Ithaca, N.Y. — As previously reported, the Canopy by Hilton chain is building a $19 million, 7-story hotel in downtown Ithaca at 320-324 East State Street.

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On Wednesday night, representatives of the hotel will be appearing at Ithaca’s Planning and Economic Development Committee. The project is planning to buy from the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency two parcels of property on which to construct the hotel.

See related: Hilton applying for tax break for 7-story, $20 million hotel in downtown Ithaca

The 74,475 sq ft project is expecting to start construction during the spring, with completion in Spring 2016. Local firm Whitham Planning and Design is involved.

Documents detailing the purchase shed some new insight about the coming hotel project.

Here’s what we’ve learned from the documents:

1 — Living wage for at least 16 employees

Hilton says the hotel will create and maintain at least 16 full-time employment positions at a “living wage,” according to the documents.

The criteria for “living wage” is that defined by the AFCU (currently $12.62/hour including employer paid health insurance benefits), “and as such ‘living wage’ changes from time to time.

In addition, every employee in the housekeeping department will be paid at least 120 percent of the state’s minimum wage, according to the city records.

2 — Some wiggle room

As part of its bid for the IURA land, the project promises to create at least 33 full-time jobs. There is, however, room for an exception:

“Purchaser may apply to Seller for a modification to the number of FTE jobs to be created, the number of full‐time living wage jobs to be created and the job training requirements based on demonstrated economic hardship.”

The required minimum wages for housekeeping staff is not subject to this demonstration of economic hardship, the records say.

3 — Purchaser, price

The parcels that are currently parking lots will be sold by the IURA for $1,800,000, according to city records. The “purchaser” is listed in records as the “Lighthouse LLC.”

Records also say that the term of the loan is 255 months and that the interest rate is, as of March 5, 3.15 percent.

4 — Job training component

The hotel will also serve as a job training site for participants in the Hospitality Employment Training Program (HETP), according to city records.

That will be the case at least for the first 5 years of operation of the hotel. “Such training opportunity shall require no out‐of‐pocket expense to be paid by the hotel,” the records say.

5 — Planning board prohibitions

Though the project is moving forward, it has been prohibited from using at least two materials on its exterior building facade by the Planning & Development Board:

1) EIFS, such as “Dryvit” or other stucco‐like finishes.

2) Concrete masonry units, including split face cement block.


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Jeff Stein

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