Remember Vinnie and Angelo from Irondequoit Dodge? Well, Angelo now owns Medley Centre.
This morning, the decaying Irondequoit mall was sold at auction by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The office has the authority to seize and sell assets to fulfill court-ordered judgments; it seized Medley because a judge ordered the mall's former owner, Bersin Properties, to pay more than $400,000 to Passero Associates for services that the firm provided the developer.
Angelo Ingrassia, who once owned Irondequoit Dodge, was the auction's sole bidder and snagged the Medley property for $100,000; the property is assessed at about $7 million, according to Irondequoit Supervisor Adam Bello. Ingrassia will take ownership of the property once he makes the payment to the Sheriff's Office.
It may sound like Ingrassia picked up the mall for a song, but the property has a $40 million-plus mortgage loan on it. It's not immediately clear how that issue and others will be resolved.
"This is just the first step in a long process," Bello said during a press conference this morning after the auction.
Bello said that he plans to meet with Ingrassia to discuss the property's future. He said that he's not sure what Ingrassia has in mind for the property and whether it will be a mall again, since malls across the country aren't doing well.
But Bello said that he's glad that a local developer owns the property now and that he's optimistic about the deal. Ingrassia, he says, has a track record of successful business development. He owns several commercial properties in the area, including car dealerships, a steakhouse, and an LA Fitness in Greece. He was also part of the group that revamped Depot Plaza on Ridge Road, a project that town officials, business leaders, and residents rave about.
Bersin Properties, which is led by developer Scott Congel, bought the mall in 2007 and laid out an ambitious plan to redevelop the mostly vacant property. Congel got a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive agreement from the Town of Irondequoit, the East Irondequoit School District, and the Monroe County Industrial Development Agency. But the company kept falling short of investment and job creation requirements baked into the agreement, and eventually stopped making payments. Officials got frustrated and eventually terminated the agreement; they're now suing Bersin Properties to try to recover around $6 million in back taxes and fees.
As Bello spoke this morning, he didn't hide his disdain for Congel.
"We've removed a very large barrier that has long stood in the way of redeveloping the former Irondequoit Mall," he said.