Harold’s Square moved closer to fruition as the developer held a public information session, as required by the project’s application for approval under the City of Ithaca’s density tax abatement incentive program (CIITAP).
Relative to the public information sessions for the Marriott and Holiday Inn projects, the Harold’s Square session was sparsely attended. Approximately five members of the public were present, as well first ward common council representative Cynthia Brock. Developer David Lubin fielded questions pertaining to how residential tenants would secure parking, the potential impact of construction on the loading area for adjacent business, and whether the project’s commercial and retail tenants were planning on paying a living wage to their employees. Mr. Lubin indicated that the wages paid by tenants were not under his control.
Council member Brock also asked about the labor Mr. Lubin intended to use for the construction, specifically whether plans had been made to utilize local union laborers, or firms that had apprenticeship programs and/or paid a prevailing wage. Mr. Lubin’s response was that he would attempt to use local labor, as long as the bids were competitive.
As to the general timeline of the project, Mr. Lubin stated that they are still working on bids for site remediation and demolition, and that further construction will be contingent on securing tenants and financing, meaning that an exact start date is still up in the air.
Now that the public information session has been held, the City will approve and forward their recommendation to the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency for review, and the agency will make a determination on whether to grant the project a seven year partial property tax abatement. Expect a county level public hearing on the matter to be scheduled within the month.