Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

All Suites Hotel Proposal on Elmira Road: Renders and Revised Site Plan

December 3, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The proposed 4-story, 11,769 square foot, 76 room and 76 parking space “All Suites Hotel” project for 371 Elmira Road has submitted renderings and revised site plan materials to the City of Ithaca Planning Department. The renders look pretty much as expected from the previous elevations that were submitted: plain L-shaped box with pop-outs, angled cornices, and an entry pavilion. The renders here don’t incorporate the surroundings, but we may see a future version with surroundings if they’re requested, although, this section of Elmira Road is obviously not known for its architectural zeal, but rather, the cartoonish qualities associated with highway commercial strips. I’m still not sure if this is meant to be a future franchise of some sort- it has the looks of it, but nothing solid has been revealed.



All Suites Hotel Render 1

All Suites Hotel Render 2

All Suites Hotel Render 3



Full Site Plan PDF Here

All Suites Hotel Proposal on Route 13

November 17, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The site plans and elevations for this proposed “All Suites Hotel” project by Ithaca Hotels, LLC have been disclosed and are embedded below. Here’s the previous post noting that the plan includes:

“A 4-story, 11,769-SF hotel with approximately 76 rooms and 76 parking spaces. The 1.4‐acre project site contains two contiguous tax parcels, containing a 7,500+/‐ SF office commercial building, fronting Elmira Road, and an auto‐body shop in the rear ― with access from Spencer Road and large paved parking areas.”

I’m not certain that this is an actual franchise, but the elevations look typical of one, and may perhaps be a Holiday Inn Express or similar brand from InterContinental Hotels Group. The plans were done by Silvestri Architects out of Amherst, NY. Silvestri has some current projects going up, mostly in Buffalo- most recently, St. Martin Village apartment complex in Buffalo, which included the remodel of a former German Catholic Orphanage building. As far as hotels go, they’ve previously done a Best Western, a Fairfield Inn, and are working in a Holiday Inn Express in Pennsylvania.





Hotel Proposal for Elmira Road

November 10, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The November 26th City Planning meeting this month has a new hotel project proposal (PDF embedded below). Ithaca Hotels and Optima Design & Engineering intend to build a

“4-story, 11,769-SF hotel with approximately 76 rooms and 76 parking spaces. The 1.4‐acre project site contains two contiguous tax parcels, containing a 7,500+/‐ SF office commercial building, fronting Elmira Road, and an auto‐body shop in the rear ― with access from Spencer Road and large paved parking areas.”

Ithaca Hotels, LLC was formed last September in Erie County, and its filing address shows up as an industrial cleaning contractor. Also filed for the same address is “Andco-Anderson Construction,” which has been registered in the past in four other states, unless the name is a coincidence. I suppose we’ll see if either company is associated or not at some point.

Optima Design & Engineering out of Buffalo has partnered with Ithaca Hotels, LLC. Their news page shows structural engineering work for the new Fairfield Inn in Horseheads… look familiar? Much like its new counterpart down the street from this proposal in Ithaca, which was completed back in August. I suppose all new Fairfields probably look about the same anyway- although, I’m sure this proposal would be for a different franchise.


Argos Inn Open: Interior Photos on the Web

September 26, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Right next door to the Seneca Way Project, the Argos Inn (the former McCormick Cowdry House built in 1831) has opened-up for business (bar coming soon), and they’ve posted some interior shots on their Facebook Page: Opening Week Photos

I haven’t had a chance to peek inside yet, but the exterior is absolutely great- I particularly like the application of floor to header glass along the column-lined porches on both floors. Looks like a great repurpose and restoration project for a historic building.


Hart Hotels CIITAP Application

August 19, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Embedded below is Hart Hotel’s Community Investment Inventive Tax Abatement Program (CIITAP) application for property tax abatements on the value of improvements on the tax parcel through the expansion project. Public meeting is tonight at 5:30pm in Common Council chambers, and I believe the Ithaca Journal’s cover this morning noted that the proceedings will be broadcast on Channel 13.

Hart Hotels, Holiday Inn Project, Taxes

August 13, 2013 // by Jason Henderson


The Ithaca Journal has announced that the City will be hosting a public information session on Hart Hotel’s new tower project, now no longer a Holiday Inn-branded project. Hart Hotels has done mostly Holiday Inn-branded projects, but has several homegrown-branded hotels under management. What’s more, they will be applying for a tax abatement (much like the Hotel Ithaca Marriott project) through the Community Investment Incentive Tax Abatement Program.

One of the factors at play may be mortgage interest rates. This project is going from about 3.5% to a likely 4.2-4.4% within the next year, so for a $17.8 million project, that’s about an extra three million in financing costs over the course of a 30-year mortgage. The seven-year tax abatement program would save about $1.24 million in tax expenses (see chart, not counting inflation), assuming taxable improvement equals project cost, and we hold the total mill rate constant. Since the Marriott got an abatement, Hart Hotels would be wise to go for it.


Taxes are awfully high in the City. If the parcel’s total value at the end of construction is assessed at $25 million and they financed $17.8 million at 4.3% for 30 years, debt service payments would be $1.057 million per year, City + County + BID taxes (22.16985 mill rate) would be about $554,246 per year, and School taxes (16.9534 mill rate) would be $423,835 per year holding current rates constant.

Real Estate Taxes: $978,081 per year
Debt Service: $1,057,000 per year

So for this example, real estate taxes are not far from being equivalent to the 30-year financing costs of this project per year. If taxes were significantly lower, there may not be so much financial pressure to participate in the tax abatement programs.

Fairfield Inn Nearly Finished, Site Photos

July 29, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

There’s a new asphalt walk along the backside of the building, the front entrance still needs some work, and I saw some lighting fixtures being installed through the windows, but this project seems to be wrapping-up, which is just a shame, since it’s really been a pleasure jogging along Route 13 to snap photos (cough). All in all, besides the awful color mismatch of the corporate logo, the building looks simple and somewhat visually-pleasing.
It will be interesting to see the popularity and occupancies of the new hotel projects coming online, especially since I imagine anyone visiting Ithaca to see Ithaca would probably prefer to be downtown, or at a suburban or rural bed and breakfast. Parents of college students or prospective families visiting are likely to take whatever is available, and would probably be much less concerned with location within Ithaca, so long as the hotel has ground-level parking for the car-dependent activities of moving their student(s) in and out of a dorm or apartment.


…And a random FYI, just down the street, this Friendly’s is closing


Fairfield Inn Site Photos

July 12, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The swoop looks finished, the sign covers are off, and some landscaping work has filled-in the parking lot area. There’s also a new privacy fence along the north-eastern side.

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.