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Council approves Sibley deal 

Rochester City Council members have approved a $5-million deal to sell the Sibley building to the Sibley Redevelopment Limited Partnership, an entity to be formed by Boston-based Winn Development. Winn plans to invest up to $150 million over 10 years to renovate the building for retail, offices, and housing.

Council members were initially skeptical of the deal. They said they worried that the proposal was too similar to the one that has trapped the city and the Sibley building in limbo for many years. But Mayor Tom Richards says that is not the case. The agreement with Sibley Development is different than the previous deal with Rochwil, current owner of the Sibley building, he says. The city will be in a better position to collect, Richards says, if Sibley Development defaults on any payments owed.

Rochwil owes the city more than $20 million as a result of defaulting on payments due from a tax agreement, but the city does not expect to recoup that money.

Sibley Redevelopment will seek a tax-abatement for the project through COMIDA.

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