Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr

This column was written by Brian Crandall, who runs the blog “Ithacating in Cornell Heights.”

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Why I shop downtown — Marty

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Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr
Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr

Ithaca, N.Y. — Down in big box land, the former Kmart space looks to be filling out with new tenants.

Discount clothing store chain TJ Maxx has agreed to take 21,770 sq ft of space, and Five Below (a teen retailer specializing in products $5 or less – it sounds like the product of a one-night stand between Dollar Tree and H&M) has agreed to take 8,208 sq ft of space.

The old garden center will be replaced with a 16,200 sq ft addition, a revision of the previously-approved 14,700 sq ft. Benderson Development is redoing the front facade for TJ Maxx, and needs a couple of minor area variances.


Readers might recall the Ithaca Kmart closed in 2011, and its sister store, Sears, is closing this winter. If this is any indicator, then there’s hope that the Sears space will be re-occupied soon enough.

From the TJ Maxx website:

T.J. Maxx was founded in 1976, and together with Marshalls, forms The Marmaxx Group, the largest off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions in the U.S.

T.J. Maxx offers an ever-fresh array of fashionable, brand name family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise, such as beauty products. T.J. Maxx differentiates itself from Marshalls with an expanded assortment of fine jewelry and accessories, and in some stores, The Runway, a high-end designer department.

From the Five Below website:

Five Below, Inc. is the leading retailer of trend-right, extreme-value merchandise to the teen and pre-teen market – all for $1.00 to $5.00.

Five Below’s dynamic assortment of merchandise includes everything from sporting goods, games, fashion accessories and jewelry, to hobbies and collectibles, bath and body, candy and snacks, room décor and storage, stationery and school supplies, video game accessories, books, dvds, iPhone® accessories, novelty and “gag,” and seasonal items. Five Below combines exceptional value with trend-right, quality merchandise in a vibrant shopping environment.

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Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at