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I-Square in limbo

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If the I-Square project in Irondequoit moves forward, it may not be in the form initially proposed, says the project's developer, Mike Nolan.

Last week, the Irondequoit Town Board tabled a resolution to approve a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement for I-Square, a proposed commercial and retail development near the corner of Cooper Road and Titus Avenue.

Last year, the Town Board rejected Nolan's request for a 25-year PILOT deal, opting instead for a 10-year plan — angering Nolan and I-Square's supporters. But town officials and Nolan had productive talks after that vote, says Irondequoit Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio, and Nolan subsequently satisfied many of the town's concerns about financing and the project's business plan.

So Nolan was back in front of the board last week to get his 25-year agreement: actually 15 years with two five-year extensions. If the resolution had passed, it would've negated the 10-year deal.

But Nolan says the resolution contained a paragraph he never agreed to, dealing with his plan to apply for a PILOT through the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency. Basically, any deal Nolan negotiated with COMIDA would've had to come back to the Irondequoit Town Board for approval. (COMIDA has the ability to orchestrate an overarching PILOT agreement that would cover town, school, and county taxes.)

Nolan said the provision would only cause further delay for the project, and asked to have the paragraph removed. But Town Board members said removing the paragraph amounted to a change substantial enough to warrant further review, and tabled the vote.

"They're making a grave mistake today," Nolan told reporters after the meeting.

Board member Deborah Essley says town officials ultimately want one of two things: to have representation during Nolan's negotiations with COMIDA, or to have Nolan's benchmarks — the dates he expects to complete each of the project's seven buildings — in writing.

Town officials say they value the I-Square project and hope negotiations will continue. Nolan says he doesn't know what his next move will be.

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