Cornell University and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance announced today that a new branch location of the Cornell Store will open on the Commons this spring.
The new store will be at 102 East State Street on the west end of the Ithaca Commons. The storefront, at the corner of State and Cayuga Streets, offers 1,700 square feet of retail space.
City of Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick says bringing the Cornell Store to the downtown area will assist the City in recruiting other recognizable and premier retailers to the area. Myrick says “A visible Cornell presence will enhance both downtown and our local economy.”
Fred Piccirilli, the director of the Cornell Store, says the new location will create several new full-time and part-time jobs in the community, as well as a convenient shopping location for tourists, parents of current or prospective students, and other visitors to the area, who often look for Cornell-branded merchandise.
Ithaca’s director of economic development, Philly DeSarno, reached out to Cornell “soon after celebrating the completion of the newly designed Commons.” DeSarno adds, “They met with us and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and here we are today.” DIA officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Built in the 1860s to house L.S. McWhorter Grocery & Provisions, the corner building was most recently known as Evolution 102, and before that as Williams Shoes. Evolution moved to another storefront just over two years ago, but closed late last year.
The Cornell Store has its main location on Ho Plaza, at the heart of Cornell’s central campus, and has long had a satellite shop off the lobby of the Statler Hotel. More recently, the store opened a successful branch at the Shops at Ithaca Mall, a small Big Red Corner Store next to Schoellkopf Field and a shop in Sage Hall, and a branch store at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.
The store will be subject to property taxes and Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT), as is the Cornell Store branch at the Shops at Ithaca Mall. Store officials hope to open the new location in time for Commencement weekend, at the end of May.