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.

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307 College Avenue (Collegetown Crossing) Construction Update, 4/2016

25 04 2016

Collegetown Crossing is starting to show its face. Windows are being installed, and the CMU walls are on display. The mostly glass front facade has yet to go on, and brickwork will eventually go over the Tyvek housewrap on the 4-story, CR-4 portion of the portion. As mentioned in the Voice piece, a construction worker on-site said that interior work is focused on interior wall framing, sheet-rock hanging, and electric rough-ins at the moment.

According to building developer Josh Lower of Urban Ithaca, the project is being included as a part of a city grant application related to public transit, though it’s not something I’ve heard much about. It definitely fits the bill – designated internal bus shelter and pull-off space for up to two buses, a pedestrian through-fare and pocket park that connects College Avenue and Linden Avenue, ample bike racks (12 spaces required, 24 being provided), 3,200 SF grocery store on the first floor and Ithaca Carshare is but a couple hundred feet away.

There are a couple smaller retail spaces included as part of the project, but there hasn’t been any indication as to whether they have tenants lines up.

Like Dryden South and the Dryden Eddy Apartments, Collegetown Crossing plans to open in time for the fall semester. Ithaca’s Jagat Sharma is the architect, and Hayner Hoyt Corporation out of Syracuse is in charge of the build-out.

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327 Eddy Street (Dryden Eddy Apts) Construction Update, 4/2016

25 04 2016

Here are the latest photos for Steve Fontana’s mixed-use project at 327 Eddy Street. Work is up to the fourth floor in the front, and it looks like interior wall framing is underway on the lower floors, along with utilities rough-ins on the lowest levels. The rear section is further behind, steel is rising but workers have yet to move beyond the first floor. Progress should be happening fairly quickly from here on out, as the building needs to be ready for occupancy by the start of the fall semester. According to Fontana‚Äôs website (conveniently linked with the shoe store), unit prices range from $930 to $1250 per bedroom. The website doesn’t give any indication on how many units have been reserved.

There seems to be a slight discrepancy as to whether the project has 53 or 56 bedrooms in its 22 units. Counting on the webpage didn’t help, and the floor plans on the city’s website date from the 6-story, 64-bedroom version. A quick check shows my source was a Cornell Sun article from February 2015, no longer online. If anyone knows which number is accurate, please chime in.

A little more info can be found in last week’s Voice round-up here.

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209-215 Dryden Road Construction Update, 04/2016

25 04 2016

The overview came as part of the Ithaca Voice roundup last week, but the number of photos that can be included is rather limited for two reasons. One, the labyrinthine picture portfolio in the Voice’s storage eats up space, and two, the general readers of the Voice mostly only care to see a couple of photos per location.

Work is well into the excavation phase of construction. The building’s basement (“lower level”) will hold a 90-space large group instruction classroom, a commons area for dining and mingling, some business offices, utilities and storage space. The large atrium area is meant to give some feeling of connectivity and openness with the upper six floors.

Side note, looks like Collegetown’s graffiti artists have had a field day with the fencing.

Because of the tight situation, construction staging is taking place on land that used to be a boarding house at 238 Linden, and into the public right of way on Linden Avenue and Dryden Road. After the building is completed in 2017, don’t be surprised if 238 receives a housing replacement consistent with CR-4 zoning.

Local businessmen John Novarr and Philip Proujansky are spearheading the project, with Cornell as sold tenant. Syracuse’s Hayner Hoyt is the general contractor.

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A Look Inside HOLT Architects’ New HQ

22 04 2016

Most of my photos are from the outside, so it’s pretty cool when I get a chance to inside.

HOLT moved into their new digs at 619 West State Street a few weeks ago, a few minutes’ drive away from their old location at 217 North Aurora Street (a building that used to be Ithaca College’s gym). First walking in, one of the first things that stood out was that there was little street noise coming in from West State, even though several large windows front the road; the secretary said that even she was surprised with how quiet it is.

I like that HOLT displayed not just their latest work, but also several older building models in their reception area. Among the projects on display were the Educational Opportunity in Center in Buffalo; the Peggy Ryan Williams Center at Ithaca College; the Roy H. Park Building downtown, and a campus setting I didn’t quite recognize. The Roy H. Park Building was done in the early 1990s, so the Strand Theatre was still standing when the model was produced.

The spaces are pretty wide open; it was explained that this was purposely done to make it easy to exchange ideas between staff, who are often split into groups according to the projects they’re working on. Some of the desks are sitting, others are standing-enabled. The principals have personal offices on the east side of the building, the left side of the first photo below. The southern space / rear section is a miniature shop area to assemble models of projects.

I did get a chance to speak with a few of the architects on staff while visiting; one was Tom Covell, a long-time architect who recently joined the company from Rochester’s SWBR. SWBR was involved in the Cornerstone proposal for the Old Library project, but Covell said he was not a part of that work. Another architect who was nice enough to take out some time to chat was Andrew Gil, who specializes in architectural design of lab spaces; this led me off on some tangent about my primary employer, who is a major stakeholder/tenant in plans for a new building, and all of our senior research staff are essentially like kids in a candy store, while the architect is like the babysitter whom the parents only gave so many dollars to work with. Andrew, if you read this, thanks for tolerating my babbling.

Briefly, a few younger staff also introduced themselves – one was from the West Coast, another went to school in the region, and the third immigrated to the United States. It was definitely a mix of background, which hopefully translates to a variety of ideas.

The building is designed to be net-zero – the energy that goes in is equal to the amount of energy the building produces, so on the balance it has no impact on the power grid. This includes automated lighting systems, solar panels, and roof and building envelope improvements among other things. More info about the green features and the construction progress can be found in the blog’s “HOLT Architects” entries here. More about HOLT and their interest in the West End of Ithaca on the Voice here.

For the sake of acknowledgement, there were a few of their latest projects on the tables; but that wasn’t the point of the visit. They’ll hit the blog pages when they’re ready.

A big, big thanks to HOLT’s Maria Livingston for the tour!

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Cornell Veterinary School Expansion Construction Update, 3/2016

30 03 2016

A generalized summary can be found on the Voice here. The concrete frame for the Veterinary School expansion is up to the third and final floor of what will be the new Flower-Sprecher library. As build-out continues, the existing building behind (east) of the new construction will come down and be replaced with new program space; the second floor will sit above an entry court and pedestrian walkway that leads to an indoor gallery space and central courtyard. The open space on the right (south) side of the structure will be a two-story atrium space. The addition will have a glass curtain wall, and the academic spaces that face the gallery will be faced with wood panels.

Cornell and general contractor Welliver will be looking to bring the project to completion by June 2017. Weiss/Manfredi is the project architect.

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Upson Hall Construction Update, 3/2016

28 03 2016

This one’s short and sweet for the moment due to time constraints. A generalized description of the latest progress can be found on the Voice here, and Cornell’s bi-weekly progress report is here. A more thorough rundown was given in January’s update here.

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