Mall behind again on property taxes

Published 10:31am Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oak Park Mall owners are again facing tax forfeiture on parts of their property, but at a lesser cost than what they faced at this time last year.

The county will soon serve notice to Oak Park Mall Ltd. Partnership — which consists of Martin Graff of M H Graff & Associates Inc., and Martin Goldman of M J Goldman & Co. Ltd., both of Chicago — that lots nine and 10 of the property will forfeit to the state if about $20,900 for three years worth of taxes aren’t paid.

Neither lot consists of any parts of the mall building. The mall owes more than $15,170 on lot nine, which consists of the oak trees near Interstate 90. The mall owes more than $5,700 on lot 10, the parking lot behind Shopko.

Mower County Auditor-Treasurer Doug Groh said sheriff employees will serve papers soon, and then the mall owners will have 60 days to pay the amount.

The mall also owes one year of property taxes — $105,900 — on lots one and 11 of the mall, which includes Younkers, the CineMagic 7 movie theater, and all other tenants except Shopko, which is owned by the retailer. However, Groh said mall ownership has until 2017 before those lots forfeit.

Last year, the mall owners paid $378,170 owed on lots 1 and 11 a few weeks before the property was set to forfeit. The Mower County Board of Commissioners even took steps to keep the mall open if the property forfeited to the county. Groh and County Attorney Kristen Nelsen worked to prepare temporary leases for the mall’s tenants.

Graff did not return a call requesting comment.


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