ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins Financial Corporation will be starting construction of their new downtown office in the coming weeks.

According to an email that went out to staff Friday, the bank has signed on Rochester’s LeChase Construction Services to serve as general contractor for the $26.5 million dollar project.

In the short term, work will begin on the new 985 square foot Drive-in teller’s office, to be located on a ground-floor parking lot under the bank’s existing office building at 119 East Seneca Street. Site preparation for the new headquarters, including demolition of the existing branch at 118 East Seneca Street, is expected to take place later in June. Fencing has already been put up along parts of the site perimeter.

The 7-story, 110,000 square-foot building was first proposed in March 2015, and approved by the city planning board last winter. The building will be entirely occupied by the bank, consolidating several office locations throughout the county to one centralized site in downtown Ithaca. The current plan is to occupy the new building by March 15, 2018.

Tracing it roots back to the founding of the Tompkins County Bank in 1836, Tompkins Financial Corporation is the parent company of the Tompkins Trust Company, as well as a few smaller banks (Bank of Castile, Mahopac Bank, VIST Bank), for a total of 67 branches in New York and Pennsylvania. The company is also home to Tompkins Financial Advisors and Tompkins Insurance Agencies.

For LeChase, this is yet another project in their Ithaca portfolio. Although the company is based out of Rochester, they also have a regional office in Ithaca. Recent construction projects the company has managed include the Carey Building addition, the Dryden South apartment project in Collegetown, and the new Planned Parenthood Building on West Seneca Street.

Ithaca firms HOLT Architects and Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects are responsible for the design of the project.

Brian Crandall

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