The owner of Washington Square Mall owes $627,789 in property taxes on the far-east-side shopping center, earning it a listing among delinquent properties up for bid in October’s county tax sale.
Marion County conducts tax sales twice a year, where properties can be purchased for the amount of taxes owed if they’re not paid before the time of the sale.
Taxes owed on Washington Square Mall are for the 2016 tax year payable in 2017.
Great Neck, New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group paid $2.5 million in April 2016 to buy the 1.1-million-square-foot mall after longtime owner Simon Property Group Inc. gave up on the property in August 2014 and turned it back to the lender.
At the time, the mall was just 43 percent occupied. It still boasts anchors Burlington Coat Factory, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target, in addition to national retailers Bath & Body Works, Finish Line and Victoria’s Secret.
But Kohan has filled much of the remaining space with local mom-and-pop shops such as City Electronics, Dr. J’s Beauty Supply and S&I Videos.
Reached by phone, Mike Kohan, president of Kohan Retail Investment Group, said Washington Square is 85 percent occupied.
He didn’t dispute the amount of taxes he owes on the property and said he plans to pay up before the sale.
“I’m holding onto the property, of course,” he said.
Kohan Retail would still have one year from the time of the tax sale to pay its delinquent tax bill or lose ownership. Properties in which owners fail to satisfy the debt, or don’t attract a bid, have a lien placed on them by the county.
Often, bids are placed by investors who can earn interest on the delinquent tax bill until it is paid by the owner.
The next Marion County tax sale is set for Oct. 5-6.
Kohan owns 22 “struggling properties” across the country that have been abandoned by traditional mall owners, in the wake of the challenging retail climate.
Washington Square was developed by Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. and opened in 1974. Simon Property Group took over the mall after it merged with the DeBartolo company in 1996. The mall went through a major renovation in 1999, but began shedding big tenants such as Macy's, JC Penney and Old Navy during the Great Recession.