At its meeting December 20, the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency unanimously approved the designation of Lighthouse Hotel, LLC as “a qualified and eligible sponsor” for acquiring properties at 320-324 East Martin Luther King Jr./East State Street through a negotiated sale for the purpose of an urban renewal project. The proposal by Lighthouse Hotel is to develop a $16 million, six-story Hampton Inn & Suites with 92 rooms. The project site would cover four parcels including parking lots owned by the city and the IURA, the Carey Building and 310-312 E. MLK Jr./E. State Street.
The proposal came through the IURA’s Economic Development Committee, which approved the proposal three to one. Ayana Richardson, the chair of the committee, said there were concerns about the preliminary design of the hotel and the loss of the current building. She and Nels Bohn, the IURA director of community development, emphasized that the action would be the very beginning of a long process that would have many opportunities for discussion.
Negotiations with the developer will commence. An agreement will be brought back to the IURA for approval before the issue is sent to Common Council.
In other business, the IURA unanimously approved an agreement between the city and IURA that clarifies the roles and responsibilities for the administration of HUD Entitlement grants.