Irondequoit Supervisor Dave Seeley announced the town has finalized plans to construct a new community center at the former Irondequoit Mall, now known as Skyview on the Ridge.
The town board will set a July 30 referendum for the people of Irondequoit to determine if it will move forward on the project.
“The former mall represents some of Irondequoit’s fondest memories but also some of our greatest adversity over the past 15 years. Whether we asked for it or not, the mall has become part of Irondequoit’s story,” said Seeley. “I can’t think of a better way for residents of our town to help rewrite that story than by playing a role in the mall’s redevelopment. And, at the same time, we can deliver a lasting resource for our community — one that most other communities already have, in some form.”
The 43,000-square-foot project will redevelop the northern portion of the facility, adjacent to the former Macy’s, which has since been reopened to house operations for a customer service center for Conduent and the Ronald McDonald House Sale. The town is also presently working with the owner of the facility to provide additional dedicated space for the Irondequoit Police Department to use.
As proposed, the community center will include a full gymnasium with an elevated walking track, a fitness center, additional community meeting space, teen space (including plans for a digital gaming room) and multi-use athletic space with artificial turf. The facility would also include greatly enhanced space for the town’s senior programming. Furthermore, it will serve as a home base for Irondequoit Recreation, which has grown over the past several years to meet the rising demand for amenities but consistently finds it difficult with a lack of space for programming.
“Our goal is to make this facility multi-generational. From pickleball games for our older residents to new opportunities to expand youth and teen programming — our goal is to be able to vastly expand what is presently available for residents,” said Seeley. “Furthermore, we are also not only emphasizing the recreational element, but also the need to provide additional community space, whether it be for special event rentals or group meetings.”
This proposed project is the culmination of an 18-month planning process that began with the town accepting an offer from the owner of the facility, Angelo Ingrassia, to utilize space in the former mall. The town then conducted an extensive community engagement process, which included public meetings, multiple focus groups and an online survey that provided feedback from over 1,300 Irondequoit residents, of all ages.
An advisory panel made up of town residents and staff issued a report to the town board in March 2018. The town also engaged in a market and operational feasibility study in spring 2018. This helped provide guidance to the impact on the town’s bottom line, should it proceed.
The referendum will ask for voter approval to bond upwards of $7.25 million to finance the project, which will have an estimated total budget of $8.5 million, plus soft costs for architecture, engineering and construction management.
Upon setting the July 30 referendum vote, which will take place in the St. Kateri Parish gymnasium on Kings Highway South, the town will set up a series of community meetings to inform residents about the project. The owner of Skyview has committed to allowing one of these sessions to occur inside the former mall.
Visit irondequoit.org for complete information about the proposed community center.