The Stone Quarry Apartments, which drew passionate opposition, are now completed and residents have moved in.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Before the project was approved, Ithaca Common Council member George McGonigal tried stopping the Stone Quarry Apartment complex.

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Now that it’s been built and has opened its doors, however, McGonigal stressed the importance of bridging the gap between the new residents and the buildings’ neighbors, many of whom passionately opposed the project.

“I would like to welcome the new residents of the First Ward to their new homes,” McGonigal said at a Common Council meeting on Wednesday night. “(Common Council member) Cynthia (Brock) and I are eager to meet them … I’ll be going door-to-door soon.”

The Stone Quarry Apartments, which drew passionate opposition, are now completed and residents have moved in.

“I urge them to meet their neighbors across the street and up and down the street. They’re very friendly, good people … I encourage the people who live in the Stone Quarry neighborhood to meet their new neighbors.”

See related: Opinion: Why I have stood against Ithaca’s Stone Quarry project

McGonigal said that he hopes a barbecue or some sort of street party can be organized to have the neighbors and new residents meet and get to know each other.

McGonigal and Brock were part of a big effort to derail the project, but McGongial suggested at City Hall Wednesday night that the community should be unified in the days and months ahead.

“This is the way things are now,” he said. “And we should go forward together.”

McGonigal also noted that he hopes the city can work toward improving a “horrible section” of the street with “two very dangerous intersections.” (Several of the project’s foes have long contended that it creates dangerous intersections for city residents.)

Brock also spoke of the importance of bringing the community together — expressing optimism that residents could get to know each other through a joint effort to improve traffic safety in the area.

“We’re looking forward this fall, hopefully, to review new design opportunities for the sidewalk connection between Stone Quarry and South Meadow Street extension,” she said. “So we have the opportunities for the community to meet each other take a look at the proposals and see some infrastructure improvements.”

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Jeff Stein

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