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Ithaca, N.Y.—Maguire Family of Dealerships CEO, Tim Maguire hand delivered letters of support from Tom Reed, U.S. House of Representatives, 23rd District and Thomas F. O’Mara, NYS Senator, 58th District, to Governor Andrew Cuomo seeking his help in acquiring necessary approvals for Maguire’s plan to improve a section of Route 13 along Carpenter Business Park.

The enhancements include installing a traffic light at the proposed Fifth Street intersection, constructing a sidewalk and planting hardwood trees along the west side of Route 13 between Cascadilla and Third Streets, and removing an unsightly chain link fence along this stretch of highway. This would create a landscaped pedestrian walkway from the intersection near Purity Ice Cream to the Ithaca Farmers Market.

In addition to connecting the Northside neighborhood with the waterfront along the Cayuga Lake inlet, these upgrades will provide safe pedestrian and bicycle access to this location, as well as create a more attractive, landscaped entry to the City of Ithaca.

The most recent version of the site plan also includes through traffic accommodations to relieve traffic congestion and enhance Farmers Market access during peak hours.

“Improving this part of Route 13 has long been a goal of city planners,” said Phil Maguire, President of Maguire Family of Dealerships. “Unfortunately, the section in question is controlled by the New York State Department of Transportation.

As a result, we are working to obtain the necessary approvals to make these improvements and demonstrate our efforts to develop this area according to the City of Ithaca Comprehensive Plan adopted in September 2015.”

Maguire intends to build a new, state-of-the-art, LEED Certified dealership on Route 13 at Carpenter Business Park, between Cascadilla and Third Streets. Although the project received very favorable initial feedback from the Planning Board, the dealership is enhancing its proposed site plans to coordinate with the City’s vision for this Enterprise District and the adjacent Waterfront District.

This includes discussions with Project Growing Hope regarding long-term preservation of the Ithaca Community Gardens (whose land is currently leased from the City) and improving both parking and access for Farmers Market patrons.

“I hope the community sees us as responsible, trying to expand our business in a way that is friendly to our neighbors, and that will finally improve this site and allow us to stay in the City,” Phil Maguire said. “Through our support of many local charities and community events and the development of attractive, environmentally friendly locations, we make every effort to be responsible, good neighbors.

We hope residents and legislators alike will support our efforts to remake a site underutilized due to numerous physical constraints into a location that not only improves the aesthetics of the area, but offers numerous benefits to the City and surrounding organizations.”

Founded in 1977, Maguire Family of Dealerships is the number one retailer in Tompkins County and 11th largest employer with a staff of 426. Auto retailing represents 16% of the New York State economy. Maguire purchased the Carpenter Business Park property in August 2015.

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Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.