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  #1501  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2012, 1:39 AM
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Looks like Ithaca's going to ensure more historic buildings will see a future (from the Ithaca Journal):


The 1871 Sprague House, at Albany Street and Titus Avenue, is in the proposed Henry St. John Historic District. / DAVID HILL / Staff photo


Ithaca's 6th historic district possible
Henry St. John area being reviewed

7:11 PM, Nov 23, 2012
Written by
David Hill

ITHACA — The city will get a sixth local historic district under a proposal involving the Henry St. John neighborhood, which goes before Ithaca’s Landmarks Preservation Commission next month.

At its Dec. 11 meeting, the commission will hold a public hearing on a proposal for the designation. The area lies between Green Street on the North and Titus Avenue on the south. Its boundary on the west is generally Albany Street, with about half of the block that extends to Fayette Street. On the east, it would include the lots fronting Geneva Street, as well as several along Titus Avenue and Green Street.
The designation would have to be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission and ultimately Common Council. The Planning and Development Board would also weigh in with comments.
If designated as a local historic district, exterior alterations would require a certificate of appropriateness from the commission. Exceptions may be made for economic hardship and regular maintenance. Property owners may then be eligible for state and federal tax credits. Increases in property taxes for rehabilitation work could be phased in over 10 years, with no increase in the first five years.
The neighborhood takes its name from the former elementary school at 206 S. Geneva St., now used for apartments, offices and a gym. The school, opened in 1925, was named for a longtime member of the Ithaca school board, whose father, Ansel St. John, came to Ithaca in the 1820s and was a bank teller, according to Tompkins County Historian Carol Kammen.
According to the city’s summary of significance and boundary justification for the district designation, part of the district was developed in the first quarter of the 19th century and has some of the downtown area’s oldest homes. The southern part was built later by developer Charles M. Titus, who drained the swampy area to make way for some showy homes.
Several prominent civic and business leaders lived in the neighborhood, and some large high-style homes remain on the 200 and 400 blocks of South Albany Street. One of the most recognizable is the Sprague House on the northwest corner of Albany Street and Titus Avenue, built in the elaborate Second Empire style.

The last home in the neighborhood was built in 1932. Architectural styles include Gothic revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, Stick, Colonial Revival and Craftsman.
Alderman Seph Murtagh, D-2nd Ward, said he’d support the nomination.
“I understand that it does place restrictions on repairs and things that people might want to do to their homes, but it also means that property owners will be eligible for grants and tax credits that are available to people in historic districts,” he said in an e-mail. “It’s true, also, that property values in historic districts tend to be higher than elsewhere. There’s a lot of beautiful, old, historic architecture in the Henry St. John neighborhood, and it’s an important part of the city’s heritage, and I think this designation recognizes it as such.”
Other historic districts in the city are the Clinton Block, comprising the Clinton House, Clinton Hall and neighboring buildings; the Cornell University Arts Quad; Cornell Heights; the DeWitt Park Area; and the East Hill Historic District.


here's the link:

http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...text|FRONTPAGE
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  #1502  
Old Posted Nov 25, 2012, 7:17 AM
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so for some reason i thought the old house (901e state) was going to be preserved... but as I was leaving campus for the break I noticed it was being torn down. Did I miss something? I thought collegetown terrace had to keep that.
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  #1503  
Old Posted Nov 26, 2012, 4:07 PM
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Not a large scale proposal, but more in-fill...

http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...text|FRONTPAGE
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  #1504  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2012, 2:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Ithacan View Post
Not sure if this is going to happen, financial concerns could get in the way. The Commons was looking a bit shabby when I was in the city 3 years ago.
From the Ithaca Journal:


An artist's rendering of part the Ithaca Commons by Sasaki Associates. The plan calls for a wide central portion of Martin Luther King Jr./State Street with seating, plantings and trees off to the sides, and new paving, including replacement of the metal trolley rails in front of Center Ithaca with granite. / Photo provided/Sasaki Associates

Commons upgrade plans revealed
$9M project targets infrastructure and better functionality

12:46 PM, Sep. 6, 2012

Written by
David Hill

Consulting design firm Sasaki Associates of Boston presented an ambitious, updated plan for a Commons repair and upgrade project to Common Council on Wednesday.

The project focuses on aging infrastructure, including uneven and damaged sidewalks and outdated utility lines, including water lines more than 100 years old.

Sasaki senior associate Susannah Ross outlined some details worked into the plans since the spring. Among them:

• An open central space through Martin Luther King Jr./State Street with chairs, benches and planters to the sides.

Utilities would be buried in the central part beneath removeable pavers. The idea is to look and function more like a traditional street.

• Lighting on horizontally strung cables over MLK/State Street. Banners could be hung from the cables.

• Metal rails in the circular trolley sculpture would be replaced with granite. Other elements could be added.

The city is facing financial difficulty, including a $3 million deficit for 2013, but it also has received a $4.5 million federal grant that can be used for the estimated $9 million upgrade.

The money could be utilized to turn The Commons into a transit hub for more efficientbus routes between the Cornell University and Ithaca College campuses and downtown. U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats, announced the grant in July.

Sasaki began planning in mid-2009 with a public workshop, before developing concepts and offering a preliminary presentation in spring 2010.

Here's the link:

http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...plans-revealed
Plans approved... http://cornellsun.com/section/news/c...vation-commons
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  #1505  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2012, 2:24 AM
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^ Yippee

I've been on a trip this week, but decided to use the hotel's computer today. Here's an interecting tidbit I found in the Ithaca Journal:


Architect John Snyder and owner Bruce Lane show a conceptual rendering of the building planned for Purity Ice Cream in an aerial view from above approximately Fulton Street looking east.

Ithaca's Purity building seeks expansion, new floors
Office, retail proposed along with expansion of iconic ice cream shop

7:32 PM, Nov 28, 2012
Written by
David Hill


ITHACA — The owners of Purity Ice Cream, the iconic purveyor of treats on Ithaca’s Northside, hope to build a four- or five-floor mix of apartments and offices along with an expansion and improvement of the existing store.

Bruce Lane, who owns the ice cream company with his wife, Heather, unveiled conceptual plans for the project Tuesday evening to the city Planning and Development Board. He was joined by Ithaca architect John Snyder.

Lane stressed there are no plans to close or move Purity, which has been in business in the general vicinity for decades. The present building dates from 1953. The interior and outdoor dining areas would be expanded, with parking improved, including some parking on property Lane owns nearby.

Many details are yet to be determined, but the addition would include 13 to 26 one- and two-bedroom units on the third and higher floors, Lane told the planning board. It also would have office space for rent, and an additional retail space for rent along Cascadilla Street.

The additions would largely be on top of the existing brick building and replace former ice cream manufacturing space now used for some baking and storage. The project would make better use of the space and complement Purity, which is a seasonal business, Lane said in an interview earlier Tuesday.

“It really is pretty much wasted space, so my goal has been to sort of make that space be a little bit more economically viable and help make the whole enterprise be a little bit more sustainable over time,” he said.

The exterior materials are to be determined, but brick is being considered for an appearance that goes with the existing building, Snyder told the board.

Planning board members generally welcomed the plans and noted that the site, comprising most of the triangle formed by Meadow, Fulton and Cascadilla streets, acts as an entrance to the heart of the city for motorists heading south along Route 13.

Lane acknowledged as much and said the surrounding area has great potential to be more than a part of town most people just pass through, noting proximity to the Cayuga Inlet waterfront.

Lane stressed that the Purity experience will remain.

“From a customer standpoint, nothing they’ve ever touched when they go in Purity will change,” he said. “It’s all the stuff in back that they never see. So the baking and the storage and the prep areas and everything will now be housed in new construction underneath some offices and some apartments. For customers going to Purity, the look and feel, other than having a shadow of a taller building over them, will be pretty much the same.”

Spencer Road apartments OK'd

The planning board also gave final site plan approval for a 35-unit apartment project at 400 Spencer Road. Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services and Path Stone Development are the applicants.

The units are to be affordable for low- to moderate-income households and arranged in one building of three stories and two rows of two-story townhouses. Some residents of the Spencer Road area objected to the plan, saying it will worsen traffic at the site, which is near Stone Quarry Road. The project is called Stone Quarry Apartments.

Commons plans get approval

Plans for the city’s Commons repair and upgrade project won final site plan approval as well.

The project, developed with consultant Sasaki Associates, of Boston, would replace aging underground utilities while redoing the landscaping, lighting, furnishings and signs of the downtown pedestrian mall. Center facilities would be removed so the center remains open and accessible; most lights would be on overhead cables; and the Bernie Milton Pavilion would be moved to the foot of Tioga Street at Seneca Street. The city hopes to start construction as early as this spring, using its own funds with federal and state grants.


Here's the link:

http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...g-its-building

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  #1506  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2012, 2:24 PM
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This stretch of road does look rather shabby, hope this helps (from the Ithaca Journal):

City aims to update Old Elmira Road
Some property owners wary that plan could disrupt business

8:15 PM, Dec 9, 2012
Written by
David Hill

ITHACA — Fortified with a state grant of $682,500, the City of Ithaca has a plan to bring nearly 60-year-old Old Elmira Road up to date with curbs, sidewalks, bike lanes and landscaping.

But some property owners along the overwhelmingly commercial road are skeptical that the work is a good idea, or at least good enough for them to have to pay the sidewalk and curb assessments they’re facing.
A public hearing is scheduled as part of the Board of Public Works meeting at 4:45 p.m. today at City Hall. An informational meeting will be scheduled to show details as the plan takes fuller form, likely in late January or early February, said Tim Logue, the city’s transportation engineer.
Elmira Road was built in the 1940s to standards of the time and hasn’t changed much since, according to city public works officials. The estimated $1.3 million project is still being developed, leaving wide ranges in potential assessments property owners could face. The work would start in the spring with public works crews rather than hired contractors.
“The basic scope of work is to complete the street, by which we mean make a full multi-modal corridor, with sidewalks from the roundabout (at Albany Street) to Route 13 on both sides of the street, bike lane in each direction, vehicular travel lane in both directions,” Logue said.
Improved drainage is also part of the plan, and the TCAT bus stop, which has no pull-off or passenger waiting area, may be upgraded. A pedestrian crosswalk is under consideration.
Assessment issue
Under city codes and the charter, sidewalks are considered a benefit to the adjoining property owners, who will be assessed for the cost. The same principle dictates assessments for curbing installed in commercial districts.
“If the zoning is a commercial zoning and it’s the first time the city’s ever installed curbing there, then the property owner’s responsible for half of that cost,” Logue said.
Logue said a section of Triphammer Road at The Shops at Ithaca Mall reworked several years ago gives a good idea of what’s in store, though that’s more than two lanes, he said.

When the city sent letters to affected property owners about the plan and hearing, some weren’t pleased.
Pudgie’s Pizza co-owner Mike McLaughlin said he wants to keep an open mind and allows that he might be dazzled when details come out, but he is concerned that the work would severely disrupt his business and take longer than expected.
He’s also worried the work could cost his customers parking and saddle him with a big assessment for work that not only isn’t needed but could do more harm than good. Many neighbors feel the same way, he said.
“I’d hate to say I can speak for everyone, but for the people I’ve spoken to, the businesses on this side of the road here that I know and talk to, that’s kind of where we’re all at — a little nervous,” McLaughlin said. “We have to be. The environment in business these days is tight, your profit margins are so small, it doesn’t take a lot to put you out of business if things don’t go well.”
The added assessment on his property was estimated anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, with others facing up to $60,000. He said he is also frustrated that the grant was sought and plans started before affected property owners were consulted — the first communication from the city about it was the letter.
“They just don’t ask the people it affects,” McLaughlin said.
Bill Card, owner of car dealership Automotive Consultants, said the sidewalks and bike lanes are not appropriate for a route that’s dominated by auto traffic, with several auto-related businesses.
“It’s Elmira Road, not Elmira Street,” Card said.
Still, Card said he’s optimistic that when city officials hear from property owners, a compromise can be reached. He suggested, for instance, sidewalks could be only on the west side of the road, where more pedestrian-oriented destinations are.
“There are better ways to spend the city’s money than on plans like this,” he said.

Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...text|FRONTPAGE
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  #1507  
Old Posted Dec 12, 2012, 12:45 AM
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Kind of surprised that this rascal seems to be moving along:

Video Link



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  #1508  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2012, 11:01 PM
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This could really change the appearance of downtown Ithaca. Hope it happens. There's a bunch of info here. From the Ithaca Journal:

Buildings downtown could get taller
Proposed new height regulations part of density drive

5:21 PM, Dec 14, 2012
Written by
David Hill


As part of encouraging density downtown, city planning staff have drafted amendments to the zoning ordinance to allow for taller buildings in certain locations, including the site where a 137-foot, 10-story mixed-use project is proposed.
Among the changes would be a transition zone west of The Commons, between Seneca and Green Streets. The limit there now is 50 feet along State/Martin Luther King Jr. streets and 40 feet along Seneca and Green. A building could be up to 55 feet tall if that portion is 30 feet from the front of the building. A portion stepped back 45 feet from the first stepped-back portion could go up to 80 feet without being visible from the street. The idea is to hide the tall portion from view on the street and sidewalk.
Among other changes is the Green Street side of the block bordered by Green, Aurora and Cayuga streets and The Commons. In place of the 60-foot limit, 140 feet would be the new limit.
It is this block where developers have proposed a 10-story, 137-foot-tall tower as part of the mixed-use project called Harold’s Square. The building would link renovated retail spaces at 123-127, 133, 135 and 137-139 The Commons, with the apartment tower rising behind them. The proposal goes before the Planning and Economic Development Board on Tuesday. Under present restrictions, it would need a height variance. It’s a project of L Enterprises, majority-owned by brother and sister David Lubin, of Elmira, and Enid Littman, of Ithaca, owners of the former Harold’s Army Navy store.

Tobacco ordinance snuffed out for now
A proposed ordinance cracking down on smoking-related stores is headed for the ash tray, at least temporarily.
The Common Council Planning and Economic Development Committee reviewed a draft version of the ordinance this week and decided it needed more work.
The Downtown Ithaca Alliance suggested the ordinance this fall. It would set up a system of special tobacco-selling licenses and not allow two within 500 feet of one another or a school. No tobacco products or paraphernalia could be in a display window.
While the ordinance mentions only tobacco, the DIA suggested the measure after several paraphernalia shops opened on and near The Commons selling smoking pipes of the kind often also used with marijuana.

Collegetown project back
Collegetown Crossing, the proposed apartment complex on the site of a former drugstore at 307 College Ave. and slated to have a new location of Greenstar Cooperative Market, is back before the city Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday with a new twist.
Applicant Josh Lower, representing J & W House, now proposes to rent 16 parking spaces in an attempt to meet zoning requirements to provide parking, according to a public notice published by the city.
Lower and J & W House propose to redevelop 307 College Ave. with a 50-apartment, six-story building on a parcel consolidated with 226 Linden Ave., the adjoining piece of land on the east side of the block. Under current zoning law in that part of the city, one parking space is required for every two people housed, or 57 spaces. Lower paid for a study that determined the need for parking would be mitigated by alternatives such as providing bus passes and subsidized car-sharing memberships to tenants, providing a bus stop and shelter, and having a grocery store on-site. Lower and Greenstar Cooperative Market have announced plans for a Greenstar location in the building.
The city Planning and Development Board agreed that the measures would compensate for much of the parking requirement but found 19 would still be needed. Lower seeks a variance from the requirement, as well as a setback variance. He has located one parking space to rent within the ordinance’s 500-foot requirement and 15 spaces beyond it; other spaces he could lease are more than 1,600 feet away from the site.
When the matter was before the BZA Nov. 6, several residents of Collegetown endorsed the plan, though a couple others spoke against it. Some BZA members expressed skepticism, and expecting lengthy discussion, the board postponed a decision.

Henry St. John district plan advances
Plans to officially designate the Henry St. John neighborhood as a city historic district moved forward this week with mostly positive comments at a public hearing on the proposal. City historic preservation planner Lynn Truame described comments as all positive at the hearing, with two petitions in favor, and one e-mail in opposition from a property owner.
The next step is for the Planning Board to consider the designation in light of zoning, the comprehensive plan and any known plans for development in the affected area. The plan is on the board’s agenda for Tuesday. It will then go to the Planning and Economic Development Committe of Common Council, then to the full council.
The area contains some of downtown’s largest intact homes in a variety of 19th and early-20th century styles, and was occupied by many prominent residents. It lies between Green Street on the north and Titus Avenue on the south, and generally Geneva Street to Albany Street.

Town, city pursue joint zoning project
The Common Council Planning and Development Committee advanced an agreement this week to jointly develop a shared zoning code with the Town of Ithaca on certain areas in both municipalities.
The town and city would hire a consultant to develop form-based code for certain areas of the city and town. Form-based code stresses not so much land uses as in traditional zoning, but appearance, or form, of buildings, along with standards for such things as landscaping, signage, drainage, slope development, tree protection and access to sunlight, according to the Form-Based Codes Institute, a professional organization for urban planners. The city has sought form-based zoning in Collegetown, and the town’s comprehensive plan recommends using it.
The project will focus on particular areas: the Pier Road-TCAT headquarters, Farmers Market, Ithaca Community Garden area; Inlet Island and the city’s West End; Cherry Street and Floral Avenue; the city’s Southwest development and natural areas; and Five Mile Drive and Route 13 in the town generally between the city and Newfield lines.


Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...uld-get-taller
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Last edited by Ex-Ithacan; Dec 14, 2012 at 11:28 PM.
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  #1509  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2012, 12:04 AM
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Ithaca Commons renovation (see post 1504) has funding. Here's an article from The Ithaca Times:

Ithaca awarded $1.8 million for Commons, transportation improvements


Photo by Rob Montana

The patchwork paving on the Commons displays just one of the many infrastructure issues related to Ithaca’s downtown pedestrian mall.


Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 9:15 am

Ithaca awarded $1.8 million for Commons, transportation improvements From staff reports Ithaca Times | 0 comments

The City of Ithaca has gotten a big boost in its bid to rebuild its Commons.

The city has been awarded $1.8 million by the New York State Regional Economic Development Council's second round of funding. The funding will be used for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Commons, including upgrades to all of the underground utilities that run underneath downtown Ithaca's pedestrian mall.

“This grant will allow us to vastly improve our downtown - and change for the better the face of our community” said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick in a prepared statement. “Rebuilding the Commons and investing in transit will create jobs, reduce the city's environmental impact and make Ithaca a more vibrant, beautiful place to live.

"Thanks to the support of the State and Federal government and a $3.5 million investment by Ithaca taxpayers will complete a more than $10 million project," he added.

This funding is the second grant the city has received for the Commons project. In July, it was announced the city had been awarded $4.5 million from the Federal Transit Authority for improvements and upgrades to the Commons and transit services as part of the State of Good Repair Program. City officials cited support from U.S. senators Kristen Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey as instrumental in helping Ithaca obtain that grant.

Other funding streams that will support the Commons rebuild includes $3.5 million for the capital project the Common Council OK'd in the 2013 city budget. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance also has committed $500,000, to be raised from members of the downtown business improvement district, to complete the funding needed for the project.

The Southern Tier was one of three regions recognized as a "Best Plan" awardee for 2012, obtaining $91 million for 62 projects.

The Commons reconstruction is expected to start in February 2013, and to be completed by 2015.


Here's the link:
http://www.ithaca.com/news/article_c...a4bcf887a.html
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  #1510  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2012, 1:46 AM
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I came across an interesting bit of info regarding yet another new hotel for downtown Ithaca. The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency had an agenda listed for 12/18/12. The main focus of the agenda is for a new Hampton Hotel (6 stories) at the site of the current Carey Building in the 300 block of East State Street. Here's the link:

http://www.egovlink.com/public_docum...ttachments.pdf

It's a 63 page document with pages 11-44 covering the proposed hotel. There is a site plan on page 21, a rendering on page 20, and a timeline (hopeful) for the approval process on page 43.


New Hampton Hotel location by exithacan, on Flickr

The hotel would replace the two story building in the middle of the block on the State Street side and the surrounding parking lots.

I'll be anxious to see how quick this one proceeds.
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  #1511  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2012, 7:57 PM
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Here's some follow-up info on the previous post (From the Ithaca Times):

IURA approves negotiations for purchase of property for downtown hotel project

By Dialynn Dwyer reporter@ithacatimes.com Ithaca Times

At its meeting December 20, the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency unanimously approved the designation of Lighthouse Hotel, LLC as “a qualified and eligible sponsor” for acquiring properties at 320-324 East Martin Luther King Jr./East State Street through a negotiated sale for the purpose of an urban renewal project. The proposal by Lighthouse Hotel is to develop a $16 million, six-story Hampton Inn & Suites with 92 rooms. The project site would cover four parcels including parking lots owned by the city and the IURA, the Carey Building and 310-312 E. MLK Jr./E. State Street.

The proposal came through the IURA’s Economic Development Committee, which approved the proposal three to one. Ayana Richardson, the chair of the committee, said there were concerns about the preliminary design of the hotel and the loss of the current building. She and Nels Bohn, the IURA director of community development, emphasized that the action would be the very beginning of a long process that would have many opportunities for discussion.

Negotiations with the developer will commence. An agreement will be brought back to the IURA for approval before the issue is sent to Common Council.

In other business, the IURA unanimously approved an agreement between the city and IURA that clarifies the roles and responsibilities for the administration of HUD Entitlement grants.

The link:
http://www.ithaca.com/news/article_e...9bb2963f4.html


And here's the rendering from the agenda:


Hampton Hotel Ithaca_edited by exithacan, on Flickr

And here's the site plan:


Hampton Hotel Ithaca 002_edited by exithacan, on Flickr
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  #1512  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2012, 3:59 AM
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Wow...that's one ugly looking building.
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  #1513  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2012, 2:43 PM
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^ I can't argue with you on that one i-cat, but it is better looking than the Harold Square tower.
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  #1514  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2012, 3:50 PM
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Weird orientation to me as well. Looks like a suburban cookie cutter strip motel dropped in the middle of the parking lot with little regard to the area.
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  #1515  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2012, 3:23 PM
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There's an article in the Ithaca Times about the new hotel proposal. Interesting to note the reference to wanting to build an urban building, which would seem to be the antithesis of the rendering.

Ithaca: Questions raised after hotel proposed for Carey Building site

By Dialynn Dwyer reporter@ithacatimes.com | Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012 12:00 am

"When the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency met on Thursday, Dec. 20, one of the items on its agenda was reviewing a request from Lighthouse Hotel LLC to acquire parcels owned by the City of Ithaca and IURA for the development of a hotel."

Here's the link:
http://www.ithaca.com/news/ithaca/ar...9bb2963f4.html
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  #1516  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2012, 4:32 PM
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^ You beat me to the punch there i-cat. I was just getting ready to post that. Does sound a bit fishy. I would be suspect especially since Travis sounds like he hasn't been involved in any approval process of this. I'm not saying things can't be worked out, but I belive someone jumped the gun with the IURA announcement.
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  #1517  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Development looks promising in Ithaca for the new year. From the Ithaca Journal:


A rendering of the Holiday Inn expansion looking along Cayuga Street toward the Ithaca Commons. The two-story building will be replaced by a conference center in 2013. / Provided photo

New bricks and mortar to give a 2013 growth spurt to Ithaca
Downtown, rest of city to see major development plans take shape

6:06 PM, Jan 1, 2013 |
Written by
David Hill


ITHACA — The sound of bulldozers and the sight of construction cranes will fill the downtown landscape again in 2013.

Coming along with those sights and sounds is something rare in upstate New York: A growing tax base and economy.
No fewer than seven major projects are under way or have received city planning approval:
• Collegetown Terrace: Apartments along East State/Martin Luther King Jr. Street aimed at students. It opened this summer but subsequent phases are yet to be built. The city plans a renovated intersection of State/MLK and Mitchell streets.
• Breckenridge Place: 50 new low- and moderate-income apartments on the site of the former Women’s Community Building at Cayuga and Seneca streets. Though the apartments are aimed at lower than the market rate for rent, they’ll be fully taxable. The project is under construction.
• Holiday Inn renovation: the two-story building will be replaced by a conference center, something downtown lacks and a potential draw for lucrative meetings and events.
• Seneca Way: A 38-apartment and two-office redevelopment project on the former site of Challenge Industries on East State/MLK Jr. Street. The former Challenge building has been demolished.
• Argosy Hotel: A boutique hotel just east of Seneca Way on East State/MLK Jr. Street.
• Cayuga Place second phase: 39 loft apartments in a building of 42,600 square feet. Developer Bloomfield/Schon scaled the plans down from those previously approved, making the apartments smaller but greater in number. The first phase is on Green Street across from the city’s parking garage and has retail space on the ground level.
• Hotel Ithaca Marriott: A 10-story Marriott hotel is planned for the east end of The Commons next to the Rothschild building. The hotel will be built into a triangular lot now used for parking, with the main entrance on Aurora Street and the lobby and bar area spilling onto the Commons.
• Clinton Street Apartments: Landlord and developer Jason Fane has proposed a new 36-unit apartment complex between his property at Terrace Hill and City View and the Ithaca Police Department headquarters. It’s under city review, and has prompted discussion on regulating development on steep slopes.
Another project that is under review, known as Harold’s Square, could result in a major redevelopment of a section of Commons storefronts. L Enterprises, majority-owned by brother and sister David Lubin and Enid Littman, proposed a new group of storefronts between the Home Dairy and Trader K buildings linked by a common atrium to an apartment tower rising between the Commons and the Green Street parking garage. It’s under city review.

In addition, two major public projects are in the works. The city hopes to start this spring on a $10.5 million redesign of The Commons using a combination of federal and state grants and bonds. The city is also planning a $1.3 million project to repave Elmira Road and add sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping and drainage improvements.
Both will be disruptive, and on Elmira Road especially, some property owners have criticized the plan as unnecessary, since they will have to pay for sidewalks they may not want and half of curb installation. Commons merchants, too, will face disruptions during demolition and construction.
Other projects
Away from downtown, there a slew of other projects either under construction or in the planning phase throughout the city.
• A Fairfield Inn is under construction on Route 13 next to Manos Diner.
• Collegetown may get another large apartment building in the form of Collegetown Crossing, 307 College Ave. Plans include a GreenStar Cooperative Market in the building.
• The Iacovelli Properties apartment building on West Seneca Street between Meadow and Fulton streets is also under construction and will likely open in early spring, with 24 two-bedroom furnished apartments.
• And nearby, Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes plans a new clinic and administrative building also between Meadow and Fulton, replacing a smaller facility on Seneca Street between Plain and Albany streets.

Still under review is Cascadilla Landing, an ambitious residential proposal on Cascadilla Creek in the vicinity of Johnson Boat Yard and the Haunt night spot. It would be the first major waterfront housing development in the city in recent memory.
• Finally, the owners of Purity Ice Cream have proposed a residential-commercial-office project wrapped around the present ice cream shop, at 700 Cascadilla St. at Meadow, though only a conceptual plan has been brought to the City Planning and Development Board.


Cascadilla Landing, an ambitious residential proposal on Cascadilla Creek in the vicinity of Johnson Boat Yard and the Haunt night spot will be under review in 2013. It would be the first major waterfront housing development in the city in recent memory. / JOHN SNYDER ARCHITECTS / PROVIDED


A Green Street side view of the proposed Harold's Square project that is still under review. The six-story apartment building is proposed at the south side of the complex, set back from The Commons. / Provided/Chaintreuil Jensen Stark

Here's the link:
http://www.theithacajournal.com/arti...text|FRONTPAGE
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2013, 10:18 PM
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Another article on proposed downtown zoning changes. From the Tompkins Weekly online:

Ithaca Looks to Grow Toward the Sky

By Matthew Peterson

Things are looking up for downtown Ithaca—literally. Over the past decade, major building projects like the Hilton Garden Inn, the Green Street garage and the Gateway Commons have significantly increased the height of
Ithaca’s skyline.
Although not quite skyscrapers, these projects, and future projects such as the 50-unit Breckenridge Place Apartments project on the
corner of Cayuga and Seneca streets and the Seneca Way project, a five-story mixed-use building proposed for the former Challenge Industries site on East Seneca Street, strongly signify that Ithacais getting taller.
That’s a good thing, according to some city officials who hope to rezone portions of downtown to allow for increased height in several areas. Specifically, city planners would like to see changes made in the central business district, which includes the Ithaca Commons and portions of the main streets that surround it.
“For downtown to grow, it needs to grow upward, and the proposed new urban density helps to make this possible,” says Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), a group that advocates for the prosperity and growth of downtown. “Amending downtown zoning to
create additional density is a key and essential element of the Downtown 2020 Strategic Plan.”
Ferguson refers to the DIA’s strategic plan, which provides a comprehensive vision for the future of downtown and outlines goals, objectives and action tasks needed to achieve this vision. The plan was endorsed by Ithaca’s
Common Council in April.
A major goal of this plan is to increase the number of residential units available in the core downtown district. The hope is that by having more people living downtown, business revenue would increase in that area because people would be more inclined to spend their dollars near where they live.
“In order to achieve (the plan’s) goals, it was determined that we need to increase density in the core, while preserving and enhancing the character of downtown and the pedestrian experience along the street frontage,” wrote City of Ithaca Economic Development Planner Jennifer Kusznir in a rezoning proposal circulated among city officials in December.
Parcels of land in downtown Ithaca where new projects can be built are nearly nonexistent, so the best way to increase the density of downtown is to build upward.
“Community input from the 2020 plan and the ongoing city comprehensive plan confirms that downtown is the place in the city where we want to cluster larger and taller buildings,” Ferguson says. “Along with changes to the tax-incentive program, amending downtown zoning is a key to future smart growth and development for our city.”
In recent months a working group comprising Mayor Svante Myrick, Ferguson, city planners and members of Common Council reviewed downtown zoning designations to determine where best to make changes. The goal was to rezone in areas that would compliment the goals of the 2020 plan.
These meetings culminated in the creation of a package of proposed zoning changes, distributed to Common Council in early December. They are expected to discuss and consider these changes at the next Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting on Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. in Common
Council Chambers in City Hall, 108 E. Green Street.
Measures proposed by city planners include:
Various changes in height in the areas surrounding the Commons while maintaining a maximum height of 60 feet on the building fronts located on The Commons. In addition, a small parcel that is currently zoned for CBD-85 would be down-zoned to CBD-60, so that all properties directly on The
Commons would have a maximum allowable height of 60 feet.
The buildings surrounding the Commons on the southern side are being proposed for a maximum allowable height of 140 feet, and the buildings to the east of the Commons are being proposed for a maximum height of 100 feet.
Additional changes are proposed along Buffalo Street and a small area on Court Street
The creation of a new Central Business District Transition Zone would encompass West Martin Luther King, Jr./State Street. This zone would retain the pedestrian scale along the street front but would allow for taller buildings
toward the center of the block and/or rear of the parcels.

Here's the link:

http://www.tompkinshosting.com/tompk...107.pdf#page=2
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Old Posted Jan 8, 2013, 10:38 PM
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Here's the proposed zoning map for downtown referenced in the previous post article (hope you can read it):


new zoning0001 by exithacan, on Flickr
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Old Posted Jan 10, 2013, 5:25 PM
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Things are really looking good in Ithaca and I hope it continues.
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