by Jeremy Moule
Last month, I wrote about a Henrietta Tops store that received tax breaks to move from one plaza on Jefferson Road to another.
Now a similar scenario is happening in Irondequoit. Earlier this week, the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency approved tax breaks for the market at 1455 East Ridge Road to move to the former Kmart plaza. Morgan Depot Plaza LLC plans to demolish part of the Kmart plaza and then build a 52,000-square-foot grocery store and install some gas pumps.
Tops, under its corporate business model, requires its stores to have gas pumps. The Henrietta Tops is moving because gas pumps aren't allowed at its current location. A COMIDA press release says the East Ridge Road store has the same problem.
Morgan Depot Plaza will receive sales and mortgage tax exemptions on $10.78 million worth of construction and renovations, says a COMIDA press release. Tops will receive sales tax exemptions on $2 million worth of renovations and equipment purchases, says the press release. The project will retain the equivalent of 79 full-time jobs and is projected to create the equivalent of 18 full-time jobs over the next three years.
Grocery stores are essentially retail operations, so they locate based on market potential, and IDA critics tend to look unfavorably on tax breaks for the stores for that reason. The incentives, they say, are supposed to be used to attract and retain businesses that could locate anywhere.