Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Hobby Lobby Repaving, Front Facade & Prep for Sign

October 29, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Here are some dusty shots taken today from the Hobby Lobby store site opening November 11th in the former K-Mart shell. In addition to the 56,444 square foot store, the property owner/developer Benderson Development is seeking a 14,744 square foot expansion along the southern wall (where the K-Mart garden center was previously) for a retail tenant- perhaps a store that commonly pairs-up with Hobby Lobby. Many major retailers partner-up with another complementary store in strip malls, creating clusters of complementary goods in the same area to boost sales- like a salon and a café, or a sports pub and a women’s clothing store for example; you can’t do both of those activities in the same store, but they would go together.
From the looks of it, the front facade is basically done, re-paving and striping has been well underway, and will probably be finished this week. The sign was in a trailer on site already, and the store was filled with retail racks.




Press Bay Alley Updated Progress Photos

October 28, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Overhead Door was on site last week to install the upper sections of each bay opening. The roof now has a membrane layer, which will be covered-over with fascia trim along the edges. It will be interesting to see how the individual spaces are built out, mostly dependent on the tenants that rent them out. The immediate area gets plenty of foot traffic, and there have been regular pop-up gallery events (Art in the Alley), along with activities hosted by Ithaca Generator, located down the stairs past Life’s So Sweet, the chocolatier next door.




Harold’s Square Moves Forward with City CIITAP Process

October 22, 2013 // by James Douglas

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.



Hobby Lobby Big Box Taking Shape

October 21, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Hobby Lobby’s entrance and front facade are taking shape, with contractors on site every day to prepare the store for its November 11th opening. Looking at it now, it’s actually quite amazing how fast this work is getting done, but that’s what large commercial contracting crews are good at. Automatic doors are in, lighting has been up for a few weeks- we should expect trucks unloading merchandising racks soon, then boxes of goods. Oh, and a big orange sign too.


Purity Ice Cream Project Scales Down- No Apartment Tower

October 14, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Bummer news here, but I imagine there are some strong reasons: The Purity Project has scaled down, and will no longer be seeking to build an apartment tower on the site. The revised project narrative (page 2 below) cites market conditions as the cause. The new plan is for an expansion of Purity Ice Cream’s store operations, and a buildout of the second story and roof level above to include 2,640 square feet of office space and a terrace area. The project is looking to start January 2014 with a construction schedule of 10-12 months. Here’s the first paragraph of the architectural narrative, providing a good summary of the revised project:



New Site Plans and Parking Evaluation embedded below:



Press Bay Alley: Progress Photos I

October 14, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Accufab started off by securing the steel plate columns to each bay divider, then columns centered on each bay, which will form the new entry doors to each micro-retail unit space. The latest photo is from last week- more to come.




Hobby Lobby’s Big Entrance Bay

October 7, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

As the work goes on inside the old Kmart to outfit the upcoming 56,444 square foot Hobby Lobby store for a November 11th opening, the large entrance bay is being constructed to prop-up the sign for drivers to see from Route 13. I had wondered last time around what the steel beams were for, and I suppose this is it.



Press Bay Alley Demolition Prep for Steel

October 1, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Press Bay Alley’s old garage doors have been completely removed in preparation for Accufab‘s steel work on each of these bays for micro-retail spaces. Accufab’s work will be going on this week, and then Overhead Door will be installing new roll-up doors. The owner John Guttridge said that the integration of the steel garage door roll-up headers on the top of each bay will match the steel work all the way down, so the retail facade will essentially look like one integrated steel face. See the project page for previous renders.



Press Bay Alley Large Green Street Window In-Place

September 18, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Our upcoming urban micro-retail project has its floor to deck window in-place on the Green Street side now, and there’s been some work on the back wall patching pre-existing block wall penetrations. There’s a render of this project posted back in May showing the future steel-framed glass panels along the garage bays, and new entry doors to the spaces. Accufab is doing the custom metal framing work, so I have no doubt it will look quite polished when complete.



Hobby Lobby Work Continues, Entryway Demolition

September 5, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

The wall section has been demoed for the new entryway, along with the paving and a significant amount of soil out front. There’s a series of beams sitting on the parking lot outside the gates; I’d imagine the smaller ones may be for supporting the new entryway, but I’m not sure about the others.