Ithaca, N.Y. — Downtown Ithaca could be in for a very large addition in the next couple of years, if developer Campus Advantage has its way.

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The Texas-based developer is planning an 11-story addition to downtown on the Trebloc Building property at 301 east State Street. The building would reach the maximum of the 120-foot zoning allows on the property, and fill up nearly the whole plot of land bounded by East State, South Aurora and East Green Streets.

Here are some proposed renderings:

In the initial sketch plan presented Tuesday night, local architect Scott Whitham, a consultant for the project, showed floor plans for retail on the first floor of the proposed tower, with apartments on the floors above.

The retail section includes five general retail spaces and one restaurant space, with sizes ranging from 1,800-2,300 sq ft each. Space for a fitness center and apartment amenities were also included on the first floor.

Upper floors look out into an interior courtyard on the second floor, and contain a variety of 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 4 bedroom units. Each floor would contain about 23 units per floor with 60 bedrooms. Over ten floors, that means that the State Street Triangle building would add 230 units of student-oriented apartments, with 600 bedrooms.

For perspective’s sake, that would make it one of the most populated buildings in the city. Cornell’s largest dorm, Clara Dickson Hall, tops out at around 460 students. The Towers of Ithaca College hold about 300 students each. Collegetown Terrace has the only private buildings that comes close to having this many people in one building.

There is no parking on the site. The city’s Central Business District (CBD) zoning does not require it. The CBD zoning allows for nearly full lot coverage as well. The CBD zoning is used only for what planners and officials want to be the densest downtown locations, where parking garages and mass transit are in easy access.

This skyline-altering project stands to have a very large impact on downtown and the city in general. It would be the first student-focused development in the downtown Ithaca area, and 600 students is certainly quite the addition. The project stands to capitalize on both Cornell students and Ithaca College students, since the project is within commuting distance of both schools.

There’s much to be debated and sorted out moving forward. More detailed site plans and features are expected to be delivered to the city sometime in May. This summer will be a very exciting one for the Ithaca Planning Board.


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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.