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Tompkins Chamber, CVB to sell their Ithaca headquarters, seek new main office

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) plan to sell their headquarters at 904 East Shore Drive in Ithaca.

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) plan to sell their headquarters at 904 East Shore Drive in Ithaca and find a new main office in the future.

After nearly three decades of having their headquarters at the East Shore Drive facility, the Tompkins Chamber and CVB said they have determined that the organization and their stakeholders will be “better served” from their other current locations, and with a “different permanent office location in the future.”

The Tompkins Chamber and CVB will be evaluating their office and meeting-space needs in the coming months and exploring options for leasing a new space in Ithaca once their property sells. They didn’t disclose possible locations they would consider for a new office.

The chamber’s leadership indicates that the potential sale of the property at East Shore Drive has been discussed in “several settings since 2017, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impacts.”

Those developments, including an interim remote work environment over the last several months, “have prepared the organization for this transition,” per a news release about the sale.

“While we have been evaluating our space and associated costs for some time, the last several months have shown that our team can be responsive, creative, and effective from any location,” Jennifer Tavares, president of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce, said in the release. “This strategic decision will allow the Chamber & CVB to be more agile, financially resilient, and to make appropriate investments in the future to better serve our mission, our members, and our partners.”

The Tompkins Chamber and CVB have other physical locations in Tompkins County, including at the Tompkins Center for History & Culture in downtown Ithaca and the Taughannock Overlook Visitor Center in Ulysses. The CVB will continue to operate the Taughannock Visitor Center for the remainder of the fall season and will resume operations at the Downtown Visitor Center soon. The Tompkins Chamber offices at East Shore Drive will be occupied and open by appointment “over the next several months,” and its downtown office “will be used more in the near future.”

The news release didn’t mention a sale price for the East Shore Drive property. In a separate document with frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the sale, the Tompkins Chamber says “after an initial listing period, a Special Committee has that been appointed by the chair will meet to evaluate any offers. When a strong offer has been received, [the] Special Committee will recommend acceptance of the best offer to the Executive Committee, which will make a final recommendation to the Board of Directors.”

The listing will be available “the third week of September,” per the FAQ document.

The property will be listed with Jill Burlington of Warren Real Estate and will be available to the public for showings beginning Sept. 22.

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