A State Supreme Court justice ruled today that Bersin Properties, the former owner of Irondequoit's Medley Centre, owes Monroe County, the Town of Irondequoit, and the East Irondequoit school district approximately $6 million in back tax payments and fees.
The judgment stems from a tax incentive agreement between Bersin Properties and the governments. The company failed to meet an agreed-upon schedule of payments as well as investment, construction, and employment milestones on the Medley project, leading the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency, which administered the agreement, to terminate the pact.
Bersin sued and asked the judge to declare that the provisions in the agreement were invalid and unenforceable, even though the company willingly signed on. Today, Justice Matthew Rosenbaum tossed those claims out.
In response to the lawsuit, the county, town, and school district filed counterclaims seeking back taxes and fees from Bersin. The judge sided with the governments and ordered Bersin Properties to pay up.
County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo — an Irondequoit resident — issued the following statement after Rosenbaum's ruling:
“Today, Judge Rosenbaum’s ruling makes plain what our community has believed for years: Mr. Congel owes County taxpayers for failing to live up to his agreements and the investments he promised. I hope that Mr. Congel does the right thing and finally pays taxpayers what they are owed. If not, we will pursue every available avenue.
The recent sale of the Medley Centre gives our community new hope that brighter days are ahead for the property. I look forward to working with the new owner, along with local and state leaders, to assist in all reasonable efforts to bring life back to what was a vibrant part of Irondequoit and Monroe County.”
The court battle may not be over just yet, though, since Bersin Properties could appeal the decision. The company, however, already lost ownership of the dead mall. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office auctioned the property to fulfill another judgement against the developer; former Irondequoit Dodge owner Angelo Ingrassia bought the property for $100,000. (The property has a $40 million-plus mortgage lien on it.)
A copy of Rosenbaum's decision is attached below.
Bersin Properties decision