ITHACA, N.Y. — Last week, the Ithaca Voice reported that Maplewood Park, a 394-unit graduate student community in the Belle Sherman neighborhood, would be closing its doors next year. A few readers on the Voice’s Facebook page inquired about the status of Ithaca East, the apartment complex next door.

“We will not close when they do,” stated Ithaca East owner/manager Bruce Abbott.


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“My agreement with Cornell is such that they have to tell me each June if I have two additional years as owner of Ithaca East Apartments…if I am notified by June 1, 2015 that they are exercising their option, then I have two more years as owner and I must close our doors as of May 31, 2017.”

Calls this afternoon inquiring if the option would be exercised were not returned.

The 82-unit Ithaca East apartment complex opened as the Maple Hill apartments in 1972. The complex was a subsidized apartment complex until the 40-year mortgage was paid off in 2012. The state and federal income restrictions were lifted with the final payment on the mortgage, and the apartments were renovated and reopened under the “Ithaca East” name.

The apartment complex sits on land owned by the university, which leases it out to Abbott. Cornell has previously stated intent to resume control of the property at some point, and replace the apartment complex at an unspecified date. The Cornell master plan merges the redevelopment of Ithaca East into the Maplewood Park replacement.

The loss of Maplewood results in a loss of 480 bedrooms, exacerbating the already-tight Ithaca market. “Currently, I have 70% Cornell graduate students, so I may be considered a resource to them [Cornell] while they are replacing Maplewood.”

Maplewood Park Apartment renderings

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