Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Hart Hotels’ Holiday Inn Re-Branded to Hotel Ithaca, and Some History

January 29, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

The Holiday Inn of downtown Ithaca officially re-branded to the Hotel Ithaca at the beginning of this year. The hotel is owned & operated by Hart Hotels (principal David Hart), a Buffalo-based group, and the plans for the second tower are still a go, as the existing tower is currently being renovated and upgraded since the start of the slow season here in the cold. Nearly all of the work right now is focused on interior renovations, and the Spring should see the start of the demolition of the one-story room wings to make space for the new tower.
The project is still seeking a property tax abatement through the CIITAP program for a seven year graduated assessment break for the increased value of lot improvements that are to be assessed for the new tower.



Photoshopped render from Trip Advisor– new sign should look nice.


The new brand (either purposefully, or unintentionally) brings to mind the since demolished “Ithaca Hotel,” which sat on the corner of North Aurora and East State Streets, and was built in 1872, and demolished in 1967. The original Ithaca Hotel was first built in 1809 by Luther Gere, although a “Mr. Vroorman” had a public house of the same name around that time as well. Mr. Gere was a carpenter’s apprentice, then he ran a tavern he built around the future hotel site from 1805, then built the three-story wood building, which burnt down in 1871. The structure in the photo below is the rebuilt hotel, a four-story brick building designed by A. B. Dale. The hotel could accommodate 200 guests, and 175 diners, and had billiard tables and sample rooms, and a popular Dutch Kitchen. (From Ithaca and its Past and Landmarks of Tompkins County)


Courtesy of The History Center in Tompkins County

Hotel Ithaca Marriott & The Green St Parking Garage

July 10, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The roughly 400-car Green St. Parking Garage (above Cinemapolis) downtown is eventually slated for a re-build, noted in this brief reconstruction study by Brittingham & Associates for Cooper Carry, the architecture firm for Hotel Ithaca Marriott. I suppose the study was probably asked for by the Planning Board or the City of Ithaca to determine how the proposed tower would affect the City’s eventual plans to build additional stories on this garage. Looks like the plans won’t be affected.

Hotel Ithaca Marriott Final Design

June 30, 2013 // by Jason Henderson


Here are the final design submission documents for the future $32 million, 159-room Hotel Ithaca Marriott. These have the full floor plan layouts for every floor, lots of site renderings, a cutout shot of the cantilevered section, elevations with facade, framing, and lighting details, and various site plans. Cooper Carry is a national architecture and design firm, and the developer Urgo Hotels is based in Bethesda, Maryland, with over 30 hotels under ownership and/or management, primarily along the upper east coast and Florida.
The staging diagram shows loading zones on Aurora and Green streets, with the hoist located just north of the current bus shelter. The lanes on Aurora and Green will be closed off for 2-3 days per week in the daytime during the construction. It’s easy to see why: there’s no feasible alternative. Also with an urban site this small, I imagine most of the deliveries will be just in time, with trucks lined-up Green Street to unload one after the other. I haven’t seen a project timeline or schedule anywhere, but the plan late last year was to start construction in March 2013. The design has changed a bit since first proposed, and the granting of the $3.6 million tax abatement by the Tompkins County IDA pushed the project along earlier this year.



Hotel Ithaca Marriott Project Description

May 9, 2013 // by Jason Henderson


The long awaited Hotel Ithaca Marriott project adds 160-guest rooms, a restaurant, and meeting space to the east end of the commons. Operated by Bethesda, Maryland based Urgo Hotels, the project has gone through several iterations involving design and ownership in order to secure financing.  The new hotel will be located on a small triangular lot off of Green street, adjacent to the Green Street Parking Garage and the Rothschild’s Building.  The Marriott was recently granted a 10-year PILOT by Tompkins County Area Development, as part of the City of Ithaca’s new, streamlined version of the Community Investment Incentive Tax Abatement Program (CIITAP), to secure the necessary financing to begin the project.