End-of-Summer Construction Update, Part I

22 08 2012

I had the fortune this past weekend of being near Ithaca to attend a wedding. Deciding to kill two birds with one stone, I figured it was also a good opportunity to take photos of Ithaca’s ongoing construction. So I made the drive over and tackled as much as I could in three hours, all the while avoiding students, as if my aging is a contagious disease (mentally, this involved my brain screaming “Don’t look at me! I’m old! I was once like you, now I do quaint 20-something-year-old person things!”). Awkwardness aside, I was fairly successful in my photo tour.

The Belle Sherman Cottages project continues its prep work on the east side of on the edge of the city. The model house is complete and the roads have been laid. Despite the rather high prices, a casual inspection shows that at least two of the lots have been sold. In keeping with the theme of traditional streets, the street has been named “Walnut Street”, which is an interesting choice, since walnut trees can only grow in the moderated climate of the lake shore in these parts (same goes for peaches).

Phase II of the Coal Yard Apartments is complete. This phase brings to market 25 units, and ~40 beds.

Josh Lower’s Project (Collegetown Crossing) is tied up in red tape as it seeks a very generous parking variance. Meanwhile, the current building sits underutilized, and somewhat barren. Rather disturbingly, this was a trend around much of Collegetown, with many old storefronts, such as Mama T’s and CTP, having closed their doors. It gave the entire area a derelict, ghetto quality. Not to mention some of the houses and their treatment, which I’ll cover in a future entry.

The townhouses at 107 Cook have had their framework completed. As you might recall, 107 Cook was the site of a deadly house fire in May of 2011.

On a brighter note, 309 Eddy is complete. The building replaces a 3-story apartment house, and has 24 units with 41 beds. The building is tall enough to make an impact on the Collegetown skyline as seen from other parts of the city.

…and this image is a clue that Ithaca and the electrical authorities that be should consider burying the power lines under the street. Seriously.

The massive Collegetown Terrace project by Novarr-Mackesey. In Phase I, which was just completed, eight buildings were built (seven on East State, one on N. Quarry). This amounts to about 1/5th of the projects intended 1250 or so bedrooms. Parking is generally under the building on concrete stilts, which is bad in earthquake regions, but I suppose it works for seismically-inactive Ithaca. Some of the current buildings, such as the Delano House and the Valentine Apartments, are still standing and rented, waiting to be torn down in a later phase (III, I imagine). The Williams House is not yet renovated, serving as the site office while building continues. By my guess, building “3” from the development plans is Phase II, and is one of the long wavy buildings, specifically the one that sits closest to East State. Phase II is underway for a completion next summer, with phase III (the final phase) being completed in the summer of 2014. I suspect at that time, we’ll be hearing significant news about whatever N-M has proposed for all the properties they bought on the Palms block of Dryden Avenue – I expect something substantial, a la Collegetown Plaza.

Redevelopment of this mostly derelict and empty block would be a blessing at this point.

So, trying to break up my update into manageable chunks here (since the tech format here isn’t keen on photo-laden posts), I’ll post the rest of Ithaca and Cornell’s Campus later in the week.

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5 responses

23 08 2012
ex-ithacan

Great update B.C., can’t wait to see the next part. I like the 309 Eddy building. Seems to densify that block quite nicely. I’m still worried about the Palm’s block getting redeveloped any time soon. Alas…….
I haven’t been back to Ithaca for 3 years, so I’m jealous that you get to visit every so often. Hope to remedy that soon.

23 08 2012
Duc (@duc1701)

Thanks so much for this! I didn’t know about the Belle Sherman Cottages development. Now that my high-rise condo life dreams are smashed, new construction in a nice neighborhood might be worth considering.

4 09 2012
Daniel, bicycle and pedestrian advocacy

I enjoy checking out your work. And hopefully in on-going and new construction projects the crews will be more responsible with the flow of pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Many times the “Collegetown” Terrace crews have had the orange construction barrels completely blocking the bicycle lane on E MLK St (even when there is NOTHING to the right of them, i.e. they are just lazily scattered about).

24 09 2012
Tom Richmond

Just a note about overhead electrical wires… A LOT of the lines pictured are telephone wires and cable TV/Internet, especially in the first picture… the minority are actually electrical. The good news is that makes them easier to move underground. The bad news is it will f**k up the street while they do it, and possible for a long time AFTER they do it.

Ithaca’s last remaining brick streets are an example of poor subsurface filling by telephone crews, I have been told. Whether this is true or not, the condition of Stewart Avenue alone is a disgrace… when Ithaca can’t even afford to repair its own sidewalks (and apparently wont enforce their repair on the owners of properties that they cross), fixing what is probably a historic brick street probably doesn’t have much of a chance.

9 03 2014
Progress in Collegetown? | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] Collegetown area has tapered down. There have been a couple projects over the past several years: 309 Eddy was completed in 2012, and 320 Dryden in 2008. If you want to stretch it, you can add 107 Cook, but […]

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