Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Project Updates

Coltivare Complete Interior Photos

April 8, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

I had a chance to swing by the Coltivare Culinary Center and Restaurant downtown a few weeks ago, so here are some interior shots of the finished product, opened-up in December of last year. TC3 announced the project as part of its Farm-to-Bistro education program in late 2013/early 2014, and plumbing and framing work began on the space in May, 2014.

The interior spans 17,000 square feet with a bar, public restaurant, full kitchen, cooking lab, teaching lab, a lounge with offices and restrooms, and two large assembly areas for events split by a vertically-collapsible folding wall. The interior finishes are varied: brick veneer, tile, composite/rubber, and painted walls; tile, wood, and carpeted flooring; and interesting finishes, like the reclaimed wood-trimmed and tin-panelled ceiling clouds, and filament bulbs. It’s quite a cool space.

The interior design was done by Ramsgard Architectural Design, with construction by Turnbull-Wahlert Construction out of Cincinnati, Ohio, the same firm that is building the Lofts@SixMileCreek project for Bloomfield/Schon + Partners behind the building.














Klarman Hall Structural Steel Complete

April 7, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

Hats off to Welliver and the crew from Raulli & Sons Ironworks sticking it out through the winter to get the structural steel done. Steel crane is now off site, and as the project rolls on, the new folding jib telescopic tower crane is up-and-running for the remainder of the work, especially the Josef Gartner glass installers that will be working on the glazed ceiling and wall systems that compose the atrium structure.

Throughout the structural phase, many of the exterior wall frames have now been assembled and sheathed with glass-mat sheathing in preparation for sandstone panels and various cladding types, and trades for electrical, plumbing, sprinkler systems, etc. have been busy. Interior framing started on the North side in March, and drywall and paint will be taking up much of May and June.

Photos from April 6th:
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Photos from March 10th:

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Lofts@SixMileCreek Construction Photos

April 1, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

Steve Bloomfield of Bloomfield/Schon + Partners was kind enough to grant a tour of his Lofts@SixMileCreek project downtown, so here are some photos taken about two weeks ago, and the press release from yesterday. The construction schedule has been revised for late summer completion, but a tour will be available April 18th through the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. Most walls have been framed, and trades are currently roughing-in services at the top floors, and drywall and finish-work has begun at the lower floors. The exterior wall framing and glazing has progressed to the fifth floor, so the building should be almost fully-enclosed in the coming weeks.

The project is a 7-story, 49,244 square foot structure that will contain 45 rental apartment units. The building is being developed by Bloomfield/Schon + Partners, with construction by Turnbull-Wahlert Construction.

Unit floor layouts link here

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Press Release March 31 2015 Final - Online Leasing

Photos taken March 14th, 2015:

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Simplex Modular Factory Tour

March 17, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

I ventured down to Scranton, Pennsylvania for a factory open house tour at the Simplex Homes production facility a couple weekends ago, and thought I’d share some photos here. Simplex produces modular units for builders putting together everything from single-family homes, to townhouses, four-story apartment complexes, and student dormitories. Modular construction is essentially just a construction technology that can be applied to many different structures and situations. Simplex specializes in wood-framed units with a surprisingly-complete level of finish already done before trucking and craning on-site. In addition to production efficiency, factory-settings tend to ensure better QC, material recycling, and environmental control.

Their production is most notable in the Ithaca area for Belle Sherman Cottages, an East Hill 19 single-family detached and 10-townhome project developed by Agora Development and built by Carina Construction. Project page and photos here.

When visiting, the crews were working on a ~300 box project for a four-story multifamily development for downtown Philadelphia.


































Purity Ice Cream Phase II Photo Update

March 16, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

Long overdue photos here, but the Phase II section of the Purity Ice Cream project was completed back in late January, and here are some photos of the new space. The expanded seating area greatly increases interior seating in the renovated rooms formerly used for kitchen and dairy processing, and work is currently underway on Phase III: renovating the former storage area in the west side of the building into retail and business operations. Stop-in and check it out: Pancake Saturdays and Sundays launch March 28th!

The project was designed by John Snyder Architects, and work completed by Strawbridge and Jahn Builders, along with specialty trades from the area.

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New glass canopy added to the main entrance:

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The Black Oak Wind Farm

March 13, 2015 // by Jason Henderson


The Black Oak Wind Farm announced last December that a long term Power-Purchase Agreement had been made with Cornell University for all of the turbine-generated electric production. In addition to the years of work by the project team to put it together and its investors (local and New York State), the agreement paved the way for the wind farm’s financing and execution of a seven-turbine (1.7 MW-rated) contract with General Electric. GE is the leading manufacturer for the wind turbine industry in the United States, with 41%.

Preliminary site work began earlier this year, and will ramp-up towards the Fall for turbine deliveries, installation, and final commissioning.

Below are a few screen shots in Google Earth from a 3D file courtesy of Noah Demarest of STREAM Collaborative. The turbine site is on Buck Hill in Enfield, just at the western edge of Tompkins County between Ithaca and Montour Falls, NY. The site is on a 1,000-acre lease from local landowners, and the seven turbines are spaced apart along the hill:

Each turbine will reach a height of 475 feet from the ground to blade-tip at full rotation. The annual power production would be enough to power about 5,000 households.
The turbines will be just-barely visible in the distance on clear days, from both Cornell’s east hill campus, and Ithaca College’s South Hill Campus:

A Peek Inside the Future Chain Works District

March 1, 2015 // by Jason Henderson


800,000 square feet is a lot to comprehend, especially when separated into a total of 26 buildings, built in various interlocking shapes, at different times, with various building systems, and various ceiling heights, as is the case with the Emerson site on South Hill. Including the end zones, a football field is about 57,000 square feet, so the existing structures constitute around 14 football fields of enclosed space. These photos are from a site visit taken a couple weeks ago.

For a brief history, Morse Chain first built and occupied the site from 1906 until 1928 when they were acquired by BorgWarner, which owned the property from 1928 to 1982. In 1982, BorgWarner sold the property to Emerson Power Transmission, which continued manufacturing at the site from 1983 until its closure in 2011. Unchained Properties, LLC has negotiated with Emerson for several years and obtained an agreement to acquire the site for redevelopment. The 95-acre site is being re-named the Chain Works District, with the intention of developing the site into a “live, work, play” mixed-use district.

For development rights, the project is utilizing PUD/PDZ (planned-unit development/planned development zone) zoning to fit the zoning requirements with the redevelopment site plans, and is currently in the process of writing a Draft GEIS (Generic Environmental Impact Statement) for municipal and state review. For more information about the process, see the planning page here. Some further remediation will be required on the site, but major portions have been remediated in the past few decades, and the updated environmental studies for the redevelopment project are extensive (the combined Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments go over 60,000 pages of documentation). There was an Ithaca Times article last November on the topic.

For starters, it’s easy to forget how close the site is to downtown. The building behind this shot is building 24, slated for Mixed-Use:



The current plan involves select demolition of the structures between the long corridor buildings (the original factory is one of them) and the newer structures to the southeast:


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Here’s the northern end of Building 13B, slated for workshop space (23,200 square feet). It has a 3-Ton rack crane and loading bays:


This shot is looking northeast in Building 3/3A. Buildings 11A, 10A, 3A, 8A, 9, and 6A are being demolished to open-up the interior space on the site. Buildings 2, 3, and 4 are slated for multi-level residential with the ground floor as parking:


Here’s another shot in 3/3A looking the other direction (southwest) down the really long interior corridor. You can see all the way to building 6:


Moving south, here’s a shot of Building 34, slated for manufacturing. It’s massive- Buildings 33 and 34 make up 170,000 square feet, with a clear ceiling height of about 30 feet:


If I remember correctly, this is an upper-level of Building 6/6A, at the southwest end of the long corridor:


The wood floor planks are about a foot thick, since they were required to hold the weight of lots of heavy machinery:


Upper-level of Building 4:


The views are fantastic: windows on Buildings 2 through 6 lining the hillside provide a panorama from the Southwest Area, across Downtown and the lake in the background, then up to Cornell:



This is the NYSEG substation for South Hill:


Upper-level of Building 8:


Building 35, very high ceiling, and two 6-ton rack cranes:


Shot looking the other way, Building 35 and 15:


Ground level of Building 4, which would be used for a parking level, stretching from 2 to 4:


Here’s the overall use-concept from the presentation materials:


For more information about the site, the project website and Facebook page contain public meeting agendas and presentation materials.


Cornell’s Klarman Hall Project Finishing Structural Steel

March 1, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

Welliver has been working away on Cornell’s 33,250 square-foot Klarman Hall Project throughout this winter, and in the next week or so, should be complete with all structural steel components. The construction has been split between the south and north sections in each phase since starting the enabling work in September 2013 and pursuant foundation excavation and foundation footings in July 2014. The two sections contain classrooms, offices, and the north section a 350-seat auditorium, and are joined by a large interior atrium, utilizing the rotunda of Goldwin-Smith Hall for seating, food/cafe counter service, and ingress/egress. Klarman and Goldwin-Smith will be combined through several connecting hallways and common areas as well, as shown in the plans below.

Since October, the structural steel contractor Raulli & Sons Ironworkers out of Syracuse have been delivering, craning, bolting, and welding the steel columns and beams into place, along with the massive atrium trusses that stretch the two main structural sections. As steel finished-up on the south section late November, crews moved-in to deck the floors with corrugated sheet metal and applied steel mesh to reinforce the concrete floor pours. Once the concrete dried in January, framers came in to frame the walls with steel studs and sheetrock the walls. According to the schedule (end of post), Josef Gartner comes on-site to mobilize this march to install the glass atrium. Once the large hoist crane for the steel is off-site, and the lane is cleared of equipment, East Ave will be opened-up to two-way traffic again by April 20th.

Speciality trades, framing, and drywall will take-up much activity on both the South and North Sections until June/July, and by the Fall, painting, building systems, and finish-work will be left to tackle. The project is slated for a December 2015 delivery.

Photos taken February 27th:




Floor Plans:



Photos taken January 4th:


Photos taken December 14th:




Photos taken November 24th:




Photos taken November 3rd:


Photos taken October 14th:




Marriott Project Digs and Drives Shoring Beams

February 26, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

William H. Lane Construction has been working away at the future 159-room, 10-story Downtown Marriott project since receiving notice to proceed last September from Developer Urgo Hotels. Partners in the project include Rimland Development and Ensemble Investments. A large crane is now on site, and a bulldozer and excavator have been digging out the small parcel’s hillside. The shoring beams along the South Aurora Street side will be used to support a shoring wall due to the need to excavate the site to start the foundation. A generator on site runs the electrical equipment, and part of the early sitework involved the relocation of electric utility services around the corner on Green Street (the site contained a small underground NYSEG substation).

The total development cost is pegged at $32 million, with a completion target of 2017. The project is designed by Cooper Carry Architects based in Atlanta, with offices out of Alexandria, VA and New York City.

Photos from February 24th:







Lofts@SixMileCreek November to February

February 26, 2015 // by Jason Henderson

November to February photo updates here for the downtown Ithaca Lofts@SixMileCreek project, building a 7-story, 49,244 square foot structure that will contain 45 rental apartment units. The building is being developed by Bloomfield/Schon + Partners, with construction by Turnbull-Wahlert Construction.

The structure was furred-out with lumber on the edges and wrapped in plastic in November to prepare for the arctic winter we’ve been experiencing here in Ithaca, and work has since sped-away to finished wall-framing, rough plumbing, electric, HVAC, exterior sheathing, exterior wall systems (windows and conventional metal framing) and interior wallboard. The phasing for each trade has progressed from the first floor and up, so it’s likely that the lower stories are in the midst of finish-work. The shower stalls made their way in during the early wall-framing phase in October (most units secure directly to studs nowadays).

The structure topped-out on October 2nd with a press event and completion is scheduled for Spring 2015, probably May.

Project Website has launched:

Photos from February 24th, 2014:


Photos from November 24th, 2014:

Photos from November 3rd, 2014: