Medley Centre

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Medley Centre
Rochester Medley Centre.jpg
Main entrance as it appeared in September 2007
Location Irondequoit, New York
Opening date March 1, 1990
Closing date February 2, 2009
Developer Wilmorite Properties
Management Angelo Ingrassia
Owner Angelo Ingrassia
No. of anchor tenants 4
Total retail floor area 900,000 square feet (84,000 m2)
No. of floors 2

Medley Centre is a defunct shopping mall in Irondequoit, New York, a suburb of Rochester. The mall opened in 1990 as Irondequoit Mall, but early success gave way to dwindling patronage. At its peak, it featured four anchor stores: J. C. Penney (later Steve & Barry's), Sears, Sibley's (later Kaufmann's and Macy's), and McCurdy's (later The Bon-Ton). The mall closed in 2009 except for Macy's and Sears, which respectively closed in 2014 and 2016.

History[edit]

Wilmorite Properties first announced plans for Irondequoit Mall in June 1985, and by May 1988, the first three anchor stores were confirmed: Sears, J. C. Penney, and Sibley's, which became Kaufmann's shortly after opening. It opened in March 1990 with approximately 110 stores, and had an estimated 80,000 customers in its first weekend of business. McCurdy's opened as a fourth anchor store in 1992, but closed after only two years in business and became a location of The Bon-Ton.[1] Although initially successful, Irondequoit Mall began to lose tenants when two other regional malls also owned by Wilmorite (The Mall at Greece Ridge, created by connecting adjacent malls Greece Towne Mall and Long Ridge Mall to each other, and Eastview Mall) were renovated and expanded, drawing shoppers away from Irondequoit.[2]

By 2000, the mall was a rumored source of crime. That same year, Wilmorite sold it to The Equitable. J. C. Penney closed its store in 2003 due to declining sales. Adam Bersin bought the mall in 2005, at which point it was 70 percent vacant. Under Bersin's ownership, the mall was renamed Medley Centre. Also, the former J. C. Penney space became a Steve & Barry's in 2005, and Target opened under an outparcel a year later.[1] Despite these additions, the mall continued to lose inline tenants including Ruby Tuesday, Aéropostale, Subway, The Limited, Victoria's Secret, and Waldenbooks.[2]

Congel era[edit]

In 2007, Bersin Properties was purchased by Scott R. Congel, a former principal with The Pyramid Companies of Syracuse. The sale triggered speculation that the half-empty mall may be developed into a mixed use property.[3] Congel announced ambitious plans for redeveloping the property: a 421-room hotel, 330 condominium units and a 16-screen movie theater would be part of the project, as well as retail, restaurant and office space and an underground parking garage.[4]

Before any work on redevelopment began, existing tenants began to leave. Bon-Ton closed in late 2007, and Steve & Barry's closed in 2008.[5] With the exception of Sears and Macy's stores anchoring either end of the mall, the remaining tenants were all closed in February 2009.[1]

Redevelopment stalled[edit]

With no observable activity a year after the agreement was made, Scott Congel met with Irondequoit's town Supervisor Mary Joyce D’Aurizio in April 2010 to reassure her that redevelopment plans were still in progress. She told the local newspaper she remained optimistic about Congel's plans. "The developer is just repositioning some of the tenants in an effort to reduce remodeling costs," D'Aurizio told the paper. "“The project has not been reduced in scope...he left no doubt that he’s definitely moving forward with his plans.”[6]

But that conversation failed to prompt any action. A 2011 report found that Congel owed more than $200,000 in taxes on the property, had failed to make a scheduled $500,000 payment to the town of Irondequoit, and was the defendant in a number of civil suits, including one by a local engineering firm which claimed it was owed more than $400,000 for work performed.[7]

An article in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle in November 2012 noted: "no apparent work has been done since he (Congel) bought the property in 2007."[8]

Macy's announced in January 2014 that their Medley Centre location would close,[9] which left a Sears store as the mall's lone tenant.[10]

Legal Action[edit]

The town made emergency repairs to the mall's pump station in January 2014. Owner Scott Congel had failed to respond to a letter from the town's fire inspector calling on him to take "immediate mitigation measures to prevent a catastrophic failure of the water system to the mall and/or the structural collapse of this building." [11]

In February 2014, Beresin Properties was cited for a series of code violations after pipes from the property's sprinkler system burst inside the vacant mall, flooding out some floors and sending water spewing out into the parking lots. Inspectors found that the interior of the building was not heated, and the burst pipes had caused significant damage.[12] [13]

Earlier that month, the town of Irondequoit, the East Irondequoit Central School District and the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency gave owner Scott Congel a May 1, 2014 deadline to make good on a series of missed payments, some dating back to 2009.[14]

Congel said that he needed to renegotiate the terms of the agreement in order to secure financing for his redevelopment project.[15] On January 21, 2016 The Medley Center was sold at a public auction held by Monroe county. It was sold to the only bidder, Businessman Angelo Ingrassia purchased the vacant building for $100,000 which includes nine adjoining parcels.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c McDermott, Meghan M. (April 8, 2014). "Medley Centre timeline". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Alexander, Deborah (April 15, 2007). "Brighter days at Medley Centre?" (PDF). Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Medley Centre Sold". Rachel Barnhart, WHAM-TV. 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  4. ^ "SProposal for Irondequoit's Medley Centre takes shape". 2008-11-22. 
  5. ^ "Steve and Barry's closing shakes Irondequoit's Medley Centre". Deborah Alexander, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  6. ^ "Developer planning to redevelop the former Irondequoit Mall is looking at reducing remodeling costs". Linda Quinlan, Irondequoit Messenger Post. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  7. ^ "Medley Centre developer fails to pay district taxes". 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2011-02-07. 
  8. ^ "East Irondequoit cool to RBTL theater plans with Medley Centre". 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  9. ^ http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2014/01/08/macys-to-close-medley-centre-store/4374783/
  10. ^ "USA Today: List: 78 Sears, Kmart stores closing". USA Today. 
  11. ^ "Irondequoit makes emergency repairs to Medley Centre pump station". 2014-01-07. 
  12. ^ "Irondequoit issues ultimatum to Medley Centre owner". 2014-03-12. 
  13. ^ "COMIDA to end Medley deal unless payment made owner". 2014-04-15. 
  14. ^ "Irondequoit gives Congel until May 1". 2014-02-04. 
  15. ^ "Congel accuses Irondequoit of grandstanding". 2014-03-14. 
  16. ^ "A new future for Medley Centre". 2015-01-22. 

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 43°11′55″N 77°34′12″W / 43.1985°N 77.5700°W / 43.1985; -77.5700