ITHACA, N.Y.—The Library Place project’s construction been a long and rather taxing process for both the developer, the city of Ithaca and residents of Fall Creek. But finally, the gears of progress are turning once again. According to developer Frost Travis of Travis Hyde Properties, the project will be resuming construction on June 30th.

The mixed-use redevelopment for the Old Library site at 310-314 North Cayuga Street has been halted since the state paused construction to rein in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March 2020. When the restrictions were lifted, the project did not resume construction, which Travis attributed to losing his place in the project queue of the contractors tasked with building out the 66-unit senior housing project with ground-level amenity space and retail.

Travis had stated back in September that the project had an 80 percent chance of resuming construction in December, which as any meteorologist with a busted forecast can tell you, is not the same as 100 percent. December came, and went, and construction did not resume at the site, and queries into the delay had not received a response.

“We are, finally, next in line to resume constructing this much desired city living option for active adults,” said Frost Travis in a provided statement. “The good news is that the unavoidable delays due to the COVID-19 construction pause allowed us to make slight redesigns in the ground floor amenity spaces to accommodate exciting increases in the services available for residents.”

A follow-up request for further comment was not answered. Travis’s company stands to gain from the sale of a parking lot on the 400 Block of East State Street to McKinley Development for their Gateway apartment project—McKinley has said that land and acquisition costs are about $12,115,000, although the amount that Travis Hyde Properties would receive is unknown. It could, however, help cover the costs of soaring construction material prices and give leverage in a tight construction labor market (it’s easier to hire contractors and their crews when you can pay more).

The revised construction schedule calls for completion by the end of October 2022. LeChase Construction of Rochester remains the general contractor managing the build-out. Travis says the project has a substantial waiting list of senior renters seeking to occupy one of the new units when they come online next year.

“We know our future residents are eager to see this project move forward so they can begin making the most of the easy-living convenience, walkable freedom, and vibrant social life that Library Place will enable them to enjoy. Everything is in place to proceed, and our partners are 100% committed to delivering a cornerstone in downtown Ithaca that is even better than what we promised,” said project co-developer Elizabeth Classen Ambrose. “Excitement is an understatement to describe our feeling to getting this back on track, it will be a transformative project.”

Brian Crandall

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