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I-Square Project Remains in Limbo

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Rochester: I-Square Project Remains in Limbo
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The I-Square project remains in limbo after the developer was hoping the Irondequoit Town Board would put the project back on track during its special meeting Wednesday evening. Frustrations are high on both sides as the Town Board reaffirmed it is not comfortable with the latest agreement.

Getting the I-Square development project up and going in the town of Irondequoit has been a back and forth process between the town board and the developer for months now.

"I thought this was done. Up until two hours ago we were under the understanding that we were off and building I-Square really quickly and once again they've let us down," said developer Mike Nolan.

The latest sticking point came Wednesday night, when the board tabled a resolution to put the project back on track.

Last fall, it was stalled when the board rejected Nolan's 25-year program in lieu of taxes proposal with a tax increase of 2.5 percent.

The recent resolution now includes a 25-year PILOT, with a tax increase to be reassessed after 15 years and again after 20 years based on the project's value.

"It certainly is a great deal for the Nolans and the project," said Deborah Essley, Irondequoit Town Council.

But Town Board members say what they were uncomfortable with was the benchmarks included in the resolution. Essley says they wanted Nolan's timeline for the project in writing or the town supervisor be present in future negotiations once the project goes to COMIDA.

But Nolan says those are terms he disagrees with.

"That's not acceptable to us that just drags it out, and why are we continuing to drag this out. It's free to the taxpayer, it's free to the town," Nolan said.

"We weren't comfortable with that since we don't have in writing what his benchmarks are going to be and when those buildings are going to be built, so we just need to go back to the table and get them in writing," Essley said.

Nolan's plan is to redevelop parts of Union Park, Titus Avenue and Stranahan Park into a seven-building, mixed use property.

Supporters like Steve Walther, who is a realtor in the area, attended the meeting and says this process has been frustrating.

"We all thought we were coming up here and it was a done deal and they were going to vote on it today and we were going to get started because this has already been delayed. They should have but the road and extensions in last fall," Walther said.

Nolan says he's not sure what's next.

"I'm tired of this. I've fought this battle for a year and a half now. I'm not going to continue to beg the town board to do something they should have done a long time ago. They are making a grave mistake today."

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