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For Immediate Release: May 29, 2014


The Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA) awarded Unchained Properties, LLC (UP) $85,000 for their efforts to redevelop the Emerson site, at the April 10th, 2014, meeting of the agency. The funds will be used to support traffic, parking, surveying and circulation studies at the site on South Hill/Route 96B, in Ithaca.

Emerson Power Transmission ceased operations in Ithaca in 2011, leaving over 95 acres of land and approximately 800,000 square feet of vacant buildings. The redevelopment of the Emerson site is deemed a high priority project by TCIDA, Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD), and area municipalities. The property straddles municipal lines between the City of Ithaca and the Town of Ithaca.

Unchained Properties finalized a purchase agreement with Emerson and now plans to move forward on a multi-year redevelopment plan to include office, manufacturing, residential, studio, and flex space. If fully redeveloped, the mixed use Chain Works District could leverage private investment of over $100 million over a ten to 15 year period and create an estimated 1,000 new jobs in the regional economy.

UP began its own environmental due diligence in July of 2013 and will start its review process with both the City of Ithaca and the Town of Ithaca at the end of May 2014. The project Master Plan and a draft of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) report will follow later this year as part of the NYS Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) compliance process.

“The intention is to create a project that includes economic viability and sustainability, environmental transparency, and to repurpose the existing structures, create jobs and livability, all with a long-term investors perspective” said David Lubin, Managing Director of Unchained Properties.

“Redevelopment of the Emerson property is a high priority for TCAD. We are fortunate that the developer has stepped forward and has already invested a significant amount in this project. The TCIDA award will help leverage much more from the private developer and we are looking forward to working with him.”

–Michael Stamm, President, Tompkins County Area Development

A public meeting to introduce the project to the community was held on April 10, 2014. An additional public meeting will be held later in the summer of 2014, following meetings with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Emerson, to discuss the environmental aspects of the project and process for addressing any remediation.

Public information regarding the project can be found at

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