IURA seeking developer to tackle Green Street garage site

Tompkins Weekly Staff

Photo from The Ithaca Voice
The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency is seeking proposals for redeveloping the Green Street Parking Garage site.

The Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency is looking for redevelopment proposals for the Green Street Parking Garage site.
The IURA gave notice last week that it is seeking a qualified partner for a project that will increase housing choices, while retaining enough parking to meet current stands and additional demand created by the project. A more detailed parking projection pegs it for at least 450 parking spaces open to the public, with at least 90 available for short-term parking.

Other preferred uses, cited by the IURA in a press release, include ground-level active uses on Green Street and a conference center. The project must include the existing 5-screen cinema – Cinemapolis – and the pedestrian connection between The Commons and Green Street.

The IURA is authorized to negotiate the property sales price and the development program, subject to final City of Ithaca Common Council approval, and is seeking fair market value for the property. The agency noted it expects deductions in consideration of community benefits provided by the project – for example, adding below-market housing, or reconstruction of public parking at developer’s expense.

In the press release, it was noted the city is “facing a housing crisis driven by supply not meeting demand, especially for low- and moderate-income households.” A county housing strategy report gave a target of adding 5,800 workforce housing units in the next 10 years for households earning 100 percent or less of area median income. In addition, the release stated, gaps in the supply of housing also exist for supportive housing, senior housing, and purpose-built student housing, “though student housing is not the focus for this opportunity.”

The location is ideal, the IURA pitched, noting its proximity to the Commons and its dining, shopping, entertainment and banking options.

Developers are being asked to submit a development program and project concept, project budget, preliminary design, financing plan, and financial pro forma, offering incentives and any specific demands, resources, or actions from the IURA or city. Those who submit proposals are not required to include every preferred element to be considered, and it was noted that if a developer only wants to take up a portion of the site, the scope of the project is expected to be reduced.

For more information about the IURA and its request for proposals, visit CityOfIthaca.org/290/Ithaca-Urban-Renewal-Agency.