Ithaca Builds

Mapping, photos and information for Ithaca construction and development projects

Planned Parenthood Photo Update: Brick Facade

February 9, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Sections of the Planned Parenthood (of the Southern Finger Lakes) Ithaca project’s facade have been filled-in with brick as called for in the design by Chiang O’Brien Architects. The majority of the work is moving along in the 16,000 square foot interior, which was closed-up by early December, along with the sealing of the bright green glass-mat sheathing covering over the exterior stud walls. Besides brick, much of the building will be covered with various styles of fiber cement panels, as shown in the plans below. LeChase Construction is the general contractor on the project, which should be finishing up later this year.


S:PPSFL09-09008 & PPSFLGrant-09035200-DesignDocuments250-DD258-PresentationsSPR-Final SubmissionRenderingsPPSFL09-2012 C



Purity Ice Cream Site Walkthrough Photos

January 31, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

I had a walkthrough of the Purity Ice Cream project this past Wednesday with Bruce Lane, so here are some photos of what’s being worked on. The work is being done by Strawbridge and Jahn Builders.

From the outside, it’s probably not too noticeable yet- there’s a section of brick facade that has been removed on the opposite (north side), which will be replaced with a grayer toned brick, along with the walls towards the western end. The original building was built rather recently- back in 1953, and there have been three additions since then, and various renovations.

The current owners, Bruce and Heather Lane bought the business back in 1998, about a month before it was ready to close its doors due to financial insolvency. Ithaca seems rather fortunate in this regard: we have an abundance of individuals and local leaders investing their personal time and capital in order to keep cherished places and businesses alive.

The Purity operation used to distribute all sorts of goods around town beyond ice cream- almost like a general goods delivery service. Once large national distribution companies like SYSCO began to emerge and compete, typically the smaller town-based and regional distributors were either bought out, shifted business, or went out of business.

View from South on Meadow Street:

Former line queue and serving counter- the space will be reworked for more efficient serving:


Former bathrooms for customers- new bathrooms will be slightly larger, with a shared hallway:


Future prep area and mechanical closets (part of the second addition- the windows and concrete block wall to the left were the original face of the building, then this new section was added, where you can see the corrugated steel on the ceiling):


Former production room to become a generous seating area:


Render from North edge of the lot:


Future floor plan for first floor:


More information here:
Purity Ice Cream
John Snyder Architects

Purity Ice Cream Demolition Phase

January 24, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

The Purity Ice Cream project has been moving ahead, with the demolition phase closing-in on completion as interior walls and built-ins are removed, some asbestos containing materials are remediated, and the brick facades removed. The asbestos removal is wrapping-up by early next week- the whole project is closed-up at the moment so particles don’t escape during the process. Following Purity’s Facebook Page will get you some great photos and updates about the project as it is unfolding, and here’s a selection of photos from just before demolition and during, taken from the posts so far. I’ll be swinging by next week to take a look at the progress, and should have some new final renders from John Snyder Architects to post shortly- their Facebook page also has some nice shots from photographer Gary Hodges.




Dey & Third Streets Crossing Improvements

January 22, 2014 // by Jason Henderson

Crossing improvements for Third Street and Dey Street, along with a connection to the existing Cayuga Waterfront Trail have been in the works, and may commence as soon as this Spring or Summer. Here are the drawings from Fisher Associates for work to be completed, and a map for reference.

The City of Ithaca Board of Public Works authorized a final item last November (to acquire and compensate for necessary real property) to move the project forward, and is expected to release a bid request this month or next, February 2014.


Third Street crossing at Carpenter Circle, Third Street Extension, and the Cayuga Waterfront Trail:


Connection to existing Cayuga Waterfront Trail:

Third Street crossing Route 13:

Dey Street crossing Route 13:

The New Google Maps

December 17, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, I’d highly recommend doing so- as has been expected for a while now, Google Maps is now in 3D: terrain, buildings, everything. Here’s a screenshot of a view over Ithaca, but you can see the new map engine by going to Google Maps, then hit the lower left for “Earth view”, then bottom right for “Tilt” to see varying degrees of view. Just make sure you’re free for several hours before doing so.


Some screenshots here, updated January 22nd, 2014:

Core Downtown

Cornell North Campus:

Cornell Main Campus:

East Hill Plaza:

Ithaca College:

The Route 13 Strip:


Planned Parenthood Updated Construction Photos

December 9, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Here are some updated shots of the 16,000 square foot Planned Parenthood project on Seneca Street between Meadow and Fulton. The Ithaca Times carried a write-up a few weeks ago about the future new building here in Ithaca, and about the programs the organization offers to the public.
Joe Sammons, President of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes said that the second story will be housing offices for the education and community programming, and the first story will be devoted to health center operations, but that the building will essentially double the capacity of their current operation here in Ithaca. It will be the first building the organization has built from the ground up.
Joe also said that the building will contain a geothermal heating system, which answers the question of why there was such a big drilling rig on site before the building construction began. The building is estimated to cost $6.12 million, out of the total $8 million investment being made here, in Corning, and Hornell to develop three health centers.
As far as construction, the sheathing has been completed, and the blue coating is probably a water resistive barrier spray that goes on before the facade is installed, which will primarily be a combination of fiber cement panels.





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

Planned Parenthood Updated Photos

November 27, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

I actually drove by yesterday and now the project is fully closed-in with glass-mat sheathing and the window openings covered with plastic sheeting. Here are some photos taken this past Sunday. We may not see much outside change on this one until it’s time to put up the facade in slightly better weather, but it’s been quite a fast project so far.



Benderson’s Plaza Expansion Next to New Hobby Lobby

November 20, 2013 // by Jason Henderson

Here are some site plan review materials for Benderson Development‘s proposed 14,744 Gross Square Foot retail expansion to the south of the new Hobby Lobby store off Meadow Street/Route 13 from Carmina Wood Morris architecture and engineering. Carmina’s actually engaged in an interesting project in Buffalo at the moment, working on a planned major reuse using the shell of the old 8-story A&P Warehouse and the Buffalo City Mission as an anchor tenant. The Buffalo City Mission has pulled-out of the deal, and has hired McGuire Development for relocation assistance.

Not much to say about this one, besides it just being a big box plaza expansion for a future retail tenant. The planning meeting is slated for Tuesday the 28th (next week), and as mentioned before, the proposed expansion actually sits on the site of the former K-Mart garden center. The already-built vestibule for Hobby Lobby is incorporated in this plan, since it was never aired before site plan review.

The full PDF file can be downloaded 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.