Cayuga Medical Center buys waterfront site from Maguire

Cayuga Medical Center and the Maguire Family of Dealerships have announced the sale of the Carpenter Park property on the City of Ithaca’s northside. The purchase will allow the health care provider to develop a multi-use site on the waterfront.

The local auto sales company, which operates many car dealerships in Ithaca and around Central New York, had hoped to build a new dealership lot on the Carpenter Park property after purchasing it in 2015, but the company’s plans ran afoul of the City of Ithaca’s “comprehensive plan” and visions for a mixed-use space on the waterfront. The company had planned to develop a $12 million, 50,000 square foot, LEED-certified auto retail facility on the property.

Cayuga Medical Center vice president for public relations John Turner says the purchase consists of 8.5 acres along Route 13, on the west side of the highway between Cascadilla and Third Streets, “with an option for an additional 2.12 acres for a nominal price.”

The health care provider plans to develop the site to include “a combination of health care, residential, commercial, and retail,” Turner tells us. CMC “has been working with the City of Ithaca and a developer to create a plan that will align with Ithaca’s comprehensive plan and enhance health care services” within the City.

“We were very pleased when the Carpenter Park property along the Route 13 corridor became available,” said Larry Baum, chairman of the Cayuga Health System board of directors. He says the board “has been focused on expanding the presence of Cayuga Medical Center in the City of Ithaca.”

The Cayuga Health System includes both Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca and the Schuyler Hospital in Montour Falls. It’s the region’s largest health care provider, and the fourth largest employer in Tompkins County.

Cayuga Medical Center and Cayuga Health System CEO John Rudd says he “is working with Mayor Svante Myrick and his team to develop a plan that aligns with the City of Ithaca’s vision for the future.”

Among other features, Mayor Myrick says the City will be working with Cayuga Medical Center and Project Growing Hope “to identify a collective solution that will allow the Ithaca Community Gardens to expand and thrive.”

In the meantime, Maguire has proposed a new automotive park in the southwest area of the City, off Route 13 near Lowes and Walmart. The company is working with city officials to develop a plan with “many of the same components and green features as their original proposal,” including a green roof garden with observation deck, solar panels, solar charging for electric cars, and “significant hardwood plantings and landscaping” to provide a park-like setting.

Last summer, Maguire offered to let Ithaca Farmers Market shoppers use a parking lot within the Carpenter Park property as overflow parking for the Steamboat Landing market. “In the near term, we will continue to honor the arrangement that the Maguire Auto Group has had,” CMC’s Turner tells us.

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