VICTOR, N.Y. (WROC) — The Town of Victor said that they plan to appeal a court decision they lost in December. Town Supervisor Jack Marren confirmed this to News 8 Thursday, saying the town officially will file the appeal in the next seven-to-ten days.
Marren said that if the town loses the court appeal, they will not pursue the matter further in the courts.
Wilmorite, the developer of the mall, has not responded to News 8’s requests for comment.
A judge ruled that the town of Victor would not be able to condemn and repurpose the empty Lord & Taylor store — a vacant space of 90,000 square feet — at Eastview Mall. The Lord & Taylor filed for bankruptcy in August of 2020, and has been closed and vacant since February of 2021.
The decision to appeal, Supervisor Marren said, came following a closed-door meeting with the town board earlier this week, with a sense of urgency.
“We were served back on January 12, we essentially had a 30-day shot clock that expires on February 12 or 13,” Marren said.
The crux of the original court decision was the lack of a plan for the space from Victor. While the town will wait to unveil specific plans, Marren suggested that some plans are in the works for the space.
“I think we can find a couple of uses of that space for recreation, for programming, as well as senior activities,” Marren said.
Marren’s biggest priority is to revitalize the back of the mall, saying the front of the mall is carrying the property.
Going forward, Marren said the Wilmorite has a lease agreement with a potential tenant whom he says would be an anchor store — meaning they will “generate $25 million to a high end of $50 million” — and only take up 50,000 square feet of the space.
“I think the best case for me is we have one or two tenants that probably occupy about (75%) to 80% of that square footage,” he said. “The Town of Victor (would end) up with a portion of that as well.”
During this entire process, Marren has called Wilmorite, the developer of the mall, a willing and able partner to make sure the mall serves Victor.
“Keeping all sections of Eastview vibrant and open is our top priority,” said a Wilmorite spokesperson in a statement earlier this month, when News 8 first reported on the court decision. “We will continue to partner with the Town of Victor to reopen the Lord & Taylor space.”
“It’s open for discussion with the courts,” Marren said, addressing possible legal fees from this process. “Whether or not right now as it stands, Wilmorite, on behalf of the town, would be paying the legal fees that Hudson Bay Company incurred. If we go through this process, again, any legal fees at the town of Victor will be made up by Wilmorite corporation.”
Check back with News 8 on this developing story.