This month’s planning board agenda doesn’t cover anything I haven’t already mentioned…except for one item giving a sketch plan (the first stage of proposals):
F. Harold Square (Downtown Mixed‐Use Project), David Lubin ― Sketch Plan
Okay, technically two items, because Wal-Mart Plaza (South Meadow Sqaure) wants to add more retail space. But this Harold Square project is far, far more intriguing.
A thorough search for any online documents for this project reveals as much as closing your eyes. However, David Lubin does have an appropriate background – he sits on the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and is employed as the President and CEO of L Enterprises, a real estate development firm based out of Elmira. Google Maps indicates it’s an LLC (Limited-Liability Company, a common feature of development firms) based out of a suburban office building next to the Arnot Mall, and likely developed several green-friendly chain hotels in the Elmira area. So, one could sum this up as the head of a medium-sized, regional developer.
“Downtown mixed-use” is a pretty tempting phrase. Mixed-use would likely be commercial, with residential on upper floors. The commercial may be hotel, as the developer has previously had experience with, or office, with service/retail on the ground floor. Depending on location and size of parcel, the building could legitimately reach 120 feet / 10-12 floors, but given that most of downtown Ithaca’s zoning is a little shorter, 60-100 feet, 5-8 floors (taller floor plates for commercial applications) would be more likely. This is potentially big project for the city, and certainly one to keep an eye on as it goes before the planning board next week.