Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Members of the Ithaca Common Council hear an overview of plans to redevelop the Green Street parking garage.

September 15, 2017

Developers Propose Rebuilding Green Street Garage to Include 350 Housing Units

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The City of Ithaca is considering a massive redevelopment proposal that would reconstruct the Green Street Garage and add much-needed affordable housing along the way.

Developers at Ithaca Properties LLC publically presented their redevelopment plans to rebuild the 43-year-old structure at Wednesday’s Ithaca Common Council meeting.

While some details of the project are not yet determined, the plans currently include reconstructing the garage, developing conference space and creating residential space.

The affordable housing aspect allowed the project to be met with approval from residents.

Many residents at the meeting said it would be a positive addition to Ithaca and one resident encouraged the city to “encourage the follow through” of the designated affordable housing units.

Currently, the project includes 350 housing units, including a substantial number of units to be affordable for low- to middle-income households.

However, while the public reacted positively overall, many local developers present at the meeting did not share the same sentiment.

Todd Fox, a member of the executive team for Modern Livings Rentals, discussed how he had previously written letters supporting other development projects in the community, ones he was not involved in, because they were “what was best for the community.” This time, he strongly urged the city to remember to prioritize the community and to not “rush into it.”

Jeff Lehrbach also spoke about giving local developers a fair opportunity to bid on the project to make sure that the best price and design are picked.

Alderperson Cynthia Brock, who represents the first ward, responded to these concerns during the resolutions when she advocated for a “transparent” and “equitable” picking of the developer involved in the project as well.

Members of Common Council unanimously voted to coordinate negotiations with Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency to create the redevelopment plan and to conduct further research on the environmental and community impacts of the development.