ITHACA, N.Y. — In a special feature, The Ithaca Voice is publishing opinion pieces from the four development teams behind each proposal to redevelop the Green Street Garage in Ithaca. Whichever design team is selected will have an opportunity make a large impact on Downtown Ithaca’s landscape.
After having their qualifications approved by the end of May, four competing groups went forward to design plans for how they would redevelop the Green Street Garage.
According to its Request for Proposals, the city was looking housing units designed to appeal to a diverse demographic, including a substantial number of units for affordable to low and/or middle-income households. The city is also looking for street-level active uses along Green Street, the retention of Cinemapolis and the public walkway between Green Street and the Commons, at least 450 parking spaces open to the public and a conference center.
The project teams each submitted their own opinion pieces, which detail their visions and the benefits of their designs. There are four opinion pieces, all available below.
Ithaca-Peak Development — “Our proposal fully addresses the requirements of the City’s RFP and has been prepared with significant consultation with many City constituents. As a history of our efforts, we responded to the original RFP in February 2018 and were subsequently selected by the IURA’s Economic Development Committee by unanimous vote at their March 27, 2018 meeting.” Read more here.
“Little Commons” – Harold’s Holdings — “Ithaca is not a large city, and as such, every development decision needs to reflect the impact that it has on the greater good of the community and its future. The redevelopment of the Green Street Garage, by virtue of its prominent location in the urban core, presents a particularly important opportunity to act on principles of equity, sustainability, public space, and economic progress.” Read more here.
The Vecino Group — “Cities are made by the people who live in them. What happens, then, when only a certain type of person can afford to live in a city? That’s the big picture question facing Ithaca as a project and team are selected for the Green Street Garage Redevelopment.” Read more here.
Visum Development — “‘Are you 100% positive you can build what you’re going to propose?’ Those were the first words that a member of Ithaca Common Council said to me when I started thinking about pursuing the Green Street parking garage development. That member continued to tell me ‘…that eastern parking garage has less than 24 months before it deteriorates to the point where it will be completely unsafe, and the City would have a multi-million-dollar liability on their hands’. It was in that moment that I realized the complexity and critical nature of this development.” Read more here.