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2 suits put Batavia mall in peril

BATAVIA – Two lawsuits between the city and the occupants of a city-owned former downtown shopping center now called the medical mall have put the sprawling mall on life support.

The city is suing for $805,000 in back rent, and the more than two dozen health are services and offices are after the city for maintenance and repairs of the public concourse.

The mall, then known as the Genesee Country Mall, opened in 1978 and soon had two dozen retailers, who had been previously displaced by Urban Renewal projects that bulldozed more than half of the business district.

Part of the mall was converted into City Hall 10 years ago, and the building fronting Main Street is now called the Batavia City Centre.

Other occupants include J.C. Penney, a popular restaurant and three retailers among others.

Most of the space is occupied by health care services ranging from dental offices to an urgent care center.

The city’s lawsuit claims it has received no rent since 2000 and annual fair market payments of $57,500 are due.