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Business, City Government, Ithaca Commons

Ithaca Commons Receives Renovation Grant

By: Kyle Robertson and Emily Junge

As part of its continuing redesign project, the City of Ithaca has received a grant to place several interactive tourism kiosks on the Commons, along with other construction.

The Commons renovation plan, developed by Boston-based Sasaki Associates Inc., would change the existing layout of the square and add new features, including a water structure on the lower end of Bank Alley, a replacement pavilion with an etched glass roof structure and a movement of seating arrangements to give activities and events more space.

Vicki Taylor, associate director at Downtown Ithaca Alliance, said the kiosks are meant to enhance the experience of first time visitors to the city, made possible by funding from the Tompkins County Tourism Program and the New York State Strategic Tourism Planning Board. The kiosks will provide relevant historical and location information, not only for significant sites in the City of Ithaca but also in the surrounding areas as well. This would include winery tours and other regional attractions.

Taylor also said the DIA expects less people to walk and shop on the Commons while the construction is ongoing, but this doesn’t mean commerce should stop completely.

“We have a Commons construction mitigation program that’s in place so that we’re able to assist businesses with getting through the actual construction time,” Taylor said. “We’re going to do a comprehensive marketing program. We’ve hired an outreach coordinator to specifically liaise between the Commons merchants and the project manager.”

Work on the Commons redesign is scheduled to start in April.

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