ITHACA, N.Y. — We brought your Collegetown last week. But, many Ithacans don’t visit Collegetown all that often, in the way many New Yorkers stay away from Times Square. So this week, we’ll turn the spotlight on Downtown Ithaca and its environs.

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The Griffin Block Reconstruction (Simeon’s)

If one wants to be a pedant, they could call out every time someone calls this the Simeon’s Rebuild and say it’s actually the Griffin Block Rebuild occurring concurrently with Simeon’s on the Commons. Here’s our advice – unless you’re reporting on it or being graded on it, don’t worry about it.

Under the scaffolding, what is now dried spray foam and zip panel sheathing (for waterproofing and insulation) will soon be covered with brick and cast iron. Plans call for the beloved Simeon’s to reopen in June, two years after the fatal accident that partially destroyed the building. Five luxury apartments being built on part of the second and all of the third and fourth floors will open later this year, towards the fall.


The Hotel Ithaca Addition

So this one’s just getting underway. Owner Hart Hotels is starting work on a 5-story, 90-room addition to the Hotel Ithaca at 222 South Cayuga Street. As part of the renovations, the existing north and west wings of the hotel are being demolished, and in fact, the addition will result in fewer hotel rooms than what currently exists (170, vs. the current 180). Perhaps because of that, the $12 million project is being billed as more a modernization than an addition.

Expect this one to be under construction for a little while – the new hotel wing is expected to open around May 2017.

Also, request to Krog Corporation, the general contractor – cut a few small holes in the silt fence. This writer is short.


Ithaca Marriott Downtown

The other downtown hotel project currently underway, and one that’s hard to miss from most angles. With the exception of the mechanical penthouse, the Marriott is at its full height. The floors have been poured, exterior steel stud walls are being attached, bright green fireproof gypsum sheathing on top of that, and then what appears to be a dark spray, probably for waterproofing. On the side facing the Green Street garage, they’ve started to put up the brick veneer.

This one’s going to move at a pretty fast clip from here on out, in order to make its opening date of August 23rd, 2016. According to our friends at the Ithaca Times, hiring for managerial staff is going on right now, and general staff will be hired on during the summer as the opening day for the 159-room hotel approaches.


The Carey Building

Last but not least in today’s rundown, the Carey Building addition at 314-320 East State Street. The scaffolding is still up on the east wall, but the terra cotta and synthetic stucco are essentially complete. The balconies and sunshades are up, and most of the work at this point is focused on finishing out the interior – space for business incubator Rev on the third floor (as well as existing Rev on the second floor of the 1920s Carey Building), sixteen micro-apartments on the fourth and fifth floors, and four larger apartments on the sixth and seventh floors. The units should be ready for tenants later this year; Travis Hyde Properties appears to be setting up ads for the units, although the webpage is down at the moment.

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