[IW] Trebloc survey results

George McGonigal gamcgonigal at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 09:46:34 CDT 2015

Dear fellow First Warders,

I would like to respond to some of the things Joe Whitmore wrote a couple
days ago.

First, Campus Advantage (CA) is most definitely asking the City to allow
them to extend their side walk into what is now S. Aurora St.
They want more space for outdoor dining, and they want the City to provide
it, rather than move their building's foot print eastward on the Trebloc
Parcel.  CA's highly skilled local representatives are currently making
this pitch at BPW meetings.  Anyone who does not believe this can look up
the BPW agenda for next Monday.

Second, Joe is correct that the City does not own the property.  Campus
Advantage either has an option to buy it, contingent on site plan approval
from the City, or they own it.  I don't know which.  CA has stated publicly
that they will not go forward with the project without a ten year tax
abatement deal.  If the IDA does not approve a tax abatement, it seems
likely that CA would cut bait and fly home.
Farther along, perhaps after the unfortunate 2013 rezoning of this portion
of downtown has been re-rezoned, a future developer will surely be
interested in this prime piece of real estate.  And if their proposal
"could clearly be far worse" than CA's, it won't be approved either.  A
good proposal that is supported by the community will be approved.

Joe correctly points out that bus service between downtown and both Cornell
and Ithaca College is excellent.  Is it somehow less excellent on the
return trip, from campus to downtown?  Building more dorms or apartments to
house their raising numbers of students on both campuses would help relieve
both the housing shortage and traffic problems throughout the City.
I do not assume CA's proposed building would house only Cornell students.

Absentee landlords are landlords who are generally less accountable because
they are not here.  I know several people who own cats. Can't say if any of
them are named Socrates or not.
And yes, please do check out Campus Advantage's web site.

One final note.  Many of you have asked how best to make your opinions
known about this project.  I would say go to every board meeting that is
addressing it.  That would include the BPW meeting this coming Monday.
Every Panning Board meeting in the near future.  Both these boards also
consider written comments and opinions.  Perhaps most importantly, make
your opinions known, wether you oppose the project or favor it, to the IDA
and the mayor, who is a voting member of the IDA.  It will take large
numbers to be effective, in my opinion.

I'm not good at setting up links on the computer, but I will try to give
people a heads-up when important meetings are going to take place.  Thanks
to all for participating in this discussion.  Many excellent points have
been made.


George McGonigal

Common Council, First Ward
tel: 272-0639
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