ITHACA, N.Y. — The Printing Press Lounge, proposed to open just east of the Commons, has been indefinitely postponed.

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“The bar and lounge are not moving forward, but the office space and the apartment are still planned,” said businessman Ben Rosenblum, who had first proposed the project last summer.

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The project, which called for reuse of an older industrial warehouse at 416-418 East State Street, ran into significant opposition from neighbors concerned about noise, traffic, and impacts to property values.

According to city documents, the plan was for a 1400 SF jazz lounge in the interior of the building away from neighboring homes on Schuyler Place and East Seneca Street.

The rest of the first floor is planned to be office space, with a two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of the original 19th century house on the property. Parking for the lounge was to be in a shared lot with the Argos Inn to the west of the renovated property.

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The warehouse was built in the early 1950s by Roy H. Park, who co-created the Duncan Hines line of cake mixes. The facility was later used as a printing facility in the later 1950s and 1960s.

Plans for the jazz lounge called for an “industrial aesthetic from the 1940s and 1950s” and a “speakeasy warehouse” feel. However, while some neighbors were fine with this, concerns had been expressed about what could happen if the bar were retooled to other, potentially louder formats.

Even without the contentious lounge, the project will still need zoning variances from the city Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). “We will still need to go forward to the zoning board,” Rosenblum stated. “[But] the lounge is not moving forward. That’s about all I can say for now.”

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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.