Photo by Brian Crandall

ITHACA, N.Y. — There’s a lot of construction happening in Tompkins County — from apartments in Collegetown to a new hotel on Elmira Road to a multi-million dollar lakeside mansions in Ulysses.

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Ithacating writer Brian Crandall gives a blow by blow update on the latest project below:

Collegetown Terrace Construction

Being a 247-unit, 344-bed project means a lot of earth has to be moved before anything starts to rise from the ground. As a result, the project is undergoing the necessary if not exactly glamorous step of excavation for Building 7.

All three phases combined have an estimated construction cost in the range of $70 million.

The impression I’m getting from here is that when the time comes, foundation forming and pouring will begin from the west side and slowly make its way east, and so the west side of the curvaceous apartment building will be further along the east side at a given time during construction (similar to how it played out with Buildings 5 and 6 during the previous phase).

Local development company Novarr-Mackesey plans to have the apartment building ready for tenants by August 2017.


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Holiday Inn Express Construction

Nothing too exciting underway yet at the Holiday Inn Express at 371 Elmira Road, but the site is being cleared and prepped for construction.

The site combined two tax parcels, one of which held a 7,556 SF 1970s office building, and the other a 960 SF engine repair shop, both have which have been demolished to make way for the new 11,769 SF, 79-room hotel.

Eventually, a retaining wall will be built on the back end (east side) of the parcel, to hold back the slope soil from what will be the hotel’s parking lot. A staircase and sidewalk will connect Spencer Road to the parking lot and Elmira Road.

For those who aren’t especially big fans of chain hotels and corporate architecture, this one appears to have a relatively unique design, while following the standard materials and color scheme (called “Formula Blue“) for new Holiday Inn Expresses. Standard for the HI Express line, the hotel’s lobby will serve as a “great room”, there will be free high-speed internet, and while there will not be any full-service dining, a breakfast bar will be included.

Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels (Jayesh Patel) of suburban Buffalo is the developer, while Silvestri Architects and Optima Design & Engineering, also of Buffalo, are in charge of design.

The project is being financed with a $5.98 million loan from S&T Bank, a regional bank in Western Pennsylvania. The project required a little bit of time to obtain financing, having received approval in March 2014, but now receiving the construction loan until this past October. Another Rudra/Rosewood project just up the road at 339 Elmira Road was not so lucky.

A Summer 2016 opening is planned.

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1325 Taughannock Boulevard Construction

Quick progress report on the multimillion-dollar lakeside manse going up at 1325 Taughannock Boulevard in the town of Ulysses.

Since November, most of the roof has been shingled or finished with metal panels, and the newly-completed hand-laid stone chimney looks nice.

The Green Guard Raindrop 3D housewrap is still showing in most places, but you can see wood siding on the side of the garage in the first shot, and what looks like wood shingles on the second-floor bump-out in the second photo. From the rendering shown at the project site and from Farmington-based New Energy Works’ website, it looks like many of their design use a combination of shingles and lap siding, which gives some visual interest to go along with the warm look of fresh wood. The housewrap has been furred out to prevent dampness and to attach the wood siding.

The construction loan paperwork says this project will be finished no later than the end of May, but it will likely be a little sooner than that. As I finishing up taking photos, a gentleman in a Honda pulled over to drop off some paperwork (before I asked if he was the future homeowner, I felt my face burning because I was worried it might be the owner asking who the heck was taking photos of his house), and he thought it was due to be finished by the start of May.

Photo by Brian Crandall

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Brian Crandall

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