise complaints, four reports of alcohol overdoses and nearly a dozen open container violations — all in Collegetown.

As more students returned on Saturday, the list of Collegetown infractions appeared to continue unabated, although exact figures are unknown. Shortly after midnight, officers responded to reports of a highly intoxicated female at Collegetown Bagels. Another intoxicated female was hospitalized on Dryden Road at 1 a.m. Police responded to a report of a third intoxicated female whose two male friends were trying, apparently in vain, to get her home.

There was also one male individual who police saw jumping up and down on a vehicle at the intersection of Eddy Street and Dryden Road. “Through further investigation, said vehicle was found to be friend’s who did not want to pursue charges,” the police report notes.

Cornell administrators have made a concerted effort to reduce binge drinking across campus. The University announced at a conference in January that it aims to achieve a 25-percent reduction in the rate of binge drinking. According to a report cited by the University, 61 percent of first-year students involved in the Greek system engage in high-risk drinking.

Eric Silverberg ’14, a member of the Collegetown Neighborhood Council, said for that sort of change to occur, students must change their habits.

“The only way to resolve this issue is that students need to take responsibility,” Silverberg said.

Ed Mosley, who works at Joyce’s Cleaning Service and spends his days cleaning up the aftermath of Collegetown parties, said business has never been better.

“You can’t even fathom the parties we’ve seen,” Mosley said, citing one incident in which the stickiness of the floor led him to inadvertently step out of his shoes. He also said that when students know a cleaning service is coming, they often simply throw a towel over a pool of vomit rather than cleaning it up — leaving the hard work for others.

Mosely added that his cleaning service has stopped giving its rates out over the phone — waiting to survey the scope of the destruction before deciding upon a fair price.

“Sometimes you see two kegs of beer that are sitting there making a pool. You go in there to sweep but the tobacco from the blunt is still sticking to the floor because of the liquor that is spilt there,” Mosley said. “You couldn’t use an ashtray or a garbage [can]?”

Liz Camuti and Jonathan Dawson contributed reporting to this article.


Here's the link:
http://www.cornelldailysun.com/secti...scene%E2%80%99
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  #1473  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2012, 6:18 PM
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It's not like that 24/7, obviously. When the students first return, however, avoid CTown at all costs -- probably goes for Monday mornings when school's in session as well. Weekends must get pretty ugly for anyone older than 25.
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  #1474  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2012, 11:44 PM
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^ I know , but it's not like the Collegetown when I was growing up either.

And no, I don't mean there were horse & buggies back then.
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  #1475  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2012, 10:23 PM
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Here's some hopeful news. Seems as though Marriott (which already has a good presence in the Ithaca Area) is stepping up to the plate for the downtown Hotel Ithaca project. From the Ithaca Journal:



An artist's rendering of a previous version of the planned Marriott hotel in downtown Ithaca.

Marriott could be built on east end of Commons
Original plan grows to 159 rooms; city must approve project

7:31 PM, Aug. 29, 2012

Written by
David Hill

Downtown Ithaca’s first Marriott hotel would rise on what’s now mostly a parking lot beside the Rothschild Building on The Commons.

The city must approve the project.

Three years ago, Long Island developer Jeffrey Rimland first proposed the project as “Hotel Ithaca.” The project is now affiliated with Marriott International, Urgo Hotels President and CEO Donald Urgo told the city Planning and Development Board Tuesday.

Urgo and the development team, which includes the architectural firm Cooper Carry, gave an update to the board, which is reviewing its plans.

Plans aren’t very different from what’s been presented already, Urgo said, but changes would make the building function better economically and operationally, and fit with Marriott guidelines.

The plan has grown from 127 guest rooms to 159; Marriott’s minimum is 150 and preference is 200.

Marriott wanted a larger lobby, with more energetic architecture, that spills out onto The Commons, according to the development team.

To comply with city height restrictions, mechanical equipment on the roof was adjusted, with three small cooling towers instead of one large one.

Urgo said the company hopes to begin construction in March, though it had hoped to begin some foundation work as early as December.

The company will return to the planning board for further review. It will also need to renew variances received in 2009 from the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals that have expired because construction didn’t start within the required two years.

Board members appeared to like the plan. It’s seen as a potential anchor for downtown and The Commons in particular, city Planning Director JoAnn Cornish said Wednesday.

“Anything that attracts more people is only a shot in the arm for us,” Cornish said.

The second-floor conference space will comprise 2,400 square feet. The Holiday Inn on Cayuga Street already plans an expansion primarily to add conference space. More conference space allows downtown to host larger conventions and similar events.

“There’s so much demand downtown for conference space that we’re really excited that they’re willing to put in conference space,” Cornish said. “It’s not huge, certainly, but it’s a good size.”

Urgo told the planning board on Tuesday evening that his company wants to join with the region’s tourism industry to draw business from the nearby driving market in cities such as Syracuse, Scranton and Binghamton.

“We think we can induce that demand and drive business from New Jersey, Connecticut, New York City, etc., which for some reason or another hasn’t discovered the Finger Lakes and certainly hasn’t discovered everything that Ithaca has to offer.”


Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...text|FRONTPAGE
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  #1476  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2012, 8:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Ithacan View Post
For those of you who may not know, our friend Visiteur has a great blog dealing with Cornell and the Ithaca area:
http://brancra.wordpress.com/2012/08.../#comment-1553

I'm sure he won't mind anyone stopping by to view and comment.
Now here I was, wondering why I was getting referrals from this site. You caught me off guard, Ex. Although, I try and post little things here that I otherwise might not cover in the blog.

Now that my "secret" has been revealed, I'll post a couple photos that were not featured in the Bwag. SSP exclusives, I suppose.


309 Eddy stands out here, although the half-curtained windows look a little odd.


Newly finished townhouses in Lansing.


The Clinton Street Bridge reconstruction.
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  #1477  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2012, 4:25 PM
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Thanks for the pics Vis (SSP exclusive eh? ). Sorry I didn't give you a heads up about the blog mention here, but what the heck. I was wondering what development those Lansing townhouses represent?
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  #1478  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2012, 11:07 PM
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This is crazy, but you gotta listen to the two folks filming it (and catch their upstate accents):

Video Link



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Last edited by Ex-Ithacan; Sep 6, 2012 at 11:31 PM.
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  #1479  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2012, 4:58 PM
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Thanks for the pics Vis (SSP exclusive eh? ). Sorry I didn't give you a heads up about the blog mention here, but what the heck. I was wondering what development those Lansing townhouses represent?
That would be Ivar Jonson's Heights of Lansing project. It's been under construction in bits and pieces for about six years now. Only 2 of the eight homes, and 17 of the 85 townhomes have been completed. I noticed street prep for future development, but nothing actually under way (the units in the photo were finished sometime in the spring). Which goes to show you there isn't much of a market for high-end suburban sprawl townhomes in Lansing/Ithaca.

On another note, the Tompkins Weekly has an interview with the Jim Iacovelli, the 82-year old patriarch of the family constructing the 17-unit building on the 600 block of West Seneca. It notes that development was delayed a year for the construction of a special foundation, due to the swamp land in the area. The units are apparently being rented on the upscale end of the renting spectrum, but the trade-off is that they come fully furnished. More importantly to us newsies, Iacovelli is planning another project, a 36-unit complex two miles west of the hospital (i.e. the boonies).

Last edited by Visiteur; Sep 6, 2012 at 5:12 PM.
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  #1480  
Old Posted Sep 6, 2012, 11:30 PM
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^ Yeah Vis, I still wonder how the suburban sprawl will work with no real freeways to make quick connections to job centers.

I did see the Iacovelli article (I actually went to high school with one of the Iacovelli kids). Glad he's still excited to do those kind of projects. Kind of worried about the foundation issue. That may well limit the height of buildings on the West End and therefore cut down on density & development. If his West Hill project happens along with the other bigger proposals there the octopus at Inlet Isle is going to have to be adjusted or added to.
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