Being that is a completely new project, I decided that rather than include this as an update in the previous planning board entry, I’d give it’s own blog post.
The site in question is 205/207 Dryden – what my Cornell contemporaries know as the old Kraftee’s building, and what the newest graduates know as the new Kraftee’s building. Kraftee’s is one of the local private college department stores, and opened its second location in Ithaca in December 2002 (the first store opened in Herkimer in 1989, moved to Oswego in 1990, and is still open today). Owner Pat Kraft bought 205 Dryden in 2004, and in January 2008, moved its store to the old convenience store next door (325 College Avenue, now the home of PopShop). In fall 2011, Kraftee’s moved back into the Dryden Avenue space after 325 College was sold to John Novarr, and he decided to not renew Kraft’s lease.
This I find very interesting. There are 5 parcels on the south side of the 200 block of Dryden Road in Collegetown; 4 are owned by Novarr’s company. Kraftee’s was the fifth. According to the rumor mill, Novarr’s Dry-Lin LLC may have made an offer to buy the property from Kraft; had they succeeded, they would have had the opportunity to consolidate their parcels and control an entire block in the heart of Collegetown, and build a potentially massive project. But, for whatever reason, no deal was made.
Turning back to the building proposed, what we have is a mixed-use structure designed by local firm Sharma Architects, 6 stories tall. “Dryden South”, as the building is called, would have about 2400 sq ft of retail space on the first floor, and the upper five floors would have 10 units of student apartments with a total of 40 bedrooms. The sketch plan only consists of the page below, but the pdf is here.
To be honest, the design is par for the course for Jagat Sharma et al., lots of brick with a little visual interest on the street-facing side. Not unlike any of the dozens of midrises they’ve thrown up in the NYC boroughs over the past few years. Personally, I despise the prison-slit windows proposed for the west facade, but it’s also an acknowledgement that the developer fully expects Novarr to propose something of his own for that corner in due course. We’ll see how this evolves as it moves forward to the planning board.