A follow up to the Medley Centre redevelopment project in Irondequoit. Private developer Scott Congel will begin demolition later this week on three properties related to the Medley Centre project.
The demolition will not take place at the mall itself, rather at three vacant properties Congel owns along East Ridge Road within a stone's throw of the mall.
Is it progress or simply a stall tactic? That depends on who you talk to.
With the exception of a couple of anchor stores, the Medley Centre, and before that, the Irondequoit Mall, has been an eyesore for the town.
It has, for the most part sat vacant for several years.
Developer Scott Congel has delivered empty promises when it comes to redeveloping the site as a mixed-use complex for tourism, recreation, and resort.
Demolition equipment sits ready to go in the parking lot of the former Irondequoit Dodge. One of three Congel-owned properties along East Ridge Road.
Come Thursday, Congel will begin to tear down the former Costellol Insurance company.
A sign, according to the town supervisor, that things are moving in the right direction.
"He knows that I'm tough to deal with. I'm firm. I really gave him some serious ultimatums. And, because he knows, I'm out for the interest of our taxpayers. Even though we want this project to move forward. Because that's going to help the taxpayers down the road. He knows I mean business," said Mary Joyce D'Aurizio, Irondequoit Town Supervisor.
Some folks don't believe Congel will ever redevelop the property. In the spring, Congel missed a crucial benchmark for the project. He was supposed to have invested $165 million (M) in Medley Centre Now, he will now pay a hefty financial penalty for the default, due early next year.
"I really haven't had any faith in him at all. I mean cause if he would have had something to do with this project, he would have already proceeded. Or brought some plans to this board to do something. Ya know, it's all been blah blah blah and he didn't get it done, " said Salvatore Guagliardo, Irondequoit.
Congel faces an even more substantial penalty if he can't prove a $260 million (M) investment by next April.
"I don't think that he's done anything with this property since he's owned it, that I can see. And I've lived here for 17 years. So, I hope that the town still forces him to do something with the property or they take it over and sell it to the highest bidder," said George German, Irondequoit.
D'Aurizio says only time will tell if Congel lives up to the deal. But, she says, he'll face consequences if he fails.