ITHACA, N.Y.—With most of the prime development sites in Collegetown developed or slated to be developed in the next few years, attention has turned to some of the second-tier site opportunities within the neighborhood, with midrise infill projects planned on Oak Avenue, Dryden Road, Linden Avenue, and now one for the southern end of College Avenue.

The plans were filed with the city last month by “110 C-Town LLC”, represented by local businessman Chris Petrillose of AdBro Development. Petrillose isn’t one of Ithaca’s higher-profile developers, but he has been active in the area with smaller rental developments, his most recent plans being an infill development at 325 Dryden Road with local developer/landlord Greg Mezey.

As the name of the LLC suggests, the project is slated for 108-110 College Avenue. Currently, 108 College is a six-bedroom apartment house valued at $380,000 by the county tax assessment office, and 110 College is an eight-bedroom house valued at $540,000. The properties were sold for $1.7 million each back in late March.

Now, onto the project itself. According to the Site Plan Review filing, the plan is to demolish the two existing apartment homes and replace with them a new four-story, 34-unit/54-bedroom apartment building. Dubbed “The William”, the project features a historically-inspired design by Ithaca architect Jason K. Demarest, who’s frequently the go-to guy locally for architecturally sensitive designs.

The project site is within a couple blocks of the Orchard Place Historic District, and practically a stone’s throw from its edge, so the aesthetics are likely to receive a higher degree of scrutiny than would otherwise. Demarest states “(t)he exterior appearance will be based on the traditional architecture in the surrounding neighborhood, which includes Victorian and Craftsman elements.” The filing notes exterior design work is still in progress, but early drawings show a mansard roof and balconies at the front and back.

Interior plans show a mix of fourteen studio and twenty two-bedroom units. The partially-excavated basement will host utilities and a tenant gym. The building will have a masonry base with wood framing on the upper levels, and serviced by both an elevator and stairwells.

A pair of zoning variances will be sought for the project, which falls into the CR-4 zone for Collegetown. One variance will be for rear yard setback, and the other for lot coverage. The rear year setback is required to be 15.9 feet, while the proposal has a setback of 9.7 feet, so the variance is 6’2″, or one Ben Affleck. CR-4 maximum lot coverage is 50%, while the proposed is 57.7%, or 55.6% without the balconies. CR-4 zoning does not require parking as long as a transportation demand management plan has been reviewed and approved by the city.

Estimated development costs are pegged at $4.275 million. Construction, or rather demolition/site prep, would begin in May 2023 as the last tenants move out of the existing houses, and the new structure would be completed by Summer 2024.

Brian Crandall

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