The Rochester Broadway Theatre League and the developer of the Medley Centre have been talking for the past year about the possibility of a performing arts center at the former mall. But the deputy superintendent for the East Irondequoit Central School District says it's a done deal.
"My understanding is that they have been having conversations with the media today but the formal announcement is not until tomorrow,” said John Abbott, deputy superintendent of the East Irondequoit School District.
It's an agreement that could mark the beginning of a comeback for the mall, which has stood vacant since 2009.
RBTL has been in talks with Medley Centre developer Scott Congel about bringing a 3,000 seat performing arts center to the mall. This new tenant is expected to attract additional restaurants.
"Yes, I mean, we put this PILOT agreement together with the assumption that there would be a series of announcements of major tenants, and this would certainly be an exciting tenant," said Abbott.
Although the potential announcement Tuesday is good news, the school board still voted unanimously Monday evening to impose a financial penalty on Congel.
Abbott says Congel failed to invest $90 million in the project by April 2012 as the Medley Centre PILOT agreement specified. Congel will have to pay a supplemental pilot payment of $827,000 by January.
"Positive developments are good things, but like I said in there, the expectation was when we entered into this pilot agreement that there would be announcements of major tenants,” Abbott said.
Abbott says Congel contends that he has made a 93% investment and COMIDA backs his interpretation. But by the school district's calculations, Congel is about 28% percent short.
"I think our frustration comes as members of the community, as nothing has happened, but that has nothing to do with the pilot."
RBTL has declined to comment on the discussions with Medley Centre until Tuesday.
Abbott says he expects Congel will pay the penalty and move forward with plans for the former mall.
Medley Centre Resolution