4 major updates on Ithaca area development news, courtesy of Brian Crandall, who runs the blog “Ithacating in Cornell Heights.”

Ithaca Is Bluegrass Jan. 23-25

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1 — Construction coming soon on Canopy Hotel in Ithaca

We’re learning more about a new hotel slated for downtown Ithaca, a Hilton brand called “canopy Hotel.”

The 74,500 sq ft hotel includes a small restaurant space of 2,000 sq ft on the first floor, as well as standard hotel amenities like a small meeting room and a gym. The $19 million project hopes to start construction this spring.

I think we’re up to version 7 now, but the differences in the proposed “canopy Hotel” are now so subtle that you’d have to be looking hard to spot the changes. The entrance facade is virtually the same, but the mechanical penthouse has been updated to better blend in the rest of the structure, and a couple of stylized wall inserts have been planted into the northwest wall to give the 7-story, 123-room hotel a little visual interest.

More renders here, a geotechnical report here, a new cover letter here, and traffic study materials here and here. Thank goodness a lot of this work has gone paperless.

According to the documents, the new “canopy Hotel” brand by Hilton:

“…is marketed towards the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s), however, is relevant for the older generation of hotel guests. Each canopy Hotel is designed to incorporate the essence of its local surroundings and neighborhood feel; such as offering a local welcome gift and evening tastings of local food, beers, wines, and spirits to providing local fitness and recreation options in terms of jogging and bicycle routes (bicycles will be available for rent).”

Yes, ‘canopy’ is meant to be lower-case and ‘Hotel’ is capitalized. I’m sure the brand creators thought that was hip and edgy. Yet another reason why I would never be a good marketer.

Here are a series of images from the project:


2 — Upcoming INHS meeting

Token PSA: The third meeting for INHS’s Hancock Street/Neighborhood Pride redevelopment is next Wednesday, the 21st, 4:40-7:30.

Attendees are not required to be there for the entire time. The goal of meeting three is to discuss design concepts for the proposed buildings that comprise the two remaining/competing site plans. I look forward to writing a follow-up after the meeting.

3 — Preliminary unit sizes posted for Ithaca lofts

The Lofts @ Six Mile Creek project has posted preliminary unit sizes and floor plans ontheir facebook page. The “Studio +” and “1 Bed +” indicate bonus rooms inside the unit (suitable for another bedroom, home office, etc.).

No word on rents just yet, but being new and downtown, expect an upmarket price for the 45 apartments due to enter the market late this spring. Their webpage notes they’ll be accepting reservations sometime prior to that.

4 — Look at upcoming planning board meeting

Looking ahead, here’s what the city Planning and Development Board seeks to do at its meeting later this month. For the canopy Hotel mentioned above, declaration of environmental significance and possible preliminary approval. INHS’s 402 S. Cayuga Street townhomes and the 6-unit 707 E. Seneca apartment project will be up for environmental review and recommendation to the zoning board for variances.

The Planning Board will also declare itself lead agency for reviewing Cornell’s Upson Hall renovations, the 3 duplexes at 804 E. State Street (112 Blair).

Board members will also consider approving a telecommuncations (cellphone) tower on top of a gas station at 214 N. Meadow Street, and weigh in on parking-related variances for 128 West Falls Street and 108-110 Eddy Street.

It’s an interesting mix this month.


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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.