ITHACA, NY – The city still hasn’t technically made a decision on the contested apartment project originally intended for 201 College Avenue in Collegetown, but the groundwork is being laid for another project by the same developer.

The structure that currently sits at 201 College Avenue is being demolished. Developer Todd Fox of Visum Development group, who had put the property up for sale a month ago, says that his company is planning to move forward with construction in some form. Demolition would be a necessary expense even if the original five-story project doesn’t come to pass.

Fox said in an email that aside from that, it appeared that someone had been squatting in the old apartment building, which presented safety and liability issues for the developer.

The new idea for the project will incorporate the property at 201 College Avenue as well as the parcel at 202 Linden Avenue into a “row house” style that stretches across most of the length of Bool Street, according to Fox. The new proposal maintains the 70 foot height of the original project on the College Avenue parcel, while the part on Linden Avenue will be 45 feet high.

CORRECTION: The article originally stated that building would be lower in height than the original proposal. The part of the project that is on 201 College Avenue will still be 70 feet, while the part on Linden Avenue will be 45 feet.

“It’s frustrating because we would be starting the entire planning process all over again,” Fox said. “Though given the circumstances, this seems like our most viable option.”

College Avenue, Linden Avenue and Bool Street. (Google Maps)
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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.