Sunday, October 07, 2012

Member Mail is a monthly report on the activities of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance

Member Mail is a monthly report on the activities of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. You are receiving this email because of your membership or interest in the Downtown Ithaca Business Improvement District. We hope that this report will keep you abreast of the many projects and events going on in your Downtown.
From the Executive Director

This is a time of great anticipation here in downtown. As we describe below, downtown is embarking on a remarkable building and growth spurt that is unparalleled in the history of our community. A new Commons pedestrian mall and enhanced transit corridors connecting downtown to Cornell, Ithaca College, and the West End/waterfront will serve as catalysts for significant private investment over the next few years. Already, we have projects underway or in the planning stages that total well over $100,000,000. With the approval of a new incentive tax abatement program and the modification of downtown zoning to accommodate more density, we are planning for even more residential, lodging, and office development.
As a community we have long talked about creating a sustainable community... one where we value smart growth and public transit. We are committed to create such a place-here in downtown. As we rebuild downtown know that we are adhering to two key principles--- that downtown density is smart growth and that we will maintain and improve the street level character and charm of our downtown.
A new Commons, a new conference center, a new hotel, 200+ more new units of housing. This really is a time of great anticipation.
Gary Ferguson
Executive Director
Business Retention & Development

The Commons Rebuild project took a great leap forward with the announcement from Senators Gillibrand and Schumer that Ithaca had been awarded a Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) State of Good Repair grant for $4.5 million. This award was the result of the hard work of Mayor Svante Myrick, City Planning and DPW staff, County staff, and the DIA, all working together with Washington, D.C. consultants Sustainable Strategies DC to pursue a series of federal funding opportunities.
Funds from this grant will be used to help rebuild the Commons and to help fund the upgrading of the Downtown to Cornell transit corridor. Both of these items were key elements in the Downtown 2020 Plan.
On June 1, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance held a press conference to introduce the winners of its Race for the Space competition, an exciting new
initiative announced in February. Twenty-eight local entrepreneurs submitted proposals for new or expanded businesses, vying for an award package including free rent for one year in a prime downtown retail space. Those proposals were winnowed down to fourteen finalists, and finally to two grand prize winners: The Art and Found, a new eco-friendly clothing store owned by Olivia Royale and Heidi Brown, and Life's So Sweet Chocolates, an expansion of the beloved Trumansburg-based gourmet candy business owned by Darlynne Overbaugh. The Art in Found is set to open in Center Ithaca (171 The Commons) this month while Life's So Sweet, which will feature a fully-restored antique soda fountain, will open on the south side of the Ithaca Journal building (116 West Green Street) in September. This contest was made possible by the winning stores' landlords, Frost Travis of Travis Hyde and John Guttridge of Urban Core, who donated the free rent, as well as the Ithaca Times and John Snyder Architects, who will donate ad space and design services. Stay tuned at: and:
The City of Ithaca has submitted a formal proposal to the State of New York to provide funding to the Ithaca Commons Rebuild Project. The proposal was for $4.0 million that would be applied directly to Commons construction. In the proposal the City described how a rebuilt Commons would be an economic development generator not only for downtown, but for the entire community. A rebuilt Commons will leverage and stimulate new development and growth in and around downtown. Currently, there are plans for over $100 million in new private development surrounding the Commons. These projects will create and retain scores of jobs, over 200 new housing units, new office space, new hotels, and new retail. We believe that the Commons project will be a catalytic project and could be a poster child for the economic revitalization of upstate New York. A decision on the $4.0 million grant will come in October.
After hosting a downtown public meeting on the subject in early July, the DIA Board of Directors has voted to provide up to a half million dollars in capital funding to the Commons rebuild project, if there is a gap in the project. This commitment enabled the City's application to the State Consolidated Funding program (CFA) for $4.0 million to have the needed 1:1 match. The City had previously pledged up to $3.5 million for the Commons. While details on the mechanics of the transaction have yet to be determined, it is expected that this would be a ten year obligation from the DIA that could be bonded at the front end of the project.
Now that the funding strategy for the Commons project appears to be coming together, the question in everyone's mind is when will this project happen? Given the grant timetable, it is most probable that we are looking at a 2013 start date for the work. Sasaki Associates is completing its final cost estimate and will be preparing a phasing timetable in the next few weeks. City and County staff are hard at work attempting to create a cash flow schedule from the different funding sources that will allow the project to move forward as quickly as possible. As details become available, the DIA will share them with downtown stakeholders.
Recognizing that the rebuilding of the Commons pedestrian mall may have some impact on commerce, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance Board of Directors has committed to earmark $150,000 toward construction mitigation. This fund, which will leverage additional public and private resources, will be used to market and promote downtown during Commons construction, helping to attract and retain customers and visitors.
Serious growth is coming to downtown in the near future. Since 2008, the national recession has acted to delay and postpone projects. As the national economic picture improves, projects are now readying to move forward. Among them are:
Holiday Inn Expansion and Conference Center
Scheduled to break ground in November of next year, this project will demolish the old two story hotel buildings and replace them with a new 100 foot tower. Rooms in the original tower will also be refurbished. The new tower will sit on the southern end of the property and the ground floor at Cayuga and Clinton will contain the hotel restaurant with street/sidewalk access. In addition to the new tower, Hart Hotels will also build a new conference center with seating and break-out rooms for up to 400 people. The conference center will be located on the northern end of the property, closest to Green Street. This project will become a destination and key traffic generator for downtown, especially for mid-week conference business.
Hotel Ithaca
It is official. The long awaited and much anticipated Hotel Ithaca will be moving forward. Property owner Jeffrey Rimland has teamed up with Urgo Hotels to be the developer and operator of a 140 room full-service Marriott Hotel. Located at the east entrance to the Commons, the landmark project will provide a substantial economic boost to the downtown economy, providing a steady stream of new visitors to downtown on a daily basis. The project still needs to obtain a revision to its site plan approval and some final agreements with the City for tying into the Green Street parking garage.
Argos Inn
Located on East State Street (Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd) next to the Challenge Industries site, the Argos Inn is nearing completion. Owner/developer Avi Smith is opening a 13 room urban inn in this historic property. The building is being renovated to historic standards and will feature a ground floor pub that will be open to the public. A late fall 2012 opening is expected.
Seneca Way
The Newman Group and Brian Warren are collaborating on the development of a new mixed-use building that will replace the former Challenge Industries building on Seneca Way. This project will consist of 39 units of market rate housing plus 9,000 SF of office space. The project has received highly competitive federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs) to assist with its funding. The project is expected to begin work this fall.
Breckenridge Place
The NW corner of Cayuga and Seneca Streets is undergoing a profound change. The former Women's Community Building has been demolished and work is underway on Breckenridge Place. This 50 unit affordable housing project is a joint project of Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS) and PathStone Corporation. The six-story LEED certified building will feature one and two bedroom units and is expected to be completed in 2013.
Cayuga Place II
Bloomfield/Schon Partners is preparing to undertake Cayuga Place II, a 39 unit apartment building that will be located along Six Mile Creek immediately behind the Cayuga parking garage. All of the units will be two story lofts, with 17 foot ceilings and bedroom lofts, a style that has been wildly popular in major metropolitan markets across the country. The project is receiving its final revised site plan approvals and is scheduled to begin construction in fall 2012.
The Downtown Ithaca Alliance has been notified by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Corporation (STREDC) that it has been awarded a $500,000 Community Revitalization loan for 142-144 The Commons. The DIA applied for the funding on behalf of 142-144 The Commons. The property was recently purchased by local developer Jim Merod who plans to redevelop the building, creating five (5) new upper story housing units while retaining the two ground floor retail units. This $1.8 million project is made possible by the low interest loan from STREDC. Expect the project to be completed in 2013.
New Businesses

Decorum-Too in Dewitt Mall is Alan Nemeck's latest venture. Alan has returned downtown selling Turkish, Persian and Afghani rugs hand-picked himself during his travels to Istanbul. The shop also carries furniture from the Copeland and Hallagan companies. Decorum-Too will play host to a bimonthly exhibition of works by local artists.
The Art and Found, located in Center Ithaca, specializes in sustainable clothing, intimates, and accessories. Stop by and meet the crew who won the Race for the Space and have made their store a reality!
F. Oliver's Oils and Vinegars, 154 The Commons. F. Oliver's carries an extensive selection of exceptionally fresh oils and aged balsamic vinegars that customers are always welcome to taste before making a selection based on their culinary needs. Owner Penelope Pankow has stores in both Canandaigua and Rochester.
The Center Café in Center Ithaca is owned and operated by Terry Little and his wife, Theresa Brace. Serving breakfast and lunch with daily specials, the café features homemade muffins and desserts.
The Bangkok Thai Bistro and Sushi Bar, 118 W. State St.
General Manager Todd Unzel and his wife fell in love with Ithaca on a trip from Rhode Island to Niagara Falls. Featuring homemade fresh dumplings as well as more traditional Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine as well as sushi, this new restaurant is a welcome addition to West State Street.
Gorgers, a new sandwich shop, is located at 116 W. State St. Gorgers brings fresh, fast subs to the West side of the Commons. Owner Matthew Diamond and his brother renovated the former Prize Diner which closed due to a fire. The sub rolls will be baked on site and the sauces will be homemade as well. Other menu items include soups and salads.
Carshare has relocated to the Dewitt Mall, down the hall across from Moosewood.
Carshare has just added two more cars and two more locations bringing the number in their fleet to 21.
Musicians for World Harmony
Samite Mulondo has founded Musicians for World Harmony, a non-profit organization that brings the healing power of music to AIDS orphans, former child soldiers, and those living in refugee camps in war-torn regions of the world. They are located at 123 S. Cayuga St, 302B
Chiang O'Brien Architects is operated by Principals Grace Chiang and BobO'Brien who together bring six decades of experience leading creative teams of professionals and providing architectural and planning expertise to small and large organizations. Their office is located at 217 N. Aurora St.
Special Events

Summer Concert Series
The Summer Concert Series wrapped up its final show on September 7 with the Jeff Love Band. The 2012 season included 14 shows with bands from Latin Jazz to Roots Rock. Attendance at the concerts was high with unusually dry weather for the summer.
Fall and Winter Events
To get involved in the events below, contact
30th Annual Apple Harvest Festival
September 28-30, 2012 on the Commons and surrounding streets
The Apple Festival is a celebration of food, fun and the fall. The three day event attracts an audience of around 30,000 people to downtown Ithaca. The event features farmers, wineries, breweries, bakeries, crafters, food vendors, and apple pie eating competition, apples, apples, and more apples. There's music, dancing, street performers, plus a new family fun zone.
October 27 - 12noon to 6pm
Downtown Ithaca Alliance is working with Kilpatrick's Publick House on a new event to the Central Commons of Downtown Ithaca with beer, wine and food tastings. Come and sample Finger Lakes wines and beers, and tasty morsels from your favorite local restaurants and food vendors.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Join in the Halloween Parade! The parade meets at GIAC at 3:45pm and parades to the Commons while trick or treating. There will be music, games, hot cider, and chili inside of Center Ithaca. Kids can Trick or Treat on the Commons from 4-7pm.
Downtown Living Tour
Sunday, November 4 -- 1-5pm
The Downtown Living Tour is a self-guided tour of apartments and attractions in the downtown area. For those who have ever wondered what it would be like to live downtown, the Downtown Living Tour offers a new opportunity to get a sneak peek into a range of apartments in the downtown area. Participants will be able to tour up to six apartments at this "open house" of urban living. Register in advance by emailing or by calling (607) 277-8679, or register on the day of the event at the Downtown Visitors & Ticket Center at Center Ithaca starting at 1pm. Participants will receive a lanyard pass, map, coupons, and discounts to downtown attractions, and will also be entered to win prizes including a $100 Downtown Gift Card.
Winter Festival 2012 - December 1-9, 2012
Visit Downtown Ithaca's Winter Festival with special culinary events including Restaurant Week and a Chowder Cook-off, plus an artist market, gallery night, and the 3rd Annual Ice Wars Ice Carving Competition.
December 1 - Santa's Arrival to Downtown
Santa will visit Downtown Ithaca at Noon on Saturday, December 1st. The elves and Santa arrive from the sky and rappel onto the Ithaca Commons. This is followed by photos with Santa, games, music and dance in Center Ithaca.
December 1 - Wing Walk Benefit for Ithaca Youth Bureau
This new event will feature wings from Thai to traditional Buffalo. Patrons will be able to visit restaurant locations and vote for their favorites.
December 1 - 9 - Restaurant Week in Ithaca
Ithaca's Second Annual Restaurant Week will take place from Saturday, December 1st to Sunday, December 9. Restaurants will offer specials and fixed price menus.
December 6-8 - Ice Wars Ice Carving Competition
Ithaca's Ice Wars Ice Carving Competition is a National Ice Carving Association sanctioned event and will take place from December 6-8. Sixteen acclaimed national and international level ice carvers will compete in three competitions to win prize money and trophies.
December 7 - Special Holiday Gallery Night - A walkable tour of downtown galleries with special events and giveaways for the holidays.
December 8 - 3rd Annual Downtown Ithaca Chowder Cook-off
Twenty restaurants will compete for the coveted Chowder Cup. Tickets are $10 for 10 tastings and include vegetarian, seafood, and meat chowders.
Saturday, December 8 - 16 - Hanukkah (Chanukah) - Menorah lighting
Saturday, December 8 - Holiday Artists Market - 11am to 5pm
A juried fine art market featuring local painters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, and more! Free admission. Bring your holiday shopping list!! A program of the Community Arts Partnership. For more information, visit or call 273-5072, ext. 20
Save the Date - Winter/Spring 2013
Chili Cook-off - Saturday, February 16 (Thundersnow date February 17)
Ithaca Festival - Thursday, May 30 - Sunday, June 2
For more information on these or other downtown events, visit, or call the Downtown Ithaca Alliance at 607-277-8679.
Government Relations & Infrastructure

21 Boxes: An Electrical Box Mural Project 21 boxes
In collaboration with the City of Ithaca Public Arts Commission and the
Community Arts Partnership, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance has been
facilitating a novel public art project with the mission to beautify the community's urban core. Twenty-one local artists were invited to transform the same number of nondescript city-owned electrical boxes into inspiring works of art while preserving the boxes' functionality. Selected artists
include Kadie Salfi, Ryan Curtis, Alice Muhlback, and Rob Licht. Compositions range from playful flora and fauna and trompe l'oeil to dreamy pop and psychedelia, but they are all notable for their vivid colors which stand in marked contrast to their utilitarian surroundings. The 21 Boxes project was made possible by a grant from the Tompkins Charitable Gift Fund and by support from Standard Art and Supply and Ithaca Paint and Decorating. The process of transformation is being thoroughly documented on the project's Facebook page:

Dogs on the Commons
In response to complaints from tourists and locals alike that the Ithaca Commons is not "dog-friendly," the Downtown Ithaca Alliance conducted a survey to determine if there was broad support for lifting the ban on dogs that has been in place since 1975. Of nearly one thousand respondents, 80% said they would favor a trial period where dogs were allowed; among tourists who have visited in the last year, the number was 90%. The Alliance brought the results of this survey to the Commons Advisory Board, and new legislation is now being discussed by the Government Performance and Accountability Committee. Such legislation would likely regulate leash length, tethering, and number of dogs allowed per person, and would stipulate fines for owners who fail to clean up after their pets. The Alliance is also looking into the feasibility of providing waste stations and designated tethering poles on the Commons.
Martin Luther King Statue Unveiled on the Ithaca Commons West End
On June 22, the Martin Luther King Freedom Walkway Committee unveiled the first statue on its planned walkway. The event included speeches from former Mayor Peterson, Dorothy Cotton, the sculptor Rob Licht and other dignitaries. The sculpture is an abstraction of a waterfall combined with the portrait bust of Martin Luther King, Jr, on a stone base etched with the quote "We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream". Funding was provided through private donors through a fund established with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.
Art in the Heart of the City
Art in the Heart, Downtown Ithaca's annual outdoor art exhibition, returned
for the thirteenth year this July with fifteen new sculptures by seven
different artists of local and international renown. Returning artists Jay
Seaman and Liz Sibley Fletcher were joined by first-time exhibitors Sam
Castner, Glenn Zweygardt, Barron Naegel, Bob Turan, and Mary C. Angers.
Several of the works on display were conceived and fabricated expressly for
Art in the Heart 2012, including Cosmos - Castner's imposing tower of
weathered iron orbs, poles, and ribbons that stands near Madeline's - and
Spirit of the Trees - Naegel's colorful mosaic sculpture creatively sited in
the middle of the fountain planter surrounded by vibrant canna flowers. Art
in the Heart is an annual program of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance made
possible through cooperation with the City of Ithaca and grant support from
the Community Arts Partnership. Look for a complete listing and map at our
Marketing & Member Services

Back to School
The Downtown Ithaca Alliance conducted a "Back To School" radio and print campaign containing information about retail, restaurants and special events airing across 8 radio stations and in print. The goal was to introduce newcomers to downtown and the website for more information.
Employee Appreciation Week
July 30 to August 3
Downtown Ithaca hosted another successful employee appreciation week with daily giveaways, the office Olympics, hot dog eating competition and distribution of the Downtown Employee Discount Card. Over 1,000 cards were distributed during the week. If you have yet to receive yours, contact for more information.
Sidewalk Sales
The Downtown Ithaca Sidewalk Sales took place August 2 - 5 with over 20 participating businesses. A survey has been circulated to gain feedback about the sales and whether they should continue.
Fall Guide and Kiosks
The Downtown Ithaca Fall Guide is now at the printer and will be ready for the Apple Harvest Festival. New signs will be installed on the clock towers at the end of the Commons with a take away brochure holder to house the guides at each location. The guide now contains cross referenced business numbers and a map for exact locations.
Holiday Radio & TV Coop
The DIA marketing team is pricing both radio and television cooperative campaigns for November and December. If you are interested in participating and would like more information, contact Vicki at
Looking for Block Captains & Member Networking Event
The DIA is looking to improve communications with our members and would like to resurrect the block captain system. If you are interested in helping to get the word out including important notices, events information, special meetings, and deadlines for participating in programs, email The Member Services committee will also be hosting a member networking event in October so keep an eye out for the event notice.
About the DIA
The Downtown Ithaca Business Improvement District (DIBID), is a State of New York chartered not-for-profit organization charged with the revitalization, development, promotion and management of downtown Ithaca.

The Downtown Ithaca Business Improvement District has adopted the following vision statement to guide its work and operation:

"Downtown Ithaca is the economic, social, and cultural heart of Tompkins County. The Downtown Ithaca Business Improvement District will strive to preserve and develop the central downtown core as the region's center for banking and finance, business and professional offices, government and community services, downtown residences, and as a retail destination highlighted by specialty shops, restaurants, arts and entertainment. Downtown serves people who live and work downtown, city and county residents, college communities, area visitors and tourists".

For more information visit or call 607-277-8679.

Friday, January 29, 2010

AT&T Expands Mobile Broadband Coverage at Tompkins Cortland Community College

ITHACA, N.Y., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced mobile devices and applications, AT&T* today announced the activation of a new 3G cell site on the Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) campus in Dryden that will enhance coverage for students, faculty, and staff. It also expands 3G service for residents and area businesses along the Route 13 corridor between Cortland and Ithaca. With 3G speeds, AT&T customers can surf the Web, download files faster, and enjoy the very latest interactive mobile applications.

The new cell site is one part of AT&T's ongoing efforts to drive innovation and extend its 3G wireless network – the fastest in the nation, according to independent testing. It is also part of AT&T's ongoing investment to build the broadband networks that will fuel economic growth and create jobs, and enable its customers to quickly access the content, applications and services that matter most to them.

"Delivering dependable wireless coverage for consumers and business customers who need to stay connected to work, family and friends is our ultimate objective," said William Leahy, vice president of Atlantic region legislative and regulatory affairs for AT&T. "Our ongoing investments in the state will help us ensure that our customers have access to the wireless services that help drive economic growth."

"We are thrilled to continue expanding and enhancing our wireless network for our customers in the area," said Robert Holliday, vice president and general manager for AT&T upstate New York. "We know that demand for wireless bandwidth is growing, whether it's for sharing videos and photos with friends, watching movies, checking the latest scores, or listening to music on a phone, netbook or other mobile device on the go."

AT&T recently completed a software upgrade at 3G cell sites nationwide that prepares the nation's fastest 3G network for even faster speeds. The deployment of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology is the first of multiple initiatives in AT&T's network enhancement strategy designed to provide customers with an enhanced mobile broadband experience, both today and well into the future. Faster 3G speeds are scheduled to become available in 2010 and 2011 on a market by market basis as AT&T combines the new technology with our second initiative to dramatically increase the number of high-speed backhaul connections to cell sites, primarily with fiber-optic connections, adding capacity from cell sites to the AT&T backbone network.

AT&T's 3G mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most open and widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T offers 3G data roaming in more than 115 countries, as well as voice calling in more than 220 countries.

For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit;_ylu=X3oDMTE2NTJzYzlkBHBvcwMxBHNlYwNuZXdzYXJ0Ym9keQRzbGsDd3d3YXR0Y29tbmV0/SIG=113r3p5i6/**http%3A//

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation's fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation's leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine's list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at;_ylu=X3oDMTE2bXA2Z2FhBHBvcwMyBHNlYwNuZXdzYXJ0Ym9keQRzbGsDaHR0cHd3d2F0dGNv/SIG=10oudft0k/**http%3A//

© 2010 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Ithaca Commons WebSite

The Ithaca Commons WebSite:

** **** **

Photos by Cornell Law School [ Who takes an active partnership in the promotion of Ithaca and their school - they see positive links and this is the result. ]

The Ithaca Commons WebSite and The Ithaca Urban Entertainment Center and Construction Directory WebPage was generate as a supplement to Ithaca Night Life ( NightLife ), NY. This is part of a promotional process in which to attract more tourist to the local scene and thereby creating an additional economic reality locally by tourism.

The singificant factor in promoting centers, IE. the Ithaca Commons is that it draws [ There are less parking problems now - a - days too ! ] people into a central area in which to be seen and at times meet friends all the while shopping at exotic shops. Recently, several downtown merchants have been doing complete face lifts on their stores facades and thus with the additional construction and new mass traniset stations Ithaca is about to be - renewed.

The objective of which complys with the following paper - thesis:

1.0 Introduction
“Downtown- where all the lights are bright” may be lyrics in the popular 1960’s Petula Clark song, but they are ironic considering the song reached its popularity just as the lights were dimming on many downtowns across the country. In another decade, downtowns sat in ruins of their former glory.
As politicians, civic leaders, and the few remaining business and residents who remained downtown tried creative endeavors to renew the old center of the city; those who left for the suburbs shifted their thinking about the city as well. Downtown had become desolate, crime-ridden, and often dangerous, especially at night. Once fashionable neighborhoods lay in decay and the old bustling shopping districts became home to the homeless, gangs, and drug addicts. It seemed like an impossible situation.
A brief history of downtown, including background on other revitalization and urban renewal programs and economic stimulants that are related to urban entertainment centers. In addition, this paper presents a definition of the urban entertainment center and how it differs from other attempts at renewal in terms of definition and goals. Baltimore, Maryland and Denver, Colorado are two cities that have used urban entertainment with varying degrees of success, and this paper discusses each of them.
Finally, this paper presents an examination of some of the specific issues associated with building and maintaining urban entertainment centers, and concludes with a discussion of their effectiveness to be a catalyst for downtown revitalization.
2.0 History
American downtowns were not always is need of revitalization. From the colonization of America until the early 20th century, cities bustled with activity; the influx of immigrants, and the downtown district stood as the center of business, religion, and politics. However, the 20th century brought many changes. New technologies, such as streetcars, made possible the ability to live, work, and play in areas once thought too far from one another and from downtown. Following World War II, the Federal Housing Administration insurance program, which protected banks against mortgage default, VA loans to war veterans, and the availability of affordable transportation coalesced and creation of the suburbs.

Source : An Examination of the Use of Urban Entertainment Centers as a Catalyst for Downtown Revitalization / John S. Bender

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Ithaca Commons:

The primary working area of the Ithaca Downtown Partnership is the Ithaca Commons:
IE. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Ithaca Commons is a two-block pedestrian mall in downtown Ithaca, New York, built in 1974 Its boundaries are Green Street to the south, Cayuga Street to the west, Seneca Street to the north, and Aurora Street to the east. It sits at the intersection of Tioga and State Streets. Shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars line either side of the Commons, while the walkway is dotted with trees, benches and sculptures. It serves as the center of the central business district for the Tompkins County area.

The Commons is the center of Ithaca and Tompkins County civic life, serving as the main community meeting space. The City and Town Hall abut the Commons, and the local state representatives have their offices on or adjacent to it. Many of the stores have apartments on their second and third floors. During the summer months, local entertainers and theater groups put on free performances at the 3 covered pavilions on the Commons. The stages are also utilized for many politically inspired protests and speeches.

The Commons hosts several festivals throughout the year. The main festival, the Ithaca Festival in the summer, is centered on the Commons for 2 of its three days. Traditionally, the final day of the festival is at Stewart Park on the Cayuga Lake waterfront. Two relatively new festivals which have found a home on the Commons are the Apple Harvest Festival in the Fall and Chili Cook-Off in the Winter.

The Sagan Planet Walk, named after famed Cornell University astronomer Carl Sagan, begins in the Commons and stretches 3/4 mile from the Commons through downtown Ithaca to the Sciencenter. The Planet Walk traces a to-scale path of the solar system, including colorful pictures and facts about the planets.
The Commons (Green Street) is also the main hub for the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) bus network. With a few exceptions, most routes originate/ terminate at or stop at Green Street, which is also a frequent connection point between the various routes.
See a live view of the "Bernie Milton Pavilion" in the center of the Commons on the Commons Cam website.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Welcome to Downtown Ithaca

Welcome to Downtown Ithaca !

The Ithaca Downtown Partnership Blog.

Businesses who are looking for an opportunity for growth and profits, consumers who are looking to shop for quality products and services, and those who have that one special person who you wish to show to have an entertaining evening all can be found in downtown Ithaca.

In the subsequent additions to this blog you will find updates on new businesses who are locating here, and other downtown business promotionals. Moreover, there will be additional areas added to give you a fuller picture of why you should come to the old historic downtown Ithaca district first !

This blog is also linked to two addional efforts to promote the downtown businesses and community of Ithaca, New York.

One: This is the central website for The Ithaca Downtown Partnership itself.

Two: Is a special portal webpage of Ithaca Night Life ( NightLife ), NY, and the additional networks which The ithaca Downtown Partnership will be integrated into as a result.

Here with these two internet items for you to investigate is a very good place to start.

You will see more. So bookmark this blog while you are here!


Mr. Roger M. Christian
Member, and Internet Consultant
The Ithaca Dwontown Partnership.


The Ithaca Cultural Directory . AOL Hometown Ithaca Night Life ( NightLife ), NY