Greece, N.Y.— On Tuesday afternoon, the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) decided to hold off on voting to approve tax breaks for Greece Ridge Mall’s renovation project.
Wilmorite Management Group, the owners of Greece1 Ridge Mall, is planning an $11 million renovation plan at the former Bon Ton space. They are planning to knock down the current building and create a smaller space for five restaurants and a courtyard, much like the courtyard space at Eastview Mall in Victor.
The decision to table the vote came after the Greece School Board voted last week to allow its attorneys to sue COMIDA if they voted to approve the 25-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement.
The proposal calls for the mall’s assessed value and tax rate to stay at the 2012 figures for the next 25 years. The tax payment will increase by 0.6 percent annually, adding up to 15 percent over 25 years.
The Greece School District is concerned that they could lose almost $6 million in tax revenue if the proposal is approved. According to the District’s attorney, Joe Shields, the proposal was drawn up using past figures showing that Greece Ridge Mall is a depreciating or declining asset. Shield says the PILOT doesn’t take into account the value of the mall once it’s renovated and also doesn’t account for inflation.
They are also concerned that the District hasn’t been provided with the financial documents that show that Wilmorite needs the PILOT to complete this project.
Dennis Wilmot, the Senior Vice President for Leasing and Development for Wilmorite, says the school board’s assumptions are flawed. He says the board’s overestimating the mall’s future property value. Also, he makes the point that Wilmorite has no obligations to show their financial documents to the District.
Wilmot makes it clear that the project will not move forward with the renovation without the PILOT approval from COMIDA.
According to COMIDA Executive Director, Judy Seil, the Greece School District and Wilmorite will try to work out details and come to an agreement by the next COMIDA meeting in July.