ITHACA, N.Y.—Phil Maguire may be known as the head of the Maguire Family of Dealerships, but he is a very busy man in the world of Ithaca real estate as well.

In the past several years, Maguire has built a new Nissan dealership in the village of Lansing, performed a gut renovation of their Ford-Lincoln dealership on South Meadow Streetand renovated and expanded their Chrysler Jeep Ram dealership further down the road. Plans for renovation for the Hyundai-Subaru dealership at 320 Elmira Road were approved by the city of Ithaca earlier this year.

Now comes the latest project on his business agenda—renovation and expansion of the Maguire Chevrolet/Cadillac dealership at 35 Cinema Drive in the village of Lansing, adjacent to the recently-built Nissan dealership. Maguire bought the 19,857 square-foot dealership from previous owner Bill Cooke in September 2017 for $2.015 million. The property was then subdivided into two parcels, with the west half containing the Chevrolet/Cadillac dealership, and the vacant east half onto which the Nissan dealership was built.

Plans for the Chevrolet/Cadillac dealership call for updates to the exterior façade, interior showroom areas, service area and body shop. This includes a new entrance on the western side of the building, and a new second floor that would host the Cadillac showroom. Solar panels would be mounted on the rear wing and body shop roof. Interestingly, branding rules don’t allow Maguire to have its own branding adjacent to the Cadillac building signage.

As with other recent Maguire projects, local firm John Snyder Architects is in charge of the building design, though landscape architecture is now being composed by Margot Chiuten of Chiuten Trowbridge Landscape Architects. T.G. Miller P.C. is the civil engineer for the project.

The project is proceeding relatively smoothly through the Village of Lansing’s Planning Board review. Last night was a brief discussion on the landscaping and lighting plans.

“From the first go-around with Nissan, they know all the questions to ask,” said village Code Enforcement Officer Mike Scott. Most of the review is focused on the completeness of paperwork and the justification of zoning variances.

“We found that having a local landscape architect improves the quality of our landscape designs, and that’s an important part of our projects,” commented John Snyder.

“I’m glad to hear that you’re using local architects, because the last time, as you recall, they were using plants that are adelgid susceptible, that wasn’t gonna work,” replied Planning Board member Lisa Schleelein, referring to the woolly adelgid invasive species. “I think this looks really nice. People really underestimate landscaping, about how people feel about a business, and want to go there when it’s attractive. I’m hoping this is going to be as beautiful as it looks in the pictures.”

There was some brief debate about street trees, though the board was understanding that the preference towards bushes on the corner was so the brand signage could be seen from the street. Zoning variance meetings for signage and the last stages of review are being scheduled, with approval possible in the next couple of months. A timeline for construction was not stated during the meeting.

Brian Crandall

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