So the folks in Cayuga Heights are getting in on the development game. In this case, local developers are interesting in taking one of the few mixed-use areas of the wealthy bedroom community, and densifying it.
The focus of this proposal is the Community Corners area, the small, mostly commercial parcel next to the awkward intersections of Triphammer, Hanshaw and East Upland Roads. According to the Ithaca Journal, Most of the new construction would be focused on the grassy parcel at lower left, while some of the buildings already exist would be expanded upon with additional floors, such as the Island Fitness in the lower left of the commercial patch. The two parcels, although owned by separate groups (The Ciaschi Family, the same ones for whom the corner of College and Dryden is named, own Community Corners; the grassy parcel by Mark Mecenas). Notably, this building only finished renovation last year; the bank in the lead image and the two-story office building at Triphammer and Upland are only about three years old.
Incorporated into the proposal – more lower-level retail and office space, and about 100 units of housing, up to four floors in height. this would require a zoning variance, as the maximum height for Cayuga Heights is about 30 feet. The design thrown out there is from (Larry) Fabbroni Associates, who tend to be called on much more to discuss the civil engineering aspects of development projects rather than actual designs. I prefer to think of the above designs as more of a scheme than anything concrete.
Oh look, they even threw the vaguely hipster-like musician in there! How quaint!
Mecenas notes in the IJ article that build-out for this project would likely take a few years, and that’s after the village approves the zoning changes. But, a pedestrian-friendly mid-rise core to Cayuga Heights would definitely make it feel more like its own community rather than a wealthy branch of the Ithaca tree.