Editor’s Note: The column below was written by David Makar, Director of Marketing at Ithaca based company Rosie. To submit a guest column, contact me at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Three short months ago I started a job at a company located on The Ithaca Commons.

In my nearly 11 years of living in Tompkins County it was the first time I worked in downtown Ithaca. The Ithaca Commons was surrounded by fences. Jack hammer noise rang through the streets (and sometimes the buildings).

The end of the commons project was coming, but it just couldn’t get to here fast enough. There were many complaints both public (including printed in this publication) and private. Every day for the last three months I worked my way through it all.

On July 31, the major renovations to the commons were completed. There is a bit more work to do and a big celebration is planned for late August to really welcome everyone back. I’m writing today to tell you not to wait. The commons is ready for you – very ready.

In the last three months I’ve had lunches at Viva, Red’s Place, Sahara, CTB, Asia Cuisine, Sammy’s, Commons Cafe, the Matte Factor, Gorgers, and Dewitt Cafe. I’ve had countless coffees at The Shop, at CTB, at Sarah’s Patisserie, at Waffle Frolic, at Ithaca Coffee Company, and at Press Cafe.

I’ve bought the perfect thank you card from Mockingbird Paperie. I’ve had my iPhone repaired by iDevice Ithaca. I bought books as gifts at Autumn Leaves. I bought new (used) jeans at Trader K’s. I bought beautiful signs for the Rosie office from T-Shirt Express. I bought potato chips at GreenStar (Oasis). I used my Alternatives debit card to buy beer at Ithaca Coffee Company at Gateway Commons. I invited Gary from the Downtown Ithaca Alliance to speak at the Rosie ribbon cutting. I chatted with the mayor. I watched contra dancers.

I saw a documentary at Cinemapolis about plastic microbeads. I talked to Steve, my financial advisor at the Prybyl-Farr Group. I ate chocolate from Life’s So Sweet Chocolates. I mailed letters at our downtown post office. I bought cookie cutters from Now You’re Cooking. I bought some beautiful gifts from Kristina at Amuse: Modern Cottage Industry. I mailed a package to Nevada with the help of Joanne at the Pack n’ Ship Store. I built robot toys with my daughter Natasha at Ithaca Generator. I spent hours getting mentored by the experts at The Rev. I bought fresh popped popcorn from the Commons Market. I bought parking passes to park in the garages. I spent ithacash.

The Ithaca Commons is alive. It is hyper local. Your neighbors own and operate the businesses here. They’ve been patiently waiting for you. I encourage you to not wait until the grand opening celebration later this month. Come on down. We’re all ready to welcome you today.

David Makar is a resident of the Town of Dryden and the Director of Marketing at Ithaca based Rosie. The industry leading online grocery shopping platform for mobile and web, Rosie launched in July 2013 and today enables customers to shop online from their favorite local stores for same-day delivery or in-store pickup. Rosie partners with local retailers (including P&C Fresh in Ithaca and Trumansburg ShurSave) and their wholesalers to provide e-commerce, delivery opportunities, omni-channel marketing and deep data services.

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.