September 24, 2014

EDITORIAL: Collegetown Crossing: Over the Threshold

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On Tuesday, the City of Ithaca Planning and Development Board approved development of the new mixed-use building, Collegetown Crossing. After several years of proposals and planning, the building, which will stand at 307 College Avenue, will have 46 apartments as well as several commercial storefronts, including a GreenStar Cooperative Market. We at The Sun support the City of Ithaca’s decision to allow Collegetown Crossing to be developed, and believe that it will bring much-needed residential units and commercial activity to Collegetown.

We believe that this new development will repurpose space that is currently being underutilized in order to better serve the community. Collegetown Crossing — an 8,600 square foot building immediately south of Ithaca Fire Station No. 9 — will provide 46 apartment units that were not previously available to the community, allowing another 96 residents to live in Collegetown. While the proposal was originally rejected, we are supportive of the recently passed form-based zoning code that has allowed this development to be built. Since Collegetown currently has a limited supply of apartments — leading to a rushed leasing period as well as higher-than-average rents — we believe that Collegetown Crossing and other developments like it are a step forward in terms of improving conditions in rental units as well as being able to house more students in more convenient locations.

Aside from the increased number of bedrooms, the new construction will not only improve the area’s built environment, but also bring new commercial resources to Collegetown, and College Avenue in particular. For example, we believe that the addition of the GreenStar Cooperative Market will benefit students and local residents through convenience, health and access to additional food options. In addition, the extra commercial space available in the building will hopefully help foster continued growth for small businesses and bring more commercial activity to Collegetown. The building will also provide a heated shelter for TCAT riders and a convenient cross-block walkway between Linden Avenue and College Avenue to improve the pedestrian experience for the community, another asset for Collegetown.

We at The Sun commend the Planning and Development Board for allowing Collegetown Crossing to be developed and we hope that the Board follows this new precedent to bring other buildings with similar utility to Collegetown.