History of the South Hill Business Campus

Welcome to the South Hill Business Campus, an Ithaca landmark housing a lively variety of business tenants, just a stone’s throw from downtown Ithaca, New York.

Originally opened in 1957 as the brand new regional headquarters of the National Cash Register Company, the 70-acre parcel has a proud history as a bustling manufacturing community. Over 1000 employees, largely members of the International Association of Machinists Union, filled the four-tiered parking lot each day as they came to work. Running three full factory shifts, NCR was a major employer and featured a unique family atmosphere. Company newsletters from the 1960s and 70s are alive with the matters of people’s lives: wedding and birth announcements, anniversaries, celebrations, and concerns. The cafeteria contained a stage where performances were mounted for special events and NCR staff could display their dramatic or musical talents.

The 1960s were a period of rapid growth here on South Hill. Ithaca College broke ground for its still-growing campus in 1960, and continued to build and develop throughout the 1960s and 70s. In 1975 NCR added a 67,500 square foot engineering and administration wing on the south end of the building. By the 1980s, the Ithaca NCR plant was known for its early use of numerous advanced manufacturing techniques.

In 1991 American Telephone and Telegraph acquired NCR. AT&T subsequently sold the Ithaca facility to Axiohm, a French corporation that moved its headquarters from Pennsylvania to Ithaca in 1994. Eventually Axiohm reorganized, changing its name to Cognitive TPG, as it is known today. As more and more manufacturing came to be outsourced, TPG found it was using less of the building for its own operations, and opted to sell the complex to a group of private investors headed by Ithaca developer Andy Sciarabba. TPG remains a major tenant of the South Hill Business Campus.

Today, a wide variety of tenants call the South Hill Business Campus home and it includes a lively mix of professional, industrial, laboratory, and storage applications. Re-imagining an existing building and changing with the times has allowed a diverse variety of businesses to maximize the benefits of this historic and convenient facility and its incomparable views of Ithaca and Cayuga Lake.

– Written by Mary C. Heffner, Courtesy of Carol Bushberg Real Estate
Based on an interview with Linda Luciano, FMA, SHBC Property Manager, July, 2009