Tompkins County administrators are set to release a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) this December on the Old Library property that has been largely vacant and under-utilized ever since the new library building was built at the corner of Cayuga Street and Green Street. The responses will be due the following April, at which point every proposed and submitted project application will be reviewed. Embedded below is the draft RFEI document that was presented in the context of a $1.5 million plan to renovate and expand the Human Services Building so that the Community Justice Center can move out of the Old Library’s lower level by the first quarter of 2015 (meeting minutes also embedded below).
The Old Library’s site is .88 acres, and the building is 38,630 square feet. As soon as the current library was completed back in 2000 on the former Woolworth Department Store site, there have been plans by various developers to re-configure the Old Library for private use. At this point however, it may be less desirable or even feasible to renovate the existing building. The parcel (along with two adjacent parcels) was actually re-zoned by the City of Ithaca back in May to CBD-50, meaning zero side yard and front yard setbacks, and any new structure could go up to a 50 foot height as of right. The rezoning with adjacent parcels seems like a sign that the current structure may not be deemed suitable for reuse, and the draft RFEI is clearly stating that the county prefers development plans that will create housing for the aging, so a proposal like a new CCRC facility (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) would make sense.
Psychedelic exterior upgrades from Spring 2013: