Orchards Mall on the Verge of Foreclosure

by San Antonio Attorney

Orchards Mall, a 550,000 square foot shopping center located at 1800 Pipestone Road, has a huge debt to Berrien County costing approximately $160,000 worth of property taxes from 2014-2015.

The mall, initially purchased by New York developer Mike Kohan, was set to be renovated due to the deteriorating property.

The interiors of the mall were already renovated.  However, the parking lot still has weeds and cracks.

Kohan released a public statement last Wednesday, saying that he was already informed of the owed taxes and he planned to negotiate with county officials to avoid potential foreclosure.

Kohan, a mall proprietor who operates malls across the country, was willing to maintain Orchard Mall’s operations by paying the taxes.

Kohan added that the future of Orchard Mall is still bright, despite several challenges.

One of the challenges of Orchard Mall includes the need to attract national tenants to the vacant mall.  The main stores of the mall include JC Penney, Sears Appliance Store, Carson’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics.  These stores were in place when the mall was bought by Kohan.

Unfortunately, the closure of AT&T store and Claire’s fashion shop, long-term tenants of the Orchard, has further crippled the financial stability of the mall.

Small stores have become the new tenants since Kohan’s takeover, but these are not enough to cover up losses for the big stores.

Property foreclosure can be done by Berrien County if taxes are unpaid for three years in a row.  The foreclosed property is then sold through an auction.  Sometimes, the city treasurer mobilizes the sale of large commercial properties.

If Orchard Mall’s 2014 taxes are still unpaid by March 31, foreclosure of property will occur.  The mall tenants will still maintain their operations and will receive the benefit of not paying the rental fees until a new owner will take over.

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