Irondequoit, N.Y.—It was clear from the start of the special meeting Wednesday afternoon that the Irondequoit Town Board and I-Square developer Mike Nolan came to the meeting with two very different ideas.
Nolan came prepared with four posterboards for a presentation about why the I-Square project needs the 25-year PILOT, or payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. Nolan has purchased the land at Titus and Cooper Avenue in Irondequoit with the intention of building seven buildings to be used for office, retail and restaurant space. He had planned to pay for the $13 million project himself.
The board had heard enough discussion though. Last Tuesday, the board and Nolan had discussed the length of the PILOT for a greater part of three hours during a regular board meeting. According to Irondequoit Town Supervisor Mary Joyce D’Aurizio, the town sent Nolan a message on this Monday with what kind of PILOT the town board might be willing to consider and never heard back from Nolan.
Nolan never got the opportunity to give his presentation on Wednesday and the board voted unanimously to approve a 10-year PILOT at a 2.5 percent escalator instead of the 25-years at a 0.5 percent escalator Nolan had asked for. The meeting was then immediately adjourned.
Nolan and his supporters said they felt the meeting was unfair and that the board should have heard what Nolan had to say.
“It’s very frustrating,” Nolan says. “The fact that they wouldn’t even listen to me… it really bothers me. They made decisions in the background last week without our presence and without the public to see their views on this.”
D’Aruizio says both parties have discussed the PILOT for several weeks and when it came down to making a decision, she says the board could not grant 25 years of tax breaks for such a big project.
The board said that the financial details of I-Square provided by Nolan do not match up with the town’s numbers. The supervisor has also asked Nolan for a more definitive business plan.
“ [Nolan is] without a business plan where he tells us what’s occurring in each business and each building,” D’Aruizio says. “We need to see really concrete figures otherwise, in all sincerity to all of the residents of this town, [the board] can’t agree on something that’s 25 years in the future.”