Posted at: 04/03/2014 4:32 PM
Updated at: 04/04/2014 12:20 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
The former mall in Irondequoit was once a premier shopping center before it closed five years ago, but deadline after deadline and thousands of dollars in your tax breaks, the mall's owners have not re-developed it. They've also been cited for violations by the town. News10NBC was the only ones at the mall Wednesday when inspectors went inside.
On Thursday, we obtained the letter detailing the fire marshal’s inspection. We got it through a Freedom of Information request. The fire marshal says Bersin Properties has still not fully addressed problems with combustibles, fire protection or security.
In his letter, the fire marshal notes that work has been done to clean the mall after a broken fire sprinkler system caused heavy water damage in January, but he pointed to a number of issues that still remain before the building can be considered in compliance.
The five page letter comes a day after town officials toured the inside of the Medley Centre Thursday.
News10NBC was there as they went in for the inspection. Earlier this week, News10NBC got a look inside the mall and found that much of the area affected by the flooding had been cleaned up.
In his report, the fire marshal says he witnessed several places where combustibles are still being stored in the mall from tables and chairs to book shelves and display cases, which is a violation if there is no working fire suppression system. He also found the owners need a fire protection wall between the empty mall and the still-operating Sears store. He noted that better security is needed to prevent break-ins.
Irondequoit Town Supervisor Adam Bello says he's becoming increasingly frustrated.
Adam Bello said, "We laid out pretty specifically what they were supposed to do and the town code is pretty clear on what the condition of the property is supposed to be which is why some of the situation is a little absurd, because we had laid this out months ago what they were supposed to do."
We did receive a statement from Scott Congel, Managing Partner, Bersin Properties, LLC. He wrote, "We continue to be shocked with the attitude of the new administration in the Town of Irondequoit, which appears to more motivated by political concerns than actual safety issues. As the community has seen on Channel 10, this mall is in excellent shape. We do not believe there are any public safety issues at a property that is closed , secured and awaiting the start of a major renovation and expansion. We will be meeting with our subcontractor, building code engineer ,and legal counsel to develop an appropriate action plan. A number of the claims made by the Town are unfounded. "
To read the letter from the fire marshal, click here.