Southbridge Tax Sale

The owners of Southbridge Mall have paid no property taxes since purchasing the mall last year and owe $208,910 in back taxes, according to the Cerro Gordo County treasurer's office.  The mall is currently in a tax sale.

MASON CITY | The owners of Southbridge Mall have paid no property taxes since purchasing the mall last year and owe $208,910 in back taxes, according to the Cerro Gordo County treasurer's office.

The mall was purchased for $1.5 million in September 2016 by Kohan Investment Group, Great Neck, New York, doing business as Southbridge Mall Realty Holding LLC.

Cerro Gordo County Treasurer Patricia Wright said taxes are owed on four parcels that make up the mall property with a taxable value of $4,613,370.

She said the holding company, like all taxpayers, receive five notifications of taxes due, including written notices in July, November (if delinquent) and in May (if still delinquent).

In addition, a list of properties with delinquent taxes is published in June, and if taxes are still not paid, they are subject to a tax sale usually held in the third week of June.

After the tax sale, another notice is mailed to the owners notifying them of the tax sale. The Kohan Investment Group received notification that two of the four parcels were sold at the 2017 tax sale.

"This does not constitute a sale of the property but a lien in the treasurer's office," said Wright. "The other two parcels, not sold at the tax sale, can be pursued through the court system."

Several attempts to contact Kohan Investment Group owner, Mehran Kohansiek, who goes by Mike Kohan, by phone and by email, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Mall property taxes are significant in the city's River City Renaissance project which includes an ice arena/multipurpose center in the mall.

On Nov. 7, voters will be asked to decide on whether to approve an agreement in which the mall would own the arena and lease it to the city for 20 years.

The mall would then pay property taxes which would provide the city with TIF financing to pay off bonds. Receipt of property taxes is the reason the city chose to lease rather than own the arena.

Kohan has a history of financial and legal problems with other malls he has owned.

A tax sale is pending this month on Washington Square Mall in Indianapolis because of $627,789 in property taxes owed by Kohan Investments. In the past, he was cited for owing back taxes on Northland Mall in Worthington, Minnesota.

In 2015, power was shut off at Rotterdam Square Mall ner Schenectady, New York, because an outstanding electric bill. Kohan has since sold that mall.

He has also had legal and financial problems in Effingham, Illinois, and Florissant, Missouri.

He owned Lincoln Mall in Matteson, Illinois, that was cited for many safety violations. A court ordered Kohan to pay $100,000 for repairs as well as a $100,000 fine. Kohan paid the fines and no longer owns the mall.

Woodville Mall in Northwood, Ohio, was ordered closed because of numerous health and safety violations. Its owners, including Kohan, were ordered to pay $1.69 million. Kohan told The Globe Gazette in a September 2016 interview that he was listed as one of the owners but had sold his interest and did not have to pay anything.

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