DEVELOPMENT: Sibley sale is close

BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN

WinnDevelopment could close on the Sibley building next month. Chris Fleming, senior project director with the Boston-based company said Monday that the closing could happen in the second half of August. | Fleming said the historic building would be converted to mixed use with retail on the first and second floors, office space on floors three to six, and housing on floors seven to 12 — the Sibley Tower. | Fleming would not disclose the sale price. He also said he doesn’t have a “full answer” to what will happen with the debt owed on the Sibley building. RochWil Associates, a subsidiary of Wilmorite and current owner of Sibley, owes the City of Rochester millions of dollars. RochWil’s unwillingness to pay up irks a lot of people in the community. | Notably absent from WinnDevelopment’s plan for the building is Monroe Community College. MCC occupies two floors in Sibley and recently signed a new five-year lease. | “They’ve announced that they want to move to the Kodak building,” Fleming said, “so we’re assuming that’s going to be the case. If for some reason they were to change their mind on that, we’d be more than happy to welcome them to stay.”

5 comments

  1. cliint · · Reply

    Christine,
    The “full answer” to the question of the RochWil debt to the City is simple…what debt? Mayor Richards will turn his head when Tom Wilmott walks away after collecting rent from MCC for years. If Wilmott was a Republican, he would have been hung from the Liberty Pole (and not in effigy). City Newspaper cannot possibly be this hopelessly one sided in it’s reporting…there is a theft in progress…and the Mayor is turning his head!

  2. goodgov · · Reply

    cliint-City Paper has, on numerous occasions, explained the history of the Wilmorite/Sibley debt, including explaining what a tax shelter is and how it works. This has not stopped the endless conspiracy theorists and fellow traders in ignorance for claiming all sorts of nefarious reasons why the debt goes uncollected. Wilmorite, through RochWil, is both removed and protected from its tax debt. The city does not collect on this debt because it has no legal standing to do so. That is why they call it a tax shelter.

  3. Peking Humonculous · · Reply

    “RochWil’s unwillingness to pay up irks a lot of people in the community.”

    Well that’s putting it mildly.

    “This has not stopped the endless conspiracy theorists and fellow traders in ignorance for claiming all sorts of nefarious reasons why the debt goes uncollected.”

    Yes- only the ignorant are concerned that a major Dem supporter is walking away from owing this city millions in taxes. That’s right- we’re all just plum crazy for even caring! Like clint said, if it was a Republican backer, this “news”paper, the D&C, and Tom Richards, (and maybe even YOU) would be all over them! Get a clue!

  4. goodgov · · Reply

    I’m not questioning the outrage -Wimorite’s behavior is truly outrageous and represents the worst kind of corporate citizenship. But our outrage doesn’t change the facts. The city doesn’t go after the debt because it simply can’t – it has no legal recourse to do so, particularly when a previous administration helped them set it up. I know, that if you don’t have a finance background, some of this can be confusing, but is isn’t that confusing.

  5. Peking Humonculous · · Reply

    I do understand that it’s legal. I just don’t like it. And I find the media’s reaction to be far less than outraged that a city deeply in need of funds has lost over 20 million dollars because of failed leadership. And when I see Tom Richards handing out tax breaks like candy, it’s obvious to me that the same failed leadership continues. That doesn’t make me a conspiracy theorist, it makes me a concerned citizen.

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