Just in time for Cornell Reunion, downtown branch of Cornell Store opens

A new branch location of the Cornell Store announced in March is opening Thursday on the west end of the Ithaca Commons, just in time to welcome Cornell alumni visiting for Reunion weekend.

The Cornell Store on the Ithaca Commons opens Thursday. 14850 Photo.

The Cornell Store on the Ithaca Commons opens Thursday. 14850 Photo.

The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon on Thursday, June 9th that will feature remarks from Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick and representatives from Cornell University and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. All purchases through their opening weekend, June 9th-12th, will receive a 10% discount and a free Big Red Reusable Bag with any purchase.

The storefront, at the corner of State and Cayuga Streets, offers 1,700 square feet of retail space that will offer Cornell clothing and gifts and Cornell Dairy-produced food items. Jody Marnell, branch stores manager for the Cornell Store, will supervise the new shop.

The 102 East State Street storefront, in a building built in the 1860s to house L.S. McWhorter Grocery & Provisions, 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.

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.

The City of Ithaca’s Acting Mayor, Deborah Mohlenhoff, says she’s excited to have an anchor such as the Cornell Store downtown. “When we all committed to redoing the Commons, we hoped that along with the new infrastructure we would see new commerce and new traffic. This is exactly the kind of business that will bring people to enjoy and explore our beautiful downtown.”

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.”

Executive Director Gary Ferguson of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance says, “We are very excited to have the Cornell Store join our Downtown community. For Cornell, this is a great way to engage the public and our many visitors and tourists. For the community, it is a great retail store that will add to
the appeal and attraction of Downtown.”

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 Cornell Store is a highly professional, well managed retail operation that will help us enhance our shopping options here in Downtown,” Ferguson adds. “I look forward to working with them on promotions in the months and years to come.”

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. The store will be open seven days a week.

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