The property at 311 College Avenue — the former home of the beloved Nines restaurant — sold Tuesday in a $3 million deal between its longtime owners and developers John Novarr ’77 and Phil Proujansky, the Ithaca Times reported.
Co-owners Mark Kielmann ’72 and Harold Schultz ran the business for almost 40 years, serving up deep-dish pizza and trivia nights to students and local Ithacans alike. Their retirement plans — sale of the property for housing development to Visum, another local developer — were pushed back, however, after the Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission filed a proposal to designate the property as a historic landmark in 2017.
If designated, the building would have been preserved as is, requiring ILPC approval for any outside changes. The debate led to a months-long battle that ended in a mayoral tie-break against preservation at the Common Council last June and a go-ahead to sell the property on the commercial market.
The $3 million price is the same figure that Kielmann said was offered to him by Visum Development prior to the landmarking push, Kielmann told the Ithaca Voice last year.
Public records show that the property was assessed in 2019 at a $850,000 value. The land itself was worth $500,000.
Kielmann told the Ithaca Voice that the Nines owners had been in talks with Novarr and Proujansky since last August. Novarr and Proujansky already possess large chunks of property in the Collegetown area, including $15.6 million acquired in a buy-up in December, the Times reported. That swath includes 120, 122, 124 and 128 Catherine Street, and 302, 304, 306 and 311 College Avenue, now.
This story will be updated.