It appears after five years of empty promises, the developer of Medley Centre in Irondequoit is finally going to begin work on the nearly empty shopping mall.
Scott Congel secured demolition permits last week to raze three buildings on properties he owns near the former Irondequoit Mall. The demolition is set to begin Thursday that will level three buildings on the East Ridge Road side of the shopping mall.
The three buildings set to be demolished are in poor condition after sitting vacant for years. They include a former insurance agency at 1665 East Ridge Road along with a former auto dealership and an abandoned home.
The demolition marks the first major milestone in Medley Centre's redevelopment.
"He has to really clean up the property. It has to be ready for anything that's done with this project and of course, I'm pretty stubborn in sticking to him. My primary goal is yes, we want to see this project move but meanwhile I have to protect our residents and our taxpayers that Irondequoit is a viable community for development and for business and aesthetically beautiful," said Town Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio, R-Irondequoit.
Business owners in that area say they've suffered the past number of months while East Ridge Road underwent extensive repairs. That project is about to wrap up.
The next step in improving the neighborhood is removing the dilapidated buildings. Applebee's sits between the properties slated to come down.
In a statement, the restaurant chain said:
"The team at Irondequoit Applebee's is pleased to see the appearance of the neighborhood being improved with the demolition of the vacant buildings and believe we will benefit from increased visibility on East Ridge Road with their removal."
D'Aurizio says the auto dealership building will stay for now as Congel wants to use it as a construction office and garage for construction vehicles.
His plan is to convert Medley Centre into a mixed-use facility that includes retail and residential. The Rochester Broadway Theatre League has also proposed putting a new performing arts center there.