Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services officials are asking for the public’s help figuring out what to do with the recently purchased former Neighborhood Pride grocery store at 210 Hancock St.

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“This site provides a unique opportunity to redevelop an entire city block under a unified plan. Its location, size and amenities offer great possibilities, but we want to approach the design in a comprehensive and thoughtful way,” INHS Executive Director Paul Mazzarella, Executive Director said in a statement.

“Community engagement will be an essential part of this process.”

A press release from INHS said:

INHS has planned a series of four public meetings, informal “office hours” at the site, and a project-specific web site to solicit input from all interested parties. HOLT Architects and Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects have been retained to facilitate the community engagement process.

“The location of the site has so many wonderful opportunities. It borders Cascadilla Creek, is adjacent to a City Park, and is walking distance to the Farmers Market and Franklin Market,” said Peter Trowbridge of Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects.

The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 12th from 4:30 to 7:30 PM inside the former grocery store. All meetings are open to the public and will be structured to encourage “open-house style” participation rather than formal presentations. The goal of the first meeting is to introduce participants to the community engagement process and the project.  The focus will be on providing background information and the goals for the development.  Most importantly, INHS will be soliciting the community’s feedback on a variety of issues ranging from building types and site strategies, to sustainable design and ideas around what creates a successful community.

Subsequent meetings will have the following goals: 

— Gather the perspectives of neighborhood residents and the community at large that will inform and shape the plan.

— Create connections between the redeveloped site and surrounding community amenities, including the Sciencenter, Conley Park, Downtown Ithaca Children’s Center, Franklin Market, Farmer’s Market, Fall Creek and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

— Evaluate community needs for housing, recreation, services and facilities.
Create a development plan that responds to community needs and is financially feasible.

— Design the site and buildings to meet or exceed the LEED for Homes and EnergyStar standards.

— Address the constraints of designing and building within a flood plain.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.