Residents Outraged At Mall Deal

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Green Acres Commons, adjacent to the mall (Photo source Macerich)

The story continues to unfold on the other side of town in response to the handling of the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement between the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the Valley Stream Green Acres LLC, owners of Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream.

Town Supervisor Anthony Santino announced on Nov. 15 that the board will replace its IDA board members. Many residents in attendance at this meeting, seeking representation of their district, left feeling disappointed that their concerns were not being heard and that the town-appointed IDA board remains misrepresented.

The town board members maintain their dissatisfaction with its own independent agency’s practices.

Prior to the Nov. 15 board meeting, Santino said, “I am outraged by the IDA’s hearing process and handling of the Green Acres Mall PILOT agreement. The pleas of taxpayers continue to fall on deaf ears at the IDA, and I will not stand for it. Hempstead Town is already filing a lawsuit to nullify the IDA’s deal. Now it’s time for the IDA to take a fresh new look at this ill-advised action. Clearly, the only way to do that is with new board members that will have the confidence of taxpayers.”

At the Nov. 29 public board meeting, town attorney Joseph Ra stated that the town will not be bringing litigation against the IDA.

Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, an advocate for her district and local residents, released the following statement:

“As a New York state representative, I will continue to advocate for homeowners and residents before outside interests. The outrageous tax breaks given to Green Acres Mall have contributed to hundreds of dollars in tax increases for Valley Stream residents. I implore the Town of Hempstead IDA to repeal the Green Acres Mall tax break. Our community will accept nothing less.”

The owners of the mall are further developing the complex, both at the mall and at adjacent buildings, including Green Acres Commons, a 20-acre parcel with new retailers such as Ashley Furniture HomeStore, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Burlington Stores, Dick’s Sporting Goods, DXL, Five Below and Homegoods, with more new retailers to come.

Visit www.longislandweekly.com to view more from the town board, the assemblywoman’s released statement and her timeline of events regarding the Green Acres Mall PILOT implementation.

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