Hotel Ithaca

The city planning board approved two major hotel construction projects at their Tuesday, Oct. 27 meeting.

A four-story, 79-room Holiday Inn Express will begin construction soon, with a building permit coming as soon as next week, after the planning board approved a few minor changes to its original plans. The hotel will be located at 371 Elmira Road (Route 13), just before the entrance to Buttermilk Falls across from the Home Depot complex. The board only had to approve a few changes, including some changed exterior colors, from originally proposed plans that were okayed in March 2014.

Later in the evening, the Hotel Ithaca received approvals for its five-story addition of a north wing with 90 guest rooms and two conference rooms. Last month, the planning board had expressed some reservations about the design of the new tower, which will replace a two-story building that's on the site now. The new design features balconies on the corners of the building and more usage of local stone on the facade, along with removing some diamond-like panels.

"This is so much more sophisticated and elegant," John Schroeder told the project's representatives. "The diamond panels looked like strip mall architecture, honestly."

Representatives for Hart Hotels said that they hope to begin construction early next year, with completion by late fall of 2016.

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