(13-WHAM, Rachel Barnhart) Rochester Broadway Theater League and Scott Congel, owner of Medley Centre, have partnered to build a new 3,000-seat performing arts center at the struggling mall.
Several sources have confirmed the talks. In addition, an East Irondequoit deputy school superintendent confirmed the district has been told of the plans.
Medley was one of four sites under consideration when RBTL solicited proposals several years ago. RBTL went with Midtown Plaza, but the project has struggled to get funding and has received lukewarm support at City Hall.
RBTL has long wanted a new home for Broadway shows, saying the Auditorium Centre is outdated and too costly to upgrade to modern theater standards.
Sources say an RBTL survey indicated 92 percent of Irondequoit residents support a theater in the town. The sources also say RBTL's deal with Medley Centre includes some upgrades to the Auditorium.
A new theater at Medley Centre is no sure thing. Congel has asked the state for $250 million in sales tax incremental financing. He’s looking to transform the mall into a $750 million lifestyle center with housing, retail, offices, a hotel and entertainment. The public has not seen updated plans for some time and Congel has not taken any interview requests on the project.
Meantime, the East Irondequoit School Board met Monday night and found the project in violation of its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement (PILOT). The board imposed an $827,722 penalty because the district doesn't believe Congel has invested $90 million as required by the PILOT.
RBTL Chairman Arnold Rothschild said he wasn't prepared to comment and would make an announcement about details Tuesday.