This article has been updated.
Tomorrow, Monroe County Industrial Development Agency officials will take the first steps to terminate the Medley Centre tax incentive agreement.
Bersin Properties, the company that owns the dead mall, needed to make a $3.8 million payment to local governments by 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 1. The deadline came and went, and the Town of Irondequoit, East Irondequoit School District, and Monroe County Industrial Development Agency didn't get all of the money. What they did get wasn’t enough to dissuade them from ending the agreement.
County Executive Maggie Brooks sent out this statement on the matter:
“At the eleventh hour this evening, the developer of Medley Centre announced he has made a partial and incomplete payment that amounts to roughly ten percent of his total obligation owed to local taxpayers. The developer has had many weeks and even months to make his payments in full and move the project forward, yet he has decided not to and has put the project in jeopardy. As promised, Monroe County and COMIDA will move forward tomorrow to hold the developer accountable for all monies owed under the PILOT agreement.”
Bersin Properties has a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with the three governments. The agreement lets the company make annual payments that are far below what it’d otherwise pay in property taxes. But the developer also committed to specific investment targets, as well as harsh penalties for missing them. Those penalties make up $3.5 million of the amount the company owes.
By 5 p.m. Thursday, the local governments hadn’t received any payment from Bersin, whose managing partner is Scott Congel. But James Giuliano, a partner in the company, sent a letter to COMIDA that said Bersin Properties had paid the governments $392,381. That’s the amount of the annual payment it was supposed to make earlier this year but didn’t. (A county spokesperson says officials won’t be able to confirm the payment until tomorrow, since it happened after the close of business.)
Giuliano also wrote that the company wasn’t willing to pay the $3.5 million in penalty payments because "we believe there are substantial legal impediments to our making such payment." But he didn’t say what those legal impediments are.
Giuliano also wrote that, since COMIDA won't terminate the PILOT today, "there appears to be a window of time for us to thrash out these issues."
But Nick Weatherbee, says the company is still in default, since it didn’t make the full payment. The town still wants COMIDA to proceed with terminating the PILOT, he said.
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