Site Preparation Begins at 158,000-SF ‘City Harbor’ Project Set to Revitalize Ithaca’s Waterfront

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Developers, Tompkins Co. Area Dev. announce progress, timeline for future waterfront housing and public promenade; complex set to offer new boat access, utilize cutting-edge HVAC system.

Photo courtesy of Lambrou Real Estate.

City Harbor, a transformational, mixed-use project on Ithaca, N.Y.'s waterfront, is set to begin construction this spring. (Photo courtesy of Lambrou Real Estate.)

"Most notable among City Harbor's amenities are the lengthy pedestrian promenade and newly acquired boat access that will bring an operational marina to an underutilized inlet," said Tompkins County Area Development President Heather McDaniel.

City Harbor, a substantial mixed-use project promoting wider access to Cayuga Lake, has entered site preparation stages, its project team has announced. The site, nestled along an inlet on the southern shore of the 37.9-mile Finger Lake, will feature 158,000 square feet of residential space, with an adjacent medical building adding another 60,000 square feet to the site. Developers plan to break ground on the project in May, with construction for its first phase set to take approximately a year and a half.

Upon completion, the residential complex at 101 Pier Road in Ithaca, N.Y., formerly the site of Johnson Boat Yard, will include 156 one- and two-bedroom residential units with a wellness center and amenities. These include a full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, improved boating and golfing amenities and access to the new Guthrie Medical Office building. City Harbor’s heating and cooling will also be powered by an advanced, effluent-based system.

The urban waterfront will also feature a 1,700-foot promenade that follows the shoreline and ends at the Cayuga Inlet. The ambitious pedestrian promenade will be accented with pocket park seating areas and will connect directly to the city’s Waterfront Trail and the Ithaca Farmers Market.

“City Harbor is transformational. It connects Downtown Ithaca with Cayuga Lake, creates an urban waterfront, with the density and anchoring power of a year-round residential community, plus the seasonal boost of tourism, to support Ithaca’s growth,” said Nick Lambrou of Lambrou Real Estate, a partner on the project. “We anticipate, overall, 75-100 newly created, full-time jobs as a result of this waterfront community, including the Guthrie Medical Office.”

Heather McDaniel, president of Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD), the region’s economic development group that has worked closely with the city and co-investors to defray public infrastructure costs, also noted, “City Harbor offers a number of public amenities and effectively opens the lake to more waterfront activity. Most notable among these amenities are the lengthy pedestrian promenade and newly acquired boat access that will bring an operational marina to the underutilized inlet.”

City Harbor’s project team, consisting of Edger Enterprises, Lambrou Real Estate, Bridges Cornell Heights and Morse Project Management, is also drawing on a cutting-edge, effluent-based heat pump system for temperature control on different components of the site.

Engineered by EC4B, the system will use clean, treated water headed toward Cayuga Lake as an energy source to heat and cool the complex’s residential and medical areas. The system will use 8-10 percent of the incoming water flow for heat exchange. After a 30-foot stretch, the water will return to the outbound effluent pipe. The system eliminates natural gas usage, reduces the electric load and draws on energy from water that is already onsite.

“This is an extremely innovative system that has yet to be rolled out in Tompkins County. In fact, it’s sparsely used in the U.S.,” said Costa Lambrou of Lambrou Real Estate. “Once complete, this will be a proof of concept for other municipalities that can tap into energy from onsite waterflow, in order to heat and cool entire buildings.”

The revitalization of this location follows a recent rezone for the district and will address long-standing infrastructure needs such as stormwater facilities, fire accessways, parking and seawall construction supporting the interface with the waterfront.

The City Harbor development team has also partnered with the City of Ithaca to house the spoils of dredging from nearby Cascadilla Creek, to reduce flooding in surrounding neighborhoods. City Harbor is holding the dredging remnants for three months free of charge, in order for the dirt to dry and get offloaded via truck. The project will also make the channel navigable by boat.

Nearby at 770 Cascadilla Avenue, City Harbor’s partners are also collaborating with GreenStar Cooperative Natural Foods Market to build its new flagship location, which is anticipated to add another 40 full-time jobs.

City Harbor’s project team includes T.G. Miller Engineers and Surveyors, HOLT Architects and Whitham Planning and Design. The dredging is being carried out by Gorick Construction, Co., whose crews are working double shifts beneath tower lights to ensure progress at the site.

About City Harbor
The lively, urban waterfront of Ithaca’s future is City Harbor, a multi-family waterfront community that promotes public lake access through a pedestrian promenade, a full-service restaurant, residential rental units, updated boat slips and marina services, enhancements to Ithaca’s City golf clubhouse and convenient access to medical offices, all situated overlooking Cayuga Lake’s waterways and within walking distance of the Ithaca Farmer’s market. City Harbor springs from a bold, visionary alliance among established, locally focused developers. For more information visit:

About Tompkins County Area Development
Since 1964, Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) has continued to work tirelessly to grow, retain and attract companies that provide high-quality employment opportunities in the Greater Ithaca, N.Y., region. The organization strives to create a supportive environment for entrepreneurship and business development. TCAD maintains strategic partnerships with businesses, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), government and area nonprofits, which contributes to the region’s prosperity. TCAD is committed to its mission of creating a thriving and sustainable economy for its region. For more information, visit TCAD at:

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