The I-Square project which was widely celebrated when it was announced last year has gotten tangled up in “negotiations” over local tax deals. Mike & Wendy Nolan want to invest $13 million to build a 7-building project including a new street, sidewalks and outdoor stage / “town square” area. They say they need a 25 PILOT agreement in order to be able to afford to build and maintain the project they’ve proposed. The Town of Irondequoit have offered a 10 year PILOT. Both sides seem to have dug in their heals. Today the Nolan’s posted a video on YouTube to explain (in detail) their 25 Year PILOT proposal “so that any questions can be answered and any misconceptions cleared up.” Watch the video…
What is a PILOT program? Payment In Lieu Of Taxes. These payments are used in the same way as regular tax payments, but are agreed upon in advance. The payment amount typically starts off smaller and gradually increases over time.
Mike Nolan says a 25 year PILOT is essential, not only to limit and accurately predict tax expenses, but also to be able to apply for affordable financing, and other public income sources. Nolan says this will allow him time to recover the initial capital expenses of the project, “especially those that will not generate revenue” like the new road, sidewalks, lighting, and sewers which I-Square will be paying for.
The town supervisor has suggested that if the Nolan’s can’t afford to build the project without the 20 PILOT they are requesting, perhaps they should scale back the plans. And if they agree to anything more than a 10 year program an unfair precedent will be set for future developments.
Nolan disagrees and points to the unique circumstances of the I-Square project. For example, the Nolan’s are not developers – they are citizens of the town who want to invest $13 million of their own money into a project to benefit the town. And, they argue, the pedestrian focused approach to the project’s design will make I-Square a unique draw for people who won’t otherwise come to Irondequoit from neighboring towns.
Well, the video certainly was detailed. But my brain has now glazed over like a doughnut hole. Can’t we come up with a better way to help good development projects take hold in Rochester? And I do still think this is a good project, even with all the stupid parking right in the middle of the “town square.”
What do you think?
Tags: Cooper Road, development, development plans, Irondequoit, Irondequoit Square, Mike Nolan, movie, PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes), Rochester NY, Titus Avenue, Town of Irondequoit, video, Wendy Nolan
This entry was posted on Sunday, October 21st, 2012 at 12:39 pm and is filed under Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
I believe that the issue of deferral of property taxes will become increasingly important as the pressure of ‘enlightened’ development comes up against the inordinately high taxes in Irondequoit [not to mention every other school district and town in the county]. Both sides are fighting for the right reason – schools, towns, county need to back off and let intelligent development happen. The ‘darling’ factor in West Irondequoit, the colonials and capes, are going to be ‘out-dated’ all too soon as the boomers exit the planet and the next generation comes in. Today’s boomers want community ~ intelligent and fun living environments. I would guess that Gen X and the Millennials are looking for something new and different, too.