Irondequoit Businesses and Residents React to I-Square Impasse
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A day after a disappointing vote from the Town Board, developer Mike Nolan says he's really not sure what he'll do next, and now there's real concern that this project proposed for this corner of Irondequoit will ever become a reality.
"The area needs an update, needs a change, it needs an improvement," said Holly Becker.
Becker lives and works in this area. She says the project would be breath of fresh air for businesses like the hair salon where she works and for the community.
"I think the morale for the town itself has gone down a little bit and this would be exactly what the town needs in terms of somebody having confidence enough in the future of the town to see that it's worth investing money in, especially his own money," she said.
"I think it's concept and design is phenomenal. I think it's going to be great for Irondequoit," said Michael Yaniga.
Yaniga owns an ice cream shop only a few stores down from the salon. He too wants the project to happen. He just doesn't think developers should get a 25-year PILOT to do it. The town approved a 10-year plan instead.
"I don't think the town taxpayers should have to pay for it for the next 25 years. I feel the town giving him a 10-year tax break is more than reasonable. That's what most developers ask for," he said.
Irondequoit Town Supervisor Mary Joyce D'Aurizio said Nolan just didn't have a sound business plan. She said while it was a hard decision, it was one board members made for the good of the whole town.
"What's next? We don't know. We're going to step and take a look at the plans," she said.
Nolan argues residents will eventually pay more in taxes if this project doesn't get built. He said the town's 10-year offer just isn't long enough.
"We wouldn't finish building the project for the first five, so really it ends up being a five-year PILOT," Nolan said. "You can't put the infrastructure in, build these buildings, relocate these tenants, do the demolition, the abatement, put this fancy road in for the town and pay full taxes on it. That's crazy."
Most everyone agrees the project would be a boon to the area. They're just at an impasse on how it may actually come to happen.
"There's no hurry now," Nolan said. "I'm going to concentrate on my business, my family, lower my stress level a little bit and get out of the this rat race with the town."