ITHACA, N.Y. — In a deed filed with Tompkins County yesterday, a large plot of vacant West Hill land was sold to the family of a local developer, though future plans are not yet clear.

The parcel is the Kaderli Trade Inc. property south of Mecklenburg Road (Route 79), just past the city-town line near Warren Place. Kaderli Trade, a Panamanian business with Swiss ownership, had owned the 68.5-acre property since 1977. On Thursday, the sale of the land was finalized to the Rancich Family Limited Partnership, the legal entity representing local businessman and land developer John Rancich. The sale price of $360,000 was modest higher than the county’s assessment of $320,000.

Rancich has recently been involved in a pair of projects, neither of which moved into construction stage. He initially proposed the Black Oak Wind Farm in Enfield back in the 2000s, and Rancich also proposed Carrowmoor, a mixed-use project that would have had retail space, office space and up to 400 units in clustered housing on a 158-acre parcel just northwest of Kaderli’s parcel. First proposed in 2008, the motif for Carrowmoor was a traditional English village. Buildings would have had aesthetic half-timbers and gable roofs. The development would have used alternative energy sources and been priced mid-market for a combination of rental and for-sale units. However, Carrowmoor never moved beyond the drawing board. It began the process to produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), but the EIS was not completed, according to town planner Chris Balestra.

Given its proximity to established housing and utilities, the location has been one that the town of Ithaca has noted for its possibility to be developed. Existing zoning is Medium Density Residential, which legally permits just under 3 units/acre, with potentially greater density if a Planned Development Zone is pursued by the developer and approved by the town. The 2014 Comprehensive Plan plans traditional/new urban design medium density, averaging 5-8 units/acre by the town’s count. It’s close enough to the municipal water that new pump stations and tanks may not necessarily be needed.

The long story short is that, given the buyer and the location, there is a possibility this sale may lead to a trip to the town planning board in the future, but there’s nothing concrete at this time. A phone call to Rancich was not returned before publication. Should news of something break, expect a follow-up.

Brian Crandall

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