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May 10, 2007 (Ithaca, NY) Merrill Lynch, a major national financial services firm, has announced that it has signed a lease agreement with Bloomfield/Schon Associates to occupy space in the Cayuga Green project. The firm will expand its presence in Ithaca to 5,600 square feet. The new operation will be located in the commercial space create by the Cayuga Garage on Cayuga Street directly across from the Holiday Inn.

Merrill Lynch will combine two separate operations into its new Cayuga Green space. In 2006, Merrill Lynch acquired the local Advest/J.S. Barr firm. This operation will be merged into the new Cayuga Garage location. The new, larger facility will feature state-of-the-art technology and a classroom for workshops, educational programs, and meeting rooms. Merrill Lynch in Ithaca employs 19 people and expects continued growth. Merrill Lynch was recently named "America's Most Admired Company" in the securities industry, according to Fortune Magazine's 24th annual survey of industry champions.

According to Senior Resident Director and Wealth Management Advisor Richard Prybyl, the company chose downtown Ithaca over other possible locations because they saw a natural fit. The firm appreciated the retail friendly, two way street access, plus the ample, attractive, and free covered parking that is on-site for their clients. Prybyl notes that “we are growing and like what is shaping up in downtown Ithaca. We are delighted to be part of new growth and vitality of downtown”. Merrill Lynch has had an Ithaca presence since 1991.

Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Ithaca Downtown Partnership, hailed the announcement. “We are pleased that Merrill Lynch has chosen downtown as their preferred location to grow in the years ahead. We are likewise excited that leasing on the Cayuga Green and Cayuga Garage projects has now officially begun and are optimistic about the future of these key projects.”

Construction on the space will begin immediately and will be completed by Labor Day. A community grand opening will be planned for September.

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