Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from: Kelsey O’Connor ITHACA, N.Y. — Library Place, or the Old Library project, came up before the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency last week seeking a tax abatement. However, a public hearing will come first before an abatement is approved.Library Place, at the now-cleared 316 N. Cayuga St., will have 66 market-rate, age-restricted apartments for people 55 and older. It will also have 26 to 30 parking spaces, a community room operated by Lifelong, a public restaurant, spa and wellness center, and an office meant for a home health care agency that residents can elect to contract with for home health care services, according to their IDA application. The rents of the units are expected to range from $1,900 per month for a one bedroom up to $3,000 per month for a three-bedroom apartment.The total project is expected to cost about $31 million.Related: Old Library demolition to start Monday, despite continued asbestos concernsRelated: Time capsule from 1968 dug out from cornerstone of Old LibraryTravis Hyde Properties is seeking a 10-year Energy Incentive enhanced property tax abatement and sales and mortgage recording tax exemptions. The exemptions would save the project about $5.32 million in new taxes and generate about $1.7 million in new property tax revenue over 10 years on the previously tax-exempt property, according to the application. In its application, Travis Hyde Properties said it has taken three years for Library Place to get to this point and eight design iterations. Without the property tax incentives, the project will be “rendered financially infeasible,” the application states.“If the incentive application is not successful there will be no senior housing units built and the development site in the downtown core will sit vacant and underutilized. It will also cause a loss of projected tax revenue to the taxing jurisdictions in which the tax parcel is located,” the application states.Fencing around Old Library building, Nov 30 2018 (Devon Magliozzi/The Ithaca Voice) The project has been opposed at many turns — most recently for the demolition process, which was changed from a “contained” to a “controlled” demolition due to the building’s roof being declared structurally unstable. In the fall, at least 750 people signed a letter circulated by Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, calling on Mayor Svante Myrick to stop the controlled demolition. The public outcry did slow down the process, as the city contracted a third-party structural engineer to assess what demolition process was needed. Ultimately, the third-party engineer came to the same conclusion that a controlled abatement was necessary.There was an expectedly robust comment period during Wednesday’s IDA meeting. Ithaca resident Robert Lynch addressed members, summing up what many came to say, “Reject the abatement.” Attached to Wednesday’s agenda were several letters urging that officials not grant a tax abatement to Travis Hyde for the Library Place project. In some of the letters, local residents were unhappy with the high cost of the units at a time when the city needs affordable housing. At the meeting Wednesday, several people also called on the IDA to require local labor when granting tax abatements.But not all comments were negative. One person who spoke said this property has not been on the tax rolls for the last 50 years, so the space will now bring some tax support for the community.Related: Mayor to leverage tax abatement to get further asbestos investigation at Old LibraryIn response to some of the people who were unhappy about the addition of expensive housing to Downtown Ithaca, Legislator and IDA member Martha Robertson, pointed to the county’s Housing Strategy which calls for market-rate senior housing with services. However, the call for market-rate senior housing in the strategy does come with an “although” which says affordable options and a Medicaid Assisted Living Program for seniors are the greatest need.Other projects came up during Wednesday’s IDA meeting, including the Arthaus project and Hilton Canopy. Similar to Library Place, Arthaus will go to public hearing before a vote on an abatement.The board unanimously approved a public hearing. No date has been set yet, but TCIDA Chair Rich John said it will likely be scheduled in the next two to three weeks. After the public hearing, the TCIDA will vote on the abatement at the meeting following the public hearing. Kelsey O’Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor. More by Kelsey O’Connor Tagged: ithaca, library place, old library, travis hyde properties
Airbnb also announced it would introduce new standards of guest behavior in early January to combat excessive noise, unauthorized guests, smoking and leaving a pile of garbage behind. And the hosts will get a set of new rules. For example, they may even be kicked off the platform if they trade positive reviews or leave negative reviews to competitors. Many hosts have encountered guests who threaten them with a negative review if they do not receive certain bonuses or a discount on the price of accommodation. To put an end to this, Airbnb is currently introducing a series of new rules to protect hosts from false reviews. Some of these steps resulted from host feedback. “Therefore, at the beginning of 2020, we will introduce improved standards for guests who set higher expectations from a reliable community”, They said from Airbnb in a blog post. Among other things, it changes the way Airbnb handles guest and host reviews on the platform. Airbnb support agents are authorized to remove posts and ratings resulting from irrelevant, biased, and false reviews, and may completely deny access to the platform to all users who have repeatedly committed a particular offense. Source / photo: Skift; Airbnb It is often written about tougher sanctions for fraudsters who publish accommodation ads on Airbnb that do not exist or do not resemble photos and descriptions from the platform. But Airbnb is now announcing a series of measures to protect hosts from guest misbehavior, reports Shift. According to Airbnb, examples of irrelevant reviews may be from guests who did not show up at the booked accommodation for reasons unrelated to the host and decided to criticize the experience. Other irrelevant reviews may include a description of the appearance of the host, public transportation, or “the kind of people in the neighborhood”. The rule will give hosts the option to cancel the remaining nights if they cannot resolve the issue with the guest. The hosts can also file a claim for damages.
Kolkata: Legendary Indian striker Shyam Thapa, best remembered for his back volley in 1978, feels he is what he is today because of ‘magical’ coach P.K. Banerjee who breathed his last at a city hospital here on Friday.A pall of gloom descended on the footballing world in the country as one of India’s greatest players and coach succumbed to prolonged illness at the age of 83.As several former stars, belonging to the golden era of Indian football, mourned the death of a footballing colossus, Thapa said he would never have become a great striker without Banerjee’s guidance and famous ‘vocal tonic’.“I scored a goal dribbling past four Mohun Bagan defenders when I was at East Bengal in 1975. Pradip da was the coach. Yes, I scored the goal but you won’t believe how it was made possible by Pradip da. You have to see it to believe it. He was magical,” Thapa told IANS.Known for his famous back volley for Mohun Bagan against East Bengal in the 1978 Calcutta Football League, Thapa said the iconic goal which was part of Durga Puja celebrations that year in Bengal, was also to Banerjee’s credit. Banerjee had also jumped ship to Mohun Bagan by then after helping East Bengal win four of their six consecutive Calcutta Football Leagues during 1970-75.“It was a goal I am still told about. People see me on the streets and still recall that goal. But again, if you ask me that was also Pradip da’s credit. Not only the technical side, but his motivational talks also spurred me on. Not only me, ask anyone from the team or his teams. They will tell you,” said Thapa who was a regular in the Indian team from 1970-77.“I had played under Pradip da in the Indian team also. He was a true leader. I have not played under such a great coach, great human being and someone who always used to bring the best out of you. I am Shyam Thapa because I had Pradip Kumar Banerjee to guide me. He was my godfather,” he concluded.Former India midfielder and coach Gautam Sarkar, who was famously assigned to mark Pele during New York Cosmos’ 2-2 draw against Mohun Bagan in 1977, said Banerjee was the man behind modern coaching in India in the 1970s.“I am talking to you because of him. Ask anyone who has played under him, they all will echo me. I have never seen someone who can inspire players like him. ‘Vocal tonic’ is an art and he had mastered it,” said Sarkar who captained East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.“I have learned so much under him and just by seeing him you get motivated. I don’t want to demean anyone but since Pradip da, Indian football has not seen such a great coach, such a legendary footballing personality,” he added. IANSAlso Read: Shyam Thapa reveals sad state of Indian footballAlso Watch: Veterinary College in Guwahati creates hand sanitizers to fight the shortage of Sanitizers in Assam