This column was written by Brian Crandall, who writes “Ithacating in Cornell Heights.”

Why I shop downtown – Naomi

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Here’s the first revision for the Maguire proposal in Ithaca town. With different building sizes and parking layouts, about the only thing that remains the same is the general site configuration.

The planning committee packet has its retinue of numbers to help sell the town on the project: 50 new jobs and 100 transferred to the site (average wage $44,300), with an extra $2,000,000 in taxes for the town.

The town is being cautious about the project because it relocates a proposed park (Saponi Meadows), and the project doesn’t fit with the just-completed Comprehensive Plan.

Zoning would need to be amended, and the trail to Tutelo Park would hinge on a land donation to the town that also seems to involve them taking responsibility for the roads on Ithaca Beer’s property. Observant readers will recall Ithaca Beer is undergoing an expansion of its own.

From SW to NE, you have the Subaru/Hyundai dealership, the Fiat/Alfa Romeo/Maserati dealership (those wealthier Cornellians need to get their GranTurismos and Ghiblis serviced somewhere), the corporate HQ and the Nissan dealership. The dealerships themselves will follow carmaker-approved design language, as the examples included in the packet suggest. Two lots on either side of the corporate office are tagged for future development, and an Audi/Porsche/Jaguar dealership is included in the dealership renderings, but not in the site plan. The project would be LEED certified, have electric car stations, walking trails, a loop road, and a coffee bar/cafe.

Unique to the project would be apple and cherry orchards and vineyards – I suppose this is where the “artisanal” moniker comes in. We’ll see how warm the town is to the project after the presentation.

From Maguire’s submission to the town of Ithaca.

Planning board meeting

Compared to much of this year, this month’s Ithaca city planning board meeting looks to be rather quiet. Agenda with all the attachments here.

INHS will be giving a description of their “visioning process” for the Neighborhood Pride site, which probably means a rundown of how they’re going to come up with the design (the goal is to present a sketch plan of the project in March or April). The 114 Catherine and 128 West Falls Street infill projects are in the last stages of review, some discussion of the environmental assessment form is scheduled for the Canopy Hotel, and Purity is still trying to amend its previously approved plan. Also in the itinerary, formal review will begin of the 3,400 sq ft DiBella’s planned for big box land. In terms of sketch plans, there’s a review for a new children’s garden at Cass Park, and a pair of duplexes (4 units total) for what is currently a parking lot at 112 Blair Street, behind the houses on the embedded map. 112 Blair is zoned CR-2, meaning parking, vegetative buffers, and hipped roofs are required. It needs to be 2-3 stories and permits a max of 35% lot coverage (it’s a 6,390 sq ft lot, so about 2235-3353 sq ft per duplex, 1117-1676 sq ft per unit). Infill is always welcome, though hopefully they aren’t as plain as their State Street neighbors built a few years ago. News next week will likely be lacking due to the holiday, so the next development roundup will probably be in December.


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Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.