Ithaca Builds

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Former Neighborhood Pride Site Acquired by INHS

June 3, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

This story popped-up in the news last week, and it’s worth noting due to its size and location. The former Neighborhood Pride grocery store and the next door parcel containing Youth Advocates Inc. of Tompkins County will be sold to Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS) for $1.7 million. The total site is 90,530 square feet, zoned B-2a, so a re-development is zoned for mixed-uses (residential and commercial), with a maximum four-story (40 foot) build, and lot coverage of 50%, meaning that the full allowable space is over 200,000 square feet. I’m not sure of the condition of the current buildings, but they don’t seem suited for residential conversion, so I would bet that a full demo and full site redevelopment would make sense here. Given that the immediate area is Fall Creek, this will probably be the largest residential project done in the northern part of town since the Northside Developments were built in the 1950s, but there’s ample demand.

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  • soybeanstasher

    I’m so excited. Don’t get me wrong: I really wanted the supermarket to make it, since I live near there. But I was as guilty as everyone else of using that store as backup rather than for my primary shopping. Sadly, it was doomed from the start. High density housing is what the city needs more of, though. These flat open parking areas need to go away.

  • lexluthor666

    Good news. I hope the housing really is as high density as possible; Ithaca needs as much as it can get. The city should tweak the zoning to allow for more than 50% lot coverage to make that possible – otherwise, I don’t think the space will get used all that much more efficiently than the supermarket did. At the very least, the same amount of space should not be taken up with parking.

    Oh, and the people in this neighborhood clearly do need some kind of backup shopping option that’s walkable for them. A supermarket might not have been able to survive, but a small bodega might – there should be room for something like that, too.

    • I also like the idea of a few small commercial spaces, and definitely a small grocer. There’s probably enough demand for something like that.

  • Ex-Ithacan

    Perhaps INHS can convince the city to allow a more ambitious project (mixed use) which would include a building along the lines of their proposal for seniors at the old Library site, and an additional commercial/office building. Wouldn’t need that big slab of asphalt (hopefully fewer spaces required), and may even add some nice landscaping.

    • The Planning Committee has been discussing the idea of implementing “PUD” (planned unit development) zones legislation, however, it would be a very lengthy process to get approved, and it doesn’t look like it would pass anytime soon. It would allow for current zoning restrictions on a parcel to essentially be waived, but it’s a controversial ordinance, since enacting a PUD requires a substantial argument in favor of benefit for the whole surrounding area, or else it could be deemed as benefiting the individual property owner, and thus, spot-zoning.
      Although, at the max build of 224,000 SF, we could figure 15% loss to circulation space and mechanicals, and say an average unit is around 980 SF (near national average), the parcel could conceivably accommodate 194 units. I think the trick with the site will be to design something that works in this context, and presents well; should be interesting to watch how the site concepts develop.

  • BabalooMandel

    A grocery store there would be nice.