The Tops store on Jefferson Road in Henrietta plans to move just down the road into another plaza. And it's getting tax breaks to do it.
Tops' corporate business model calls for gas pumps at its stores, but pumps are prohibited at the current Jefferson Road location. The company wants to move to space at 1225 Jefferson Road, which is currently occupied by Frontier Communications. (It's not clear where Frontier will go.)
During its meeting Tuesday, the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency's board approved sales tax incentives for the Tops move. The plaza owner, 1225 Jefferson LP, plans to spend $320,000 to renovate 55,000 square feet of space for Tops, while Tops plans to spend approximately $2 million.
The sales tax incentives for Tops and for 1225 Jefferson LP are estimated at a total of $121,600, according to COMIDA. COMIDA documents also say that the project will retain the equivalent of 79 full-time jobs and, over the next three years, create the equivalent of 18 full-time jobs.
Without the move the store would leave the town entirely, says Henrietta Supervisor Mike Yudelson. For that reason, along with the jobs that Tops plans to add, Yudelson says he supports the benefits.
But the incentives are the type that IDA critics often complain about. They're supposed to be used to attract or retain businesses that could locate anywhere.
Grocery stores, however, are retail operations that locate based on markets. If they think they can build a thriving business in a certain area, they'll set up shop there. IDA critics often say that incentives aren't necessary.