Infill on Inlet Island: 323 Taughannock Boulevard

4 06 2014

I will keep this short and sweet, because I’m serving on a trial jury this week, so that and staying on top of my normal work obligations is keeping me very tight with my time. The project is called 323 Taughannock Boulevard, application details here. The current 323 Taughannock is a nondescript one story dive bar, across the street from Island Fitness on Inlet Island.

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The project owner is “Rampart Real LLC”, and the architect of record is local firm STREAM Collaborative (Noah Demarest). Rampart Real LLC appears to have bought the property in May 2011. The man behind the LLC is local developer Steve Flash, who in 2007 sought to build a five-story condo/hotel on Inlet Island, and was shot down. Given that the purchase happened well after the hotel was mothballed, I assume this parcel is not the site of the proposed condo/hotel from seven years ago. There have been concerns in the past several years with preserving the waterfront while encouraging development, which led to a substantial debate on waterfront zoning. Revised zoning for a denser waterfront was passed in fall 2011, much to the chagrin of some local councilmembers. I believe this is the first substantial proposal on Inlet Island since that zoning revision.

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The project in question is a 4-story (50′ height), 23,000 sq ft, $3.5 million project that proposes ground floor office space and 20 units of housing (not sure if apt or condo) on the upper levels. There would be 18 covered parking spaces, and the developer proposed modifications to neighboring city-owned property to improve vehicle circulation and the waterfront promenade. From the looks of it, it’s hardly fair to call it mixed use, I see only a couple hundred sq ft of office space on the first floor, next to the ground-level parking lot underneath the residential units.

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The project will be going up for site plan review in the July/August time-frame, with construction anticipated to start in January 2015, and to be completed by August 2015.

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6 responses

4 06 2014
Cornell PhD

Good news. The design is a little weird, but I’m not complaining too much. Tons more like this please – turn the whole inlet and surroundings into a real, high density neighborhood. The waterfront here is horribly underutilized and has an incredible amount of unrealized potential.

5 06 2014
duc1701

Reading those old articles you link to is driving me nuts. What exactly is worth preserving along that strip? I work in the West End and welcome some major vitalization.

5 06 2014
Cornell PhD

As far as I can tell the idea is that if a developer has enough money to build anything more substantial than what’s already there, said developer is “big business” and unwelcome in the area. Of course this condemns the neighborhood to its current, woeful state, but anything to stick it to the man or whatever, I guess.

Addendum to my previous post on this: I wish there were a way to put the parking somewhere else. The first floor abutting the water seems like it should be used for a better purpose; even inviting that dive bar back into the space would make for a cool new waterfront venue.

5 06 2014
B. C.

Regarding that last part, I feel the same way. But parking has been a thorny issue on Inlet Island for a while. A public parking lot leading up to a garage was suggested in the 1998 Inlet Island master plan, but only the surface lot has been implemented. ( http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/ithaca/published_documents/Planning_and_Economic_Development/Plans_and_Studies/Inlet_Island_Urban_Design_Plan/Inlet_Island_Urban_Design_Plan_October_1998.pdf). Parking has continued to be a major issue, and was one of the arguments cited by opponents of the 2011 rezoning. I would love to see the parking go elsewhere than the first floor of this building, but the water table and tight parking situation do not accommodate other feasible options.

http://www.ithaca.com/news/article_2234c4f4-ce67-11e0-9de8-001cc4c03286.html

18 06 2014
Six Years Later | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] announced, including hotels at 339 Elmira and 371 Elmira, a new apartment building for Collegetown, 323 Taughannock, the Chain Works District, and everyone and their grandmother wants to redevelop the old library. […]

23 08 2014
News Tidbits 8/23/14: Soooo Much Rendering | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] Taughannock project for the waterfront of Inlet Island. Revised PDF here. Compared to the previous renders, the waterfront side now comes with more balconies, the fourth floor has been redone, and the […]

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