Updated story Wednesday morning — 

ITHACA, N.Y. — Renders released this morning by the city of Ithaca show what Cornell’s new Executive Education Center in Collegetown will look like.

The building, referred to as “209-215 Dryden Road” in the sketch plan, would be developed by local businessman John Novarr.

The plan calls for classrooms and meeting/common space on the first three floors, and office space for the Johnson School on the upper three floors. A multi-story interior atrium would face Dryden Road. No residential space is included within the building.

Novarr unveiled a sketch plan for the site Tuesday evening. He is looking to build the six-story building at the site of the former Royal Palms Tavern on Dryden Road, planning board member McKenzie Jones Rounds confirmed late Tuesday night.

The new building would be in stark contrast to much of the recent Collegetown construction, which has largely been student-oriented apartment buildings. The building is planned for a construction start this fall.

“Several members of the planning board were relieved when it was noted early in the description of the project that Cornell would pay taxes for this building,” Jones Rounds said.

Two other Novarr properties will not be developed at this time. The corner of Dryden Road and College Avenue (325 College Avenue) is not a part of this project, while 238 and 240 Linden Avenue appear to be part of a potential later phase.

Asymmetrical vertical bands of glass will define much of the building’s exterior. The lowest floor would be faced entirely with transparent glass. Two viewing corridors built into the building’s front facade would allow for views up and down Dryden Road.

ikon.5 architects of Princeton, New Jersey is the project’s architect. ikon.5 also designed Novarr’s Collegetown Terrace project.

EARLIER —

ITHACA, N.Y. — A local developer is seeking approval of a six-story building for Cornell’s MBA program in Ithaca’s Collegetown, according to a city official.

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Developer John Novarr unveiled a sketch plan for the site Tuesday evening. He is looking to build the six-story building at the site of the former Royal Palms Tavern on Dryden Road, planning board member McKenzie Jones Rounds confirmed late Tuesday night.

The new building would be in stark contrast to much of the recent Collegetown construction, which has largely been student-oriented apartment buildings. The building is planned for a construction start this fall.

“Several members of the planning board were relieved when it was noted early in the description of the project that Cornell would pay taxes for this building,” Jones Rounds said.

Update Wednesday morning with following renderings:

See related: 5 Ithaca buildings demolished; Sites’ future unclear

Novarr demolished the Royal Palm Tavern and four buildings on Dryden Road and Linden Avenue last month in preparation for a then-undisclosed new building project. (Many of the details about the project still remained unclear late Tuesday night, but we’ll be updating this story on Wednesday.)

Former site of the Royal Palms

An MBA, or Master’s of Business Administration, is a graduate degree designed for those seeking advancement in the business world (CEOs, Directors, vice-presidents and the like). Executive MBAs are structured different from traditional MBAs in that student still work while attending classes on the weekends.

Cornell’s MBA program is housed in Sage Hall on the university’s central campus, but the Executive MBA program is located in Palisades, New York, 12 miles north of New York City, because of the nature of its weekend class structure. Students travel up to Ithaca for four one-week sessions over the course of their education.

The education center Participants in the Executive MBA program are housed in the Statler Hotel during their time on Cornell Campus. The tuition for the program is $163,940, there are 70-75 enrollees per class, and the average student age is 36.


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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.