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ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell University, the City of Ithaca and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance today announced that the University will open a Cornell Store on The Ithaca Commons later this spring. The announcement was made earlier today as part of a Cornell University-sponsored regional conference on town-gown economic development held at Coltivare in downtown Ithaca.

The store will be located at 102 East State Street, on the west end of The Commons, and feature 1,700 square feet of retail space which will remain subject to property taxes.  No local retailers currently offer a complete collection of Cornell insignia merchandise in the downtown area.

“We are pleased about this win-win project for both community and campus. The Commons is a world-class destination, and a visible Cornell presence will enhance both downtown and our local economy,” said City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. “Initiatives like the growing higher-ed business incubator Rev and Seneca Place on the Commons – which houses hundreds of Cornell employees – also represent the progressive, collaborative planning that’s essential for Ithaca and the University going forward,”

“A successful downtown Ithaca is essential to the success of Cornell, just as a well-functioning University benefits the City and Tompkins County,” said Cornell University Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina. “We cherish this community where thousands of our students, staff, and faculty live, volunteer, and do business. The Cornell Store will be a great addition for The Commons, and those who visit downtown from near and far. It’s a great day.”

“Across the country, there are excellent examples of universities who have used their campus stores as economic development engines and stimuli for downtown retail growth, such as in Madison or Lowell,” said Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) Executive Director Gary Ferguson. “The opening of a Cornell campus store in downtown Ithaca at this strategic location will be a great boost for downtown retailing and should send a strong signal to others that downtown is an important retail marketplace for our community. We are grateful to Cornell for this commitment to our community.”

“I salute my colleagues led by Pat Wynn of Cornell Auxiliary Services and Fred Piccirilli from the Cornell Store who made this possible,” said Ryan Lombardi, Cornell Vice President for Student and Campus Life. “We are fortunate to have leaders on campus and in the community, with the vision and a collaborative spirit that benefit everyone. This is solid town-gown work on all fronts.”

“The City of Ithaca has long hoped for a Cornell Store in our downtown, and soon after celebrating the completion of the newly designed Commons, I reached out to Cornell staff,” said Philly DeSarno, City of Ithaca Director of Economic Development. “They met with us and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and here we are today. The location, 102 The Commons, is the right store location. The Cornell Store will add a whole new dimension to our downtown.”

The Cornell Store on The Commons will create several new full-time and part-time jobs in the local community, and be subject to Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT,) as is the Store’s Shops at the Ithaca Mall location.

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Jolene Almendarez

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