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Tompkins County Area Development supports nearly $90 million in projects during 2019

By Eric Reinhardt


Ian Gaffney and Samantha Abrams, owners of Emmy’s Organics, standing outside the business. Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) provided Emmy’s Organics a loan of $150,000 to expand to a new location in Dryden in a $2.3 million project. Emmy’s Organics is a coconut-based cookie manufacturer. The Emmy’s expansion is among nearly $90 million in projects that TCAD says it supported in 2019. (Photo credit: Tompkins County Area Development)

ITHACA, N.Y. — Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD), the economic development organization for Ithaca and Tompkins County, says it supported $86.7 million in capital-investment projects in 2019.

The economic-development organization said its partnership with area businesses led to the retention of 159 jobs, plus 54 projected new jobs.

TCAD also describes the addition of 140 units of affordable housing; incentivizing five megawatts of renewable-energy projects; and supporting the region’s tourism program as “additional 2019 successes.”

“We’re pursuing various avenues toward long-term economic success, and in 2019 that has included supporting local manufacturers and tech businesses, while delivering affordable housing and harnessing the power of renewable energy,” Heather McDaniel, president of TCAD, said in a statement. “Our organization continues to partner with businesses and the Greater Ithaca community, ensuring Tompkins County remains a thriving destination to work and live.”


TCAD’s 2019 activity included providing a loan of $150,000 to support the expansion of coconut-based cookie manufacturer Emmy’s Organics to a new location in Dryden. Combined with financing by Tompkins Trust Company and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Corporation, the loan enabled the $2.3 million project to proceed. As a result, Emmy’s was able to bring back in-house production, a portion of which had shifted to an out-of-state co-packer.

In addition, the Industrial Development Agency (IDA), which TCAD administers, approved a sales-tax incentive for the renovation of an existing building in the Cornell Business and Technology Park. The renovation will accommodate the research and development arm of Advion, a technology company founded in Ithaca in 1993, along with two renewable-energy startup companies, Conamix and Ecolectro.

The renovation includes a lab and dry-room space, which will allow these companies to establish facilities in the area after “graduating” from Cornell’s business incubator.

TCAD also served as an “advocate” for additional affordable-housing units in the region, including Ithaca Arthaus, a proposed $28.7 million development at 130 Cherry St. Arthaus will have 124 affordable units, including 40 that will support at-risk youth (including those formerly in foster care or homeless), and an 8,800-square-foot amenity space.

In addition, a $1.7 million project at 327 W. Seneca St. will bring another 12 affordable units to Ithaca.

To support the region’s tourism efforts, TCAD delivered a loan to Dutch Harvest Farm, a luxury wedding and event space in Lansing. The loan will help make the space a “tourist destination,” accommodating more than 300 people and “becoming one of the most sought-after locations in the county.”

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