September 20, 2002

WVBR Sells Longtime Home

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WVBR 93.5 FM, a student-run radio station owned by the non-profit Cornell Radio Guild, made the decision in May 2002 to sell its former home at 227 Linden Ave. For the past two years the station has resided at 957 MItchell St.

After broadcasting from Linden Ave. for thirty years, WVBR moved in May of 2000 when the building was declared unsafe by the Ithaca Building Department for violating basic building codes.

According to Ed Cabic, General Manager of WVBR, after leaving the Linden address, the immediate concern of the station was to find a new building to broadcast from. Once situated in the new location, Cabic said “it turned out it [the building] had a lot of the features we were looking for.”

These features include a location near TCAT buses and other transportation options, as many of WVBR’s employees are student volunteers.

According to Cabic, in consideration of whether to renovate or sell the Linden Ave. location, “the biggest problem was that it would have cost an extremely large amount of money [to renovate]” due to the concrete and cinderblock structure of the building.

Also, according to Cabic, “it wasn’t in our best interests to be in the landlord business.”

In May 2002, a local developer purchased the building. Currently, the building is being renovated.

In November 2001, structural consultant Raymond DiPasquale prepared a report for the architects working on the renovation of the Linden Ave. building for its new owner.

DiPasquale said in his report, “This building has the potential for being a useful addition to the neighborhood. It may not visually appear so in its present state, but in my opinion, the basic skeleton of this building is structurally sound.”

According to Jagat Sharma, the architect working on the renovation of the building, the decision was made to repair the building and fix many of the problems found in the earlier inspections, including structural and asbestos problems. Sharma said that the next phase in the construction is to “apply for a permit to allow parking on the lower level [of the building] and five units on the upper level.”

The construction to build the 24 new apartments will begin soon, according to Sharma. “We plan to get started this fall,” he said.

Archived article by Kate Cooper