By: Noreyana Fernando
The design firm that has undertaken the Ithaca Commons redesign held an informational presentation on Wednesday, where the entire design process and each element of the proposed design were explained. Sasaki Associates said they will begin the site plan review process with the Planning and Development Board on Sept. 25.
The preliminary design for the project was approved in January 2010. Senior Sasaki Associate Susannah Ross said at the meeting that there have been some changes to the plan since.
“To back up and look at the inspiration for the design, we’re very anxious that the Commons maintain a unique, rich character,” she said.
During Wednesday’s meeting, officials noted that the future of the trees on the Commons was a sensitive subject. Ross said that while efforts will be made to preserve some select trees, the rest will have to be taken down as the redesign is implemented. She went on to stress that they will maintain the unique. rich ambience of the Commons while improving the area as a retail zone.
Sasaki Associates have held several informational meetings in the past where residents have been briefed about the developments at different stages of the project. Another public meeting is scheduled next month.