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RBTL Chair says Medley moving forward same day as developer misses deadline
Irondequoit, N.Y.— The lack of construction at the MedleyCentre over the years has led many people to believe that the project to develop the nearly-empty mall has stalled.
However, Arnie Rothschild, the chairman of the Rochester Broadway Theatre League said that’s not the case.
“It's a huge, complex project-- much more complex than people realize but it's absolutely moving forward,” Rothschild told 13WHAM. “[The developer] continues to advance it constantly and you'll hear more about it soon.”
Last year, RBTL announced its intentions to move into the Medley Centre after the developer, Scott Congel offered to build RBTL a 3,000-seat theatre and also invest $2.5 million into their current home at the Auditorium Theatre.
“I'm really confident that in very short order, people are going to have a much better understanding of this and they are going to see this project as an incredible source of pride for this community,” Rothschild said.
However, this confidence comes the same day Congel missed a deadline— an integral benchmark in his tax-break agreement with the county.
Congel was supposed to prove he had made a $165 million investment into the Medley Centre by April 1 as outlined in thepayment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement. When he missed that deadline, the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) sent Congel a letter asking him to contact COMIDA and also provide proof of that investment by July 9. A Monroe County spokesperson said that proof never came and says there has been no word from Congel.
13WHAM News has reached out to Congel on several occasions but our calls and e-mails were never returned.
Meanwhile, Irondequoit Town Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio said she’s encouraged to see Rothschild’s confidence in the Medley Centre development. However, she expressed her concern that Congel has not met benchmarks in the PILOT agreement.
“We want to be positive and upbeat about the project but simultaneously we're looking at what's occurring up there [at Medley],” she said. “We have to make sure that PILOT agreement is followed. It is a legal document and we are protecting our town and our taxpayers.”
Officials from Irondequoit, E. Irondequoit School District and COMIDA plan to meet later this month to decide what course of action to take next.
Rothschild said there are many details about the progress at Medley Centre he cannot share at this time but says that information will be released soon.
“I don't think there is any question that this project is in a place where we can move forward and this is going to happen,” he said. “I think [Congel] is a brilliant business guy and the difficulties [he’s face with the project] have been difficulties in theeconomy.”