Posted at: 05/13/2014 4:52 PM
Updated at: 05/13/2014 5:40 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
A hefty fine for the owners of the Medley Centre. On Tuesday, a judge slapped the developers of the former Irondequoit Mall with a six figure fine for code violations.
Earlier this month, the county took action to withdraw tax breaks given to the mall owners. On Tuesday, the saga of the former Irondequoit Mall took another turn, this time in a courtroom. That's where the town was demanding that Bersin Properties address building code violations and pay a fine.
In front of the judge, an attorney for Bersin Properties pleaded no contest to building code violations and accepted a fine of $100,000.
Adam Bello, Irondequoit Town Supervisor, said, "We were crystal clear that if they didn't clean up their problems there, then they would be taken to court."
The code violations came to light over the winter after a sprinkler pipe burst in the mall causing extensive water damage. That prompted an inspection, which resulted in citations to the mall owners for failing to have a working fire protection system and for having combustible materials, like chairs and shelves inside the mall. The fire marshal also pointed out there was no fire wall between the vacant mall area and Sears, the only remaining store. Late last week, News10NBC saw evidence crews had been inside clearing out remaining items, trying to meet Tuesday's court deadline.
Irondequoit Fire Marshal Gregory Merrick says the mall is now in compliance. "I did a walk through of the mall and those areas in which combustibles had been stored, they had been removed and the wall that separates the Sears from the mall had been installed."
The attorney for Bersin Properties would not answers questions about why they waited 87 days to fix the violations. Now, they have two weeks to pay the fine.
News10NBC's Brett Davidsen asked, "They haven't been very good about paying their bills so far. What is the likelihood they'll pay this fine?
Bello said, "Well, there are dramatic penalties if they don't pay this fine because now we're talking about legal fines."
In an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon, Bersin Properties said, "While we are surprised at the severity of the fine, we are glad to have these code violation issues behind us. It is our intention to continue to move our project forward and we are sure that when the people of Irondequoit see all that we plan to do, they will be pleased with our project."