ITHACA, NY – The next project intended for the hotly debated Trebloc site, also called the State Street Triangle, is gearing up for the approvals process.

Back in January, the previous project slated for the site was rather abruptly canceled. Prior to that, it had been the subject of a great deal of criticism. Starting out as an 11-story building focused on student housing, it was criticized by some for “not looking like Ithaca” and took a big hit when Mayor Svante Myrick said he wouldn’t vote for a tax abatement for the project.

Meanwhile, local business leaders such as Gary Ferguson of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and Jennifer Tavares of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce supported the project.

After several redesigns, the project was knocked down to a nine-story structure with substantially less focus on students. Almost immediately after the last set of revisions came in, the project was canceled.

The fate of the site was uncertain, but given its prime location it seemed inevitable that another developer would have a go.

The new proposal: City Centre

The new project, to be known as City Centre, was announced in a press release on Wednesday. The current design calls for nine-story mixed-use project located at the Corner of East State Street and Aurora Street.

The project is being developed by Newman Development Group, a Vestal-based real estate firm, which also developed and owns 140 Seneca Way in downtown Ithaca, a mixed‐use project that opened in 2014.

The first floor will be home to about 10,000 square feet of commercial, retail space, with an under-building parking garage.

Above those will be eight floors of market-rate one-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments. Early estimates put the number of units at around 250.

The street level space is designed to include restaurant and café space with open‐air seating along the radius facing The Commons, plus additional outdoor café‐style seating continuing along East State/Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

Amenities will include a roof terrace overlooking The Commons, a private courtyard facing Six Mile Creek and a large community lounge with a full kitchen, where residents can host an event or gather with friends. Other features include a state‐of‐the‐art fitness center, multi‐media room, business center, secure bike storage, and additional tenant storage.

According to the press release, construction is expected to start in early 2017 with opening set for late summer 2018.

“This is the right project, in the right place at the right time,” said Scott Whitham of Whitham Design in the press release. “The design, scale and function of the building all fit well within the context of all the other impressive projects being built or planned in this vital core city district.”

Whitham has been involved with the planning for this project, and had also worked on the previous proposal for the site.

“We understand this is an extremely important site in the city,” said Marc Newman of Newman Development Group in the press release. “And we’re committed to delivering an exceptional project the city can be proud of and we believe that City Centre will achieve that.”

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.