On Wednesday, an appellate court in Rochester heard a significant case concerning the future of the vacant Lord & Taylor space in Eastview Mall, Victor. The property, owned by Hudson’s Bay Company and empty since 2021, has become the center of a dispute between the town of Victor and the company.
In 2022, a state court ruled against Victor’s attempt to seize the space through eminent domain, citing a lack of detail in the town’s original takeover plan. However, Victor appealed in January 2023, revealing a new proposal. This plan involves transforming the 93,000 sq. ft. space into a hub for an international fashion retailer, a local grocery store, and a municipal area, leased from mall developer Wilmorite.
The court session highlighted the debate over eminent domain, a process where municipalities can take private property for public use. A representative for Hudson’s Bay Company argued against the town’s intentions, questioning the actual public benefit.
In contrast, Victor’s representative stressed the negative impact of the prolonged vacancy on the mall and the local economy, citing a sharp increase in other vacancies in the mall since 2018 and projecting a possible 80% vacancy rate by 2026.
This ongoing legal struggle reflects broader issues of property rights and community development.
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