A bit of an update on Collegetown Crossing (from the Ithaca Journal):
The proposed design for the Collegetown Crossing building at 307 College Avenue, just downhill from Ithaca Fire Stattion Number Nine. / PROVIDED
Collegetown Crossing could house Greenstar branch, seeks variance
Parking spots would be severely limited
5:40 PM, Feb. 29, 2012
thaca -- Supporters of a proposed redevelopment project in Collegetown want parking requirements for the site on College Avenue waived, but members of the city's Planning Board are not sure of the benefits of a variance.
Developer Josh Lower is proposing a six-story mixed-use building at 307 College Ave., with 50 apartments including 103 beds. The ground floor would support 5,500 square feet of retail space, in which Lower wants to establish a branch of the local food cooperative Greenstar. The building would also have a bus stop built into its facade.
Students, Collegetown residents and other members of the public filled the Common Council Chambers on Tuesday to express support for the project, especially the grocery.
A full grocery is badly needed in the area, they said, and would reduce driving time required to go to stores in other areas and address what is currently somewhat of a food desert. Greenstar General Manager Brandon Kane said the cooperative is on board with the plan.
A two-story mixed-use building with 15 parking spots currently occupies the space. Zoning laws would require the new building to have 57 parking spots, but Lower said he wants the board to waive all parking requirements.
Lower said he will offer all residents in the building either an Ithaca Carshare membership or a TCAT bus pass. Accessibility to public transit will cut down on cars in Collegetown and eliminate the need for parking spaces at Collegetown Crossing, he said.
Though two Common Council members urged the board to consider solutions other than granting a variance, several members of the public supported eliminating the parking requirement.
One speaker, who identified himself as a Cornell University student, said he has a car only because he needs to drive to a grocery to get food. If there was a place to get all the food he needs in Collegetown, he said, he and many other students would leave their cars at home, cutting down on the need for parking.
Dan Keough, a nutritionist and sustainable transportation advocate, said residents in the building could buy parking passes for the city parking garage on Dryden Road if they must have a car. City parking garages lose money each year, he said, and requiring off-street parking space for this project could make redevelopment too difficult.
Planning Board member John Schroeder said he would like to require less parking in general in that area.
"I'm in favor of a Collegetown plan in which parking is not required," he said. "I would still like to see that go forward."
Here's the link:
And here's some drawings of the proposed project: