September 11, 2009

Green Street Corridor Sees Growth, Despite Recession

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Despite the economic recession, downtown Ithaca continues to expand. The corridor between Green Street and Cayuga Street is fast becoming a trendy consumer complex, with a new Gimme! Coffee, pharmacy and TCAT bus stop sprouting up alongside the recently opened Urban Outfitters.
The point of the development, according to city officials, is to make the area a destination spot in the same vein of the Commons.
“I think we’re creating a fun city,” said Alderperson Svante Myrick ’09 (D-4th ward). “Green Street now is a major improvement on Green Street four years ago. We want to make [the area] a destination and extension of the Commons.”
The development is part of the “Cayuga-Green Project,” a name given by developers several years ago to plans for the area. The new TCAT bus terminal augers well for the new local businesses, as buses will bring an influx of consumers to and from the area every day.
“TCAT leases the space from Cayuga Green,” said Dan Tome, purchasing and project manager for TCAT. “At one point TCAT did have a bus stop at that location, but with construction of new Cayuga Green facilities they eliminated it.” [img_assist|nid=37977|title=Develop me|desc=Green Street east of Cayuga Street will be the home of a new Gimme! Coffee, pharmacy and TCAT bus stop|link=node|align=left|width=336|height=451]
Efforts to get the bus stop back up and running have been extensive. Tome noted that the facility is funded by the Federal Transportation Administration, and is “an entirely different project for us.
“The process to get it fully opened has taken quite some time,” said Tome. “This facility we have is about 1,400 square feet, and we went through a request for proposal process.”
Especially noteworthy about the spot is that the “shelter” for the stop will be in the Gimme! Coffee establishment, a bold innovation that Tome hopes will pay off with more riders for TCAT and more customers for the coffee shop.
“They’re a well-respected vendor in Ithaca, and they can provide coffees and quick drinks to our customers,” Tome said. “Nowhere else have we integrated a food vendor with a bus stop.”
TCAT buses had chosen Gimme! Coffee from among a list of potential partners for the bus stop, and hopes to coincide the opening of the stop in mid-October with the opening of the coffee shop. The shop will be Gimme! Coffee’s fourth in Ithaca. Myrick noted that there was going to be another high-end apartment complex opening in the area, complementing the recently developed Cayuga Green apartments.