Ithaca, N.Y. — The Tompkins Trust Company is proposing to build a major new seven-story headquarters in downtown Ithaca next to the Dewitt Mall on Seneca Street, according city officials.

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The banking firm aims to construct the 100-foot building in what is currently a parking lot and drive-in for the bank, about a block north from the Commons, said Lisa Nicholas, senior planner for the city of Ithaca.

“It’s a major addition,” Nicholas said. “I think everyone’s thrilled.”

The plan was brought up at last night’s meeting of Ithaca’s Planning and Development Board.

Mayor Svante Myrick heralded the news as a “tremendous coup” for downtown.

“Tompkins Trust Company’s decision in the heart of our city and to keep their 400 employees here is a tremendous coup for downtown,” he said.

Here’s where the new 7-story building will go, with the Dewitt Mall on one side and the Hilton on the other:

Here are some of the plans presented to the city, courtesy of city officials:

Nicholas said that Tompkins Trust Company officials say that the company has grown recently and has been looking to consolidate its operations under one roof.

“They want to bring everybody downtown,” she said.

Nicholas said there don’t appear to be any obstacles that can’t be overcome.

“It’s consistent with zoning so there’s no reason it shouldn’t get approval,” she said.

Like Myrick, she praised the decision of the Tompkins Trust Company to keep — and expand — its presence in downtown Ithaca.

“It would be easier for them in some ways to move out to Lansing, or a suburban building in a sea of parking, but they have a commitment to downtown,” she said.

“They are proud of this community and they’re committed to downtown, so we’re thrilled to see them do this project.”

There’s not a lot of information yet about what the building will look like, Nicholas said. More information is expected to be released in the coming months.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.