News Tidbits 4/30/16: Sticking to the Plan

30 04 2016


1. So, let’s start off with the bad news. Chapter House might not be happening. Josh Brokaw at the Ithaca Times had the scoop, though not for a lack of trying on the Voice’s part – rumors had arrived in the inbox well before the Collegetown construction roundup article. I’ve reached out to Jerry Dietz, the building manager for the Chapter House project, four times over the past couple of weeks, without response. One of those was an in-person visit that went un-received. My Voice editor and colleague Jolene Almendarez has also been trying to do her share of contacting relevant parties, to no avail.

Anyway, personal discontent aside, The co-proprietor of the Chapter House (and the only one willing to say anything on record) says that he believes a sale of the 400-404 Stewart Avenue property is imminent, with the potential buyer being the next door neighbor of the also-destroyed 406 Stewart Avenue. The claim is that a more cost-efficient plan would be put forth, which could eliminate the Chapter House from its plans.

One thing to keep in mind is that the property is on the edge of the East Hill historic district – the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission can control just about every aspect of the exterior, but they don’t have say over use any more than zoning permits. They can stipulate the extra expense of appropriate material and image, but they can’t stipulate a bar (and a lot of commission members would be uncomfortable with that anyway). Dunno how much the insurance money was, but the finances just may not work. It would be unfortunate, but as they do in golf, they’ll play the ball where it lies.



2. Noting, briefly. Evan Monkemeyer, the developer behind the cancelled College Crossing project, might be partnering with another developer to create and put forward a plan for the corner of Route 96 and East King Road. This is according to the town of Ithaca’s planning staff. Monkemeyer has not hidden his discontent after his suburban-style mixed-use project became the subject of heavy debate because the site plan, originally approved in 2007, no longer meshed with the town’s interests, which had evolved to more New Urbanist formats put forth by the 2014 Comprehensive Plan and the Form Ithaca charrettes. Monkemeyer owns about 64 acres on the northeast side of the intersection, and more than 15 acres as part of Springwood on the southeast side of the corner. In other words, virtually all the divvied up land and conceptual buildings on the lower right side of the charrette image. This could be something to keep in eye on over the coming months.


3. Here’s the latest iteration of the Maplewood Park site plan. A lot of changes from the previous version. To sum up the changes, the apartment buildings, 3-4 stories, have been pulled back from existing homes, the townhouses and stacked flats have are more centralized and closely clustered, and mixed-use retail/apartment planned for the city is now in the town, all the city has in its portion is green space and perhaps a small service area/ bus shelter.

Also note the secondary road that terminates right at the edge of the Maple Hill property. Chances are very good that would feed into a phase II that redevelops the Maple Hill property.

The large parking lot in the southeast corner doesn’t seem to jive with the rest of the plan, previous versions had the parking more dispersed. Since Cornell has an idea of the number of residents it wants for the project to be feasible to build and affordable on grad student stipends (850-975, centering around 925 beds in 500 units), if housing is decreased in one part of the parcel, they’re going to have their development team make up for it somewhere else. One of the bigger points of contention seems to be Cornell trying to avoid drawing traffic in by keeping larger buildings further out, while neighbors from various angles try and push the units as far away from them as possible.


Maplewood has a website up sharing meeting notes and presentation materials here. Future meeting information will also be posted to the Maplewood website. The project will be filling out an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) not unlike Chain Works, because of the project size and potential for adverse impacts (and therefore the need for proper mitigation before plans can be approved). The scoping document for the EIS, which is an outline that says what will be written about where, is on the town’s website here.


Just for the record, the print version of a recent Maplewood write-up on the Times claimed to have a quote from me. It was not. The online version of the piece has the corrections. The quote wasn’t even something I would say, because I don’t think Cornell attempting to house a greater number of its graduate and professional students is an “unsustainable development goal”. Quite the opposite, it’s crucial they do that to relieve some of the pressure on the rest of the local housing market.


4. Looks like some of the IURA’s recommended funding Action Plan is out. Habitat for Humanity gets the full $75,000 request, as does INHS with the $100,000 requested for their new single-family build at 304 Hector Street. Most of the 202 Hancock project, the seven for-sale townhouses, was recommended for funding – $530,000 of $567,000, ~93.5% of the request.

815_s_aurora_4 815_s_aurora_1

5. At the Common Council meeting next Wednesday, the city is set to vote on reducing the fall-zone radius for cell phone towers, from double the tower’s height (200% of tower height), to 120% of the tower’s height. The move will potentially allow an iteration of Modern Living Rentals’s 815 South Aurora project to move forward with further planning and review. The 87-unit project was planned on the assumption of 100% tower height plus ten feet, so in the case of the 170-foot South Hill cell tower in question, the law would call for a 204 ft. radius, not 180 ft. as the developer hoped. But still, it’s a lot less than the 340 ft. it currently is. The developer may seek a smaller project, build taller, a greatly-revised footprint, or other options. We’ll see how it plays out.

20160414_114709 20160414_114818


5. House of the week. Back in March, it wasn’t certain whether 201 West Clinton’s “sawn-and-batten wood” would be left unpainted, or painted yellow. Looks like the former is correct, based on the east face of the 1-bedroom carriage house. The ZIP panels were still exposed on the other faces when I shot these photos, but based off what could be seen through the windows, interior work is progressing nicely, and the garage door has been attached. Local architect Zac Boggs and partner Isabel Fernández are building the 520 SF addition atop an existing 1960s garage.


Ithaca Marriott Construction Update, 4/2016

29 04 2016

Just clearing out the photo stash. An interview with Marriott contractor Mark Lane of W. H. Lane Inc. can be found on the Voice here.

Also, in the first photo, that’s probably the third-ugliest BMW in the world.

20160414_115436 20160414_115737 20160414_115827 20160414_115916 20160414_115920 20160414_115924 20160414_115958 20160414_120056 20160414_120121 20160414_120130 20160414_120212 20160414_120501 20160414_120856 20160414_121002 20160416_191249

Carey Building Construction Update, 4/2016

28 04 2016

The Carey overbuild is in the home stretch. Travis Hyde properties has started advertising the units on their webpage, with listings ranging from $1,300 for the micro-apartments to $2,800/month for the upper level two-bedroom units. There hasn’t been any move-in date posted, but presumably it’s before the fall semester starts.

One thing that hasn’t been 100% clear is whether or not those panels inset with the curtain wall are the glass that’s supposed to in, or plywood placeholders. But apart from that, most of the work on the outside is complete – balconies and sunshades have been attached, but the sixth floor railing is still installing glass panels, and the ceiling to the third-floor patio has yet to be finished. The decision to apply the synthetic stucco was a good one, the color helps the overbuild blend in and gives it a more finished look.

Local firm John Snyder Architects penned up the design, and the buildout was handled by LeChase Construction.

20160414_120207 20160414_120347 20160414_120418  20160414_120713 20160414_120749




Simeon’s Reconstruction Update, 4/2016

28 04 2016

After the metal stud walls and fireproof gypsum board went up, it looks like another layer has been applied to the exterior. On portions of the structure that will be covered by brick, a closed-cell spray foam was used. Architect Jason Demarest provides a link to Goodale Construction of King Ferry on his Twitter account, so that might have been the subcontractor. Closed-cell spray foam, made with polyurethane and applied a few inches thick, provides insulation under the brick. On areas that will be covered by metal panels and details, Huber ZIP panels have been attached. Some of the original cast iron was salvaged after the accident and will be reused, but I haven’t seen anything that indicates if all the exterior trim will be cast iron, or if the exterior will be finished with metal panels that have a similar appearance.

Simeon’s, which is being built under a different contractor, is expected to reopen in June. Five apartments on the upper floors will hit the market later this year.









News Tidbits 4/26/16: Blips and Trends

23 04 2016

6-29-2014 162

1. In case you missed it, the Times’ Josh Brokaw did a pretty excellent feature this week on the Collegetown student rental market. He’s got Anagnost, Fane, Novarr, Lambrou…most of the major players have been covered.

A few details worth noting:
– The Avramis project planned for 302-306 College Avenue is being called “Avenue 102”.

– There have been rumors going around of a slight softening of the student rental market. No one’s really concerned about it, but the softening has been touched on, most recently at the city’s Rental Housing Advisory Commission meetings. In comparison to typical annual gains of +200 in the past decade, Cornell actually saw a slight decrease in the number of students in Ithaca from FA14 to FA15 (from 20,951 to 20,933), so the evidence is there. The key question is whether it’s a blip, or the start of a trend.

– Lambrou has a couple of smaller buildings (given previous work, 20-50 bedrooms) in the early planning stages. One of those might be 313-317 College Avenue talked about a while back.

If I do have any qualms with the piece, it’s that it implies Cornell’s West Campus was new housing. However, it was replacement housing for the U-Halls. There hasn’t been any net increase in beds on Cornell’s campus in fifteen years, since work on North Campus dorms finished in 2001.

2. In a separate piece, Brokaw mentions that 215 College Avenue, a 5,500 SF, 16-bedroom boarding house dating from the late 1800s, will likely come down after the 2016-2017 academic year. Readers might remember this property as the one that John Noarr paid an eye-popping $5.3 million for last August. 215 College Avenue falls under MU-1 zoning, which is Collegetown’s second-densest type of zone. MU-1 allows new buildings to be 5 stories and 70 feet tall (with a minimum of 3 stories and 30 feet), and no parking is required on site.

3. Last week, it was mentioned that Lifelong planned on selling the office building that it owned at 121 West Court Street in downtown Ithaca. Here’s the listing, which seems to be under the purview of local realtor Brent Katzmann. $439,000 gets you 4,518 SF in a former mid-19th century residence-cum-office. 8 offices, a conference room and amenities on the first level, and a three-bedroom, 2213 SF unit on the second level. The building lies just outside the DeWitt Park Historic District, although any imminent threats would probably send the city into panic mode and a rushed historic designation. Lifelong was gifted the building in 1996, and previously it was used as a doctor’s office. The county has the property assessed at $330k.



4. A substitution for House of the Week – since there are apartments on the upper levels, it’s fair game. The “Old Cigar Factory” at 108-114 East State Street is undergoing first-floor renovation to its retail spaces. The revised storefronts will have granite bases, a new wood-framed cornice, and existing cast-iron elements will be repaired.

Historically, this was known by the less cancerous and more PC name of “the Grant Block” and “the Floros Block”, with the building dating back to 1851. The “Grant’s Coffee House” in the render is an interesting throwback, sharing the name with a shop that operated on the site in the early 1800s. At other times, the building served as a cigar maker (natch), confectionery. and the Normandie Restaurant in the 1940s and 1950s.

The old vestibules and entries have been removed and covered with plywood while interior work is underway. The project underwent Design Review in March. Ithaca’s John Snyder Architects is in charge of design.


5. A small note for the West Hill folks, local home-and-landowners are planning an 8-lot subdivision at 519 Elm Street Extension, just west of the city-town line. The owners, David and Sarah Locke Mountin, plan to subdivide four vacant parcels totaling 20 acres into six lots of 1-2 acres with access to Elm Street Extension, and 2 5-acre lots towards Coy Glen Road. The project will go to the town board because the Mountins are seeking exemption from public sewer for the two 5-acre properties. The land is zoned Medium-Density Residential, and marked as low-density residential in the 2014 Comprehensive Plan.

6. A big, interesting agenda for the city Planning Board next week. Here’s the rundown.

1. Agenda review
2. Floor Privilege
3. Special Presentation the Brindley Street Bridge Replacement

4. Subdivision Review
A. Tax Parcel #20.-2-3.1 (N. Taylor Place between Campbell and Westwood Knoll, two single-family)
B. 511-13 Dryden Road (one single-family)
C. 312-314 Old Elmira Road (two duplexes).

5. Site Plan Review
A. Chain Works District, 620 South Aurora Street – Consideration of closing the public hearing for the DGEIS, and extending the public comment period. Currently, it’s expected to close May 10th.

B. Parking-lot expansion, 310 Taughannock (Island Health) – 17-space addition on part of the bio-retention area with porous pavement (13 spaces) and re-striping (4 spaces). Nearly the whole gamut here except sketch plan – Declaration of Lead Agency, Public Hearing, Determination of Environmental Significance, and Consideration of Preliminary & Final Approval.

C. Cherry Artspace, 102 Cherry Street- Consideration of Preliminary & Final Site Plan Approval with Conditions. Conditions being, Common Council has to sign off since the project is in the Waterfront TM-PUD.

D. 201 College Ave, Apartment Building – Project Update & Discussion. It doesn’t sound like any decisions are being made on Visum Development’s 5-story, 44-unit apartment building, which did sketch plan last month. With the stepped down corners and revised entrance, it seems most of the PB’s suggestions have been incorporated by architect Noah Demarest. Neil Golder will take a few verbal whacks at his potential neighbor, but it doesn’t seem like there are too many concerns with this project.


E. Maplewood Redevelopment Project, Veteran’s Avenue, Concurrence of Lead Agency – basically, this is the city agreeing that the town planning board will take charge on Cornell’s new mini-neighborhood. Makes sense, since 97% of the project is in the town.

F. SKETCH PLAN: 201-207 N. Aurora St. — Mixed-Use Project. So I’ve dedicated a little bit of ink to this one before, when Todd Fox, Charlie O’Connor and Bryan Warren purchased the property last July. This is CTB’s downtown location. The ILPC started discussing designated the block in late March, including 201-207 North Aurora, to which its owners were less than pleased. The building dates from 1901, but the June 1986 filing of the East Hill Historic District with the state says on page 2 that many Aurora Street buildings were substantially altered after their period of significance (1870-1920) and “no longer possess the level of integrity that characterizes the district”. So the ILPC’s approach here reads as more of a reactive thought process rather than a proactive one.

Regardless of whether or not the building’s historic, development here needs to be really sensitive to the neighbors, several of whom expressed great concerns in the week or so after the property was purchased. I spoke with Fox about it back in October after seeing the building listed on Modern Living Rentals’ webpage with 60 units coming in 2018, and he said that “we have planned to include the surrounding neighbors in an open discussion”. If I was a betting man, and given that Fox and O’Connor like to hire STREAM Collaborative to do their projects, I’d wager that they’re involved with this one as well.

I don’t think there’s any way to totally avoid controversy, but an overbuild like the Carey Building might be more palatable to the planning board and community than a complete tear-down and replacement. Zoning is CBD-60; 5 floors, no parking required, 60 feet max height. We’ll see how things look next week.

G. SKETCH PLAN: 107 Albany St. — Apartments. This is probably 107 South Albany Street, since the county occupies where 107 North would be located. Currently, the site is a two-story professional building, dating from the early 1900s as a house. In 2013, the property was rezoned as part of the State Street Corridor’s southern edge, increasing zoning to CBD-60 (once again, 5 floors, no parking required, 60 feet max height). In August 2015, it was picked up by the Stavropoulos family, who own the State Street Diner. They’ve done a couple other small apartment buildings, too small for Planning Board review – 514 Linn and 318-20 Pleasant Street offhand. Haven’t heard anything here, but once again, keep an eye out next week.


H.    SKETCH PLAN: 203-209 Elm St. — Apartments, Demolition & Reconstruction. Also recently covered, 203-209 is a 12-unit affordable apartment building partially intended to replace deteriorated housing that has became un-rentable due to settling issues. It would replace a house, a 4-unit building, and a 9-unit building. All units would be 1-bedroom.

Originally, 301 East State, the Trebloc / State Street Triangle was on the agenda. Then it was pulled within hours.

The Chain Works District DGEIS, Part One: Introduction

20 04 2016


Chain Works is, without a doubt, the single largest project currently being considered in the Ithaca area. It’s a very large project in terms of square footage, in terms of cost, in terms of length of build-out. Being such a large and important, it needs to be examined carefully – it could help propel Ithaca’s economy and ambitions to a higher quality of life, or it could serve as 95 acres of dead weight.

Between March 29th and May 10th, the city is receiving public comments on the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the DGEIS. The city’s website appears to be outdated, but the Chain Works District website is up to date – any comments readers might have, any questions or concerns, are submitted to the City of Ithaca Planning Board as lead agency for environmental review. UnChained Properties LLC, the developer, offers a blank form here, or if one prefers, comments can be sent directly to Ithaca senior planner Lisa Nicholas at

What a DGEIS does is evaluate the potential impacts of growth on local resources and facilities, such as traffic, water supply systems, utilities infrastructure, social and aesthetic impacts. The DGEIS, which will need to be finalized, is part of New York State’s Enviromental Quality Review (SEQR, pronounced “seeker”) and a necessary precursor to any planned/contemplated construction and development of the site.

So, the DGEIS main body is 422 pages, with about 3 GB’s worth of appendices. Although 45 days is allotted for public comment, not a whole lot of people want to read through 422 pages, but the table of contents allows people to jump around if there’s one or two thing they’re more keen to read about. A link to the DGEIS is offered by project partner Fagan Engineers here, but you might need to submit an email and name before being able to see it.


So, basic details, per the “Description of Action”:

Chain Works District Project is a proposed mixed-use development consisting of residential, office, commercial, retail, restaurant/café, warehousing/distribution, manufacturing, and open space within the existing 95-acre Site which traverses the City and Town of Ithaca’s municipal boundary . Completion of the Project is estimated to be over a seven-to-ten year period. The first phase, referred to henceforth as Phase I, will consist of redeveloping four buildings generally located at the northernmost and southernmost ends of the complex of existing buildings. These first four buildings are approximately 331,450 square-feet (SF), and will house office, a mix of office and residential, and industrial uses. Subsequent phases of development will be determined as the Project proceeds and will include new structures to complete a full build-out of 1,706,150 SF.

So, just based off that, anything that gets developed, is as the market and NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) allows. If the market isn’t amenable or the cleanup plan isn’t approved, don’t expect the plans to move forward all that fast, if at all. If the market is good and the DEC signs off on plans, expect the build-out to be on the shorter end of the 7-to-10 year time-scale.



Related infrastructure work for the Project will include: (1) removing select buildings to create courtyards and a network of open spaces and roads; (2) creating pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular connections through the Site from South Hill to Downtown Ithaca; (3) improving the existing roads within the Site while creating new access points into the Site; (4) mitigating existing environmental impacts from historic uses; (5) fostering the development of a link, the Gateway Trail, to the Black Diamond Trail network; and (6) installing stormwater management facilities, lighting, utilities, and plantings.

No big surprises – some buildings in the interconnected complex will come down, shared road concepts will dominate the internal transportation system of the neighborhood, the site will be more fully integrated into South Hill and trails, and usual site details like stormwater plans and landscaping are going to be incorporated into the project.

Given its complexity, the project team is pretty broad – eleven organizations, from the Ithaca, Elmira, Corning and Rochester areas. Local firms include STREAM Collaborative, which helped draw up the design standards and rezoning, Randall + West for more rezoning work, and Brous Consulting, which is handling public outreach. UnChained Properties is headed by David Lubin of Horseheads (suburban Elmira). From what I’ve been told, project development to-date has cost somewhere around $2 million dollars.

Likewise on the approvals – the project will need something like fifteen approvals from a dozen different government groups and agencies.


Let me share an introduction and summary comparable but maybe more approachable than theirs – a background primer on why this is happening can be found on the Voice in my introduction article here, and Mike Smith’s summary article here.

Much of Chain Works reuses what was once the Morse Chain / Emerson Power Transmission (EPT) factory, which employed thousands from the 1900s, up until the last workers were let go and the facility shut its doors in 2011. During the mid 20th century, industrial processes used chemicals and compounds that are known to be toxic – Trichloroethylene (TCE) being the best known, but also heavy metals and oils. These not only affect the site and its building, they’re also in the soil and groundwater of South Hill.


The site is classified as Class 2 Superfund site, which the DEC describes as “a significant threat to public health and/or the environment and requiring action”. While EPT is responsible for clean-up, they’re only responsible for the bare minimum (the industrial standard, what can be safely exposed to for 8 hours) unless otherwise specified by a proposed reuse, in which case they have to clean to a higher standard like residential use.

So that leaves us at present – a vacant 95.93 acre, 800,000 SF industrial site split between municipalities and with varied terrain and conditions. One of the most basic goals of CWD is to get the city and town to rezone the land to allow a mix of uses – PUD/PDZ, which give flexibility in site development based off of standards the developer, the city/town, and in this case NYSDEC mutually agree to.



So, in the PUD/PDZ, one of the broad takeaways is that each of the four form code has its own design standards – height, width, window-spacing, setbacks and most physical details, even signage. Unlike typical zoning, it’s the appearance that is more thoroughly managed, not the use. Those can be found in detail here. The design standards utilize what’s called LEED ND (Neighborhood Development), design standards created for large-scale green, well-integrated and sustainable development. A gated community it ain’t.

The goal of these design standards is to mitigate some of the adverse impact the new and renovated buildings will have on the community – promoting alternate transit reduces traffic, limiting floors and floor heights reduces visual impacts, and so on.

Build-out falls under four general form zones: (1) CW1- Natural Sub-Area, 23.9 acres of old woodland to be limited to passive recreation. (2) CW2- Neighborhood General Sub-Area, 21.2 acres of townhouses, stacked flats and similar moderately-dense development, mostly in Ithaca town; (3) CW3- Neighborhood Center Sub-Area, 39.7 acres of mixed-use, in a combination of renovated and new buildings towards the northern end of the property in the city, and (4) CW4, Industrial Sub-Area, a 10.3 acre zone for industrial uses in existing buildings at the Emerson site. The site borders Route 96B, single-family and multi-family homes, natural areas and steep terrain.

About 0.91 acres will be subdivided off and maintained by Emerson for active groundwater treatment. The other 95.02 acres would be sold to UnChained Properties.


The re-development is fairly multifaceted. Some buildings will be renovated, a few will come down, a couple will receive additions, an quite a few others, like those in the all-residential CW2 zone, will be brand-new. Specifically in Phase One, four buildings – 21, 24, 33 and 34, will be renovated.

In Part Two, we’ll take a closer look at the neighborhood design standards and detailed plans for Phase One.




News Tidbits 4/16/16: The Real Estate Shopping Spree

16 04 2016


1. On Monday, the county’s Old Library Committee received an update from Travis Hyde Properties about the redevelopment. Perhaps the biggest development is that Lifelong is no longer moving into the building. Instead, they will sell keep their office at 119 W. Court Street, sell the historic building at 121 W. Court Street, and have free use of DeWitt House’s community room for classes and workshops. Lifelong would also be the administrator of the community room, so rental fees for use of the room by other organizations will be paid to Lifelong instead of Travis Hyde. Lifelong’s treasurer claims this arrangement will save them $50,000 vs. the original proposal.

According to the Ithaca Journal piece by Andrew Casler, law firms have expressed interest in the 121 West Court Street property, although other business and housing isn’t out of the question. 121 is just outside the DeWitt Park Historic District.

The number of units is down from 60 to 55 (though some of those are now 3-bedroom units…the Tines is reporting 57 units total), and parking spaces are down from 30 to 25, all internal to the building since Lifelong is no longer moving in. Frost Travis is quoted as saying he might be looking into expanding the age range of possible tenants (currently proposed as 55+), but that seems liable to garner significant blow-back from neighbors if pursued.

The current plan is to have approval by September, sale of the property by October, and after any final site plan approval tweaks, construction may begin next Spring.


2. The Ithaca City PEDC had another crack at incentive zoning this past Wednesday. And the consensus is, everybody dislikes it for one reason for another. Some of the development community feels it doesn’t go far enough, while some local activists feels it goes way too far. Sounds like the plan is striking a good compromise if it’s ticking the stakeholders off for not being more like their way of thinking. But, proof would be in practice, and seeing if any developer would actually be interested in pursuing a plan that utilizes the incentive zoning.

On a related note, Svante Myrick deserve a laurel – when asked at the meeting why there’s a housing shortage in Ithaca, he pretty much nailed it – the growing economy, increasing student and retiree populations, and a renewed interest towards urban environments are driving demand higher than in decades past.

3. For this week’s eye candy, here’s a perspective drawing of the multistory apartment building proposed at 201 College Avenue. One thing that stands out here that doesn’t in the elevations (the latest of which can be found here) is that the corners are stepped down, so the bulk of the building is lessened. The planning board is expected to agree to be the lead agency for environmental review at its April meeting.

4. So I’m mostly leaving this to my colleague and editor Jolene Almendarez, because she is much more familiar with the Elmira Savings Bank situation than I am. But it’s worth noting that Steven Wells, the Massachusetts man who sold ESB the properties, was on a buying spree this week. On Tuesday, Wells paid $224,000 for 508 West State Street (the old Felicia’s Atomic Lounge), $884,638 for 622 Cascadilla Street where Zaza’s is located, and $1.5 million for 402-410 Third Street, a commercial plaza home to Finger Lakes Physical Therapy.  Felicia’s was noted here on the blog when it went up for sale last August for $350k.


They all have different owners, and they’re in varying physical conditions. The only thing that unites these three properties is all that are in areas the city as ripe for redevelopment for urban mixed-use in the Comprehensive Plan. Felicia’s was upzoned in June 2013 to CBD-60, permitting a 60-foot tall building, no parking required. 622 Cascadilla is WEDZ-1a, allowing for five floors and no off-street parking requirement. Lastly, 402-410 Third Street is B-4, 40′ max and 50% lot coverage, but allows virtually any kind of business outside of adult entertainment. Those are some of the city’s more accommodating zoning types, so we’ll see what happens moving forward. At the very least, the public relations game will be starting from behind the proverbial eight ball.

5. Out in Dryden, the William George Agency is seeking county legislature approval to issue $2.7 million in bonds to finance construction of a new 24-bed residence hall. The facility will affect about 1 acre, be about 15,000 square feet, and start construction this Spring, taking about one year to build.

As the county deems appropriate, they can approve the issuance of tax-exempt municipal bonds to finance construction projects. First the planning committee signs off on it, and then the general legislature takes it up for a vote. The non-profit residential treatment center secured a $2 million construction loan this past January to fund roof repairs and renovations to cafeteria area. The agency, established in the 1890s, employs over 340, making it one of the larger private employers in Tompkins County.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 215 other followers