Public meeting Tuesday for scope review of Morse Chain and Emerson Power property on Ithaca's South Hill

November 16, 2014 by Mark H. Anbinder

A long-awaited project to redevelop a large swath of Ithaca's South Hill is ready to take the next step forward, and developers will be on hand at a public scoping meeting this Tuesday. The Chain Works District plan looks to create a mixed-use development on a 95-acre property west of Route 96B on the hill overlooking Downtown Ithaca.

The site currently holds large industrial buildings that once housed Morse Chain and Emerson Power Transmission, two industrial firms that once employed hundreds of people in Tompkins County. (Morse Chain still exists as a division of BorgWarner, and operates a facility in the Town of Lansing near the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.)

Planned development for the South Hill site that once held Morse Chain and Emerson Power Transmission. Image provided.Planned development for the South Hill site that once held Morse Chain and Emerson Power Transmission. Image provided.A plan developed for UnChained Properties, LLC under the "Chain Works District" moniker by CJS Architects and Fagan Engineers calls for a mixed-use site that would include residential, retail, office space, and manufacturing, as well as natural space.

The entrance to the site is opposite Coddington Road, near Rogan's Corner and Sunset Grill, downhill from Ithaca College to the southeast and the South Hill Business Campus to the south, on the site of the former National Cash Register plant.

The South Hill Business Campus site is its own redevelopment success story. After NCR was acquired by AT&T and moved its manufacturing operations out of Ithaca, the plant was sold to Axiohm in the mid 1990s. The company sold the facility to an investor group to operate it as a business incubator with a variety of space available, but, in its current incarnation of Cognitive TPG, remains a tenant.

The public meeting is scheduled from 6-9pm on Tuesday, November 18th, in the Common Council chambers on the third floor of City Hall at 108 East Green Street. Copies of the plan are available on the City of Ithaca Planning & Development Department web site or during business hours in the Planning Division office.

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