Jeff Stein/Ithaca Voice

ITHACA, N.Y. — A popular corner building in downtown Ithaca has been sold to local developers with an eye toward redevelopment.

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201-07 North Aurora Street sold for $850,000, according to deed documents filed on July 1. The building is known for housing the downtown location of Collegetown Bagels, as well as Comics for Collectors.

The buyer, “East Seneca Flats LLC”, used an address associated with local development company Modern Living Rentals (MLR). Headed by developers Todd Fox and Charlie O’Connor, MLR is currently involved with the construction of a 6-unit apartment building at 707 East Seneca Street, and solar-powered townhouses in the hamlet of Varna.

According to the book Ithaca and Its Past by Daniel Snodderly, the two-story building at 201-07 North Aurora was built around 1901. County records identify the building as having office space on its second floor.

In response to an inquiry from the Voice, Fox emailed the following press release:

“The property was acquired in June, 2015 by East Seneca Flats, LLC which is comprised of 3 members – Todd Fox, Bryan Warren and Charlie O’Connor.

There are no immediate plans for the property as it was acquired as an investment.  The new owners are interested in opening discussions with an architect as well as The City of Ithaca to come up with a plan for the future of the site.

Bryan Warren currently owns the property immediately bordering the parcel to the east (308 East Seneca Street) which could potentially be included in any future redevelopment of the site.

This corner is a great opportunity to enhance the beauty of downtown Ithaca and the owners are prepared to put much time and thought into how this corner can best be utilized.  Having the Seneca Street Parking Garage immediately across the street gives the site the advantage to have good accessible parking for any future uses.”

Bryan Warren, the third partner in the LLC and president of Warren Real Estate, was a lead investor in the 38-unit Seneca Way apartment building that opened a block away early last year. His property at 308 East Seneca Street is a three-story, ca. 1910 building presently home to Standard Art & Supply.

Jeff Stein/Ithaca Voice

The building appears to offer a number of opportunities – city zoning is CBD-60, allowing for a 60-foot tall building with no on-site parking required. 201-07 North Aurora is not a part of downtown’s historic district.

Examples of site reuse could involve turning the office portion into apartments or condos, keeping the original building but building additional floors above, or deconstruction/demolition for an all-new building. The latter two possibilities would require planning board approval.

With no firm plans but plenty of interest, it will be a property to keep an eye on in the coming months.

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.