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Medley Centre decertified from Empire Zone program

Rochester Business Journal
June 10, 2014

The owner of the Medley Centre has been decertified from the state’s Empire Zone tax-credit program, officials announced Tuesday.

The move was made Friday by the Empire State Development Corp., four months after a request by Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, that the agency investigate mall owner Bersin Properties LLC’s compliance.

Bersin has made material misrepresentations of fact in its annual report of the redevelopment project, ESDC president and CEO Kenneth Adams wrote in a letter to Morelle.

The ESDC sent electronic and certified mail to the mall owner, its Empire Zone contact and Medley Centre staff requesting additional information, the letter states. The certified mail was returned as undeliverable and emails were not answered.

The ESDC has given Bersin’s Chairman and CEO Scott Congel 30 days to respond to the decertification before the tax credits are revoked.

The move follows a May 2 legal charge by the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency that Bersin has defaulted on its lease agreement.

COMIDA plans to pull its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the developer unless $3.87 million in back taxes are paid and at least $165 million is invested in the property.

“Today's decertification of Bersin Properties from the Empire Zone program, and the actions the town has taken to terminate the PILOT agreement, will ensure Irondequoit's taxpayers are no longer subsidizing a failed development,” Irondequoit Supervisor Adam Bello said in a statement.

“The former Irondequoit Mall has the potential to be the largest economic development project in our region. In order to make that a reality, we need to stop throwing good money after bad, and we need a developer who will act in good faith.”

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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