As Southbridge Mall owner Michael Kohan has continually haggled with Cerro Gordo County Treasurer Patricia Wright over unpaid taxes, the New York investor has spread a good deal of money across the country in 2018.
Since February, the Kohan Retail Investment Group has purchased six mall properties while selling one and winding up in lawsuits over several others. Below is a timeline of the Kohan Group's recent activities including its financial disputes in Mason City.
In total, the Kohan Group spent more than $46 million in 2018 acquiring new properties in other cities while repeatedly failing to pay taxes for its North Iowa property.
The Kohan Group paid $150,254 in delinquent taxes to meet a Dec. 5 deadline imposed by Cerro Gordo County.
The Kohan Group snatches up the struggling Eastland Center mall in Harper Woods, Michigan, for $3.125 million, some $2.6 million more than the set-to-auction price. However, the Kohan Group wasn't identified as the buyer until reporting was done by the Detroit Free Press and Crain's Detroit Business (which covers business dealings in the Motor City).
Also, the Kohan Group was hit with a $750 fine after failing to adequately address parking lot conditions and the air conditioning system at the Virginia Center Commons in Glen Allen, Virginia, per Richmond Times Dispatch.
In Mason City, the Kohan Group saw three of its four checks, for back taxes totaling $177,324, returned due to insufficient funds.
Wright, the Cerro Gordo County treasurer, filed a civil lawsuit against Southbridge Mall Realty Holding, LLC for delinquent real estate taxes and interest on the buildings and improvements to the tune of $177,324.
The Kohan Group, according to reporting by the Brownsville Herald, shelled out $12.5 million for the Valle Vista Mall in the Rio Grande Valley town of Harlingen, Texas. It promised to turn around a mall with 25 percent vacancy rate.
The city council of Effingham, Illinois was forced to apply legal pressure to the Kohan Group after it take the necessary steps to fix leaky roofs and damaged ceiling tiles at the Village Square Mall, per Effingham Daily News.
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That same month, according to the Times Observer, backhoes and bulldozers began tearing into the Warren Mall in Warren, Pennsylvania, which the Kohan Group still lists on its property portfolio website but is claimed by the Cocca Development Group out of Sarasota, Florida.
The Kohan Group filed a lawsuit in Onondaga County asking for the Great Northern Mall of Clay, New York's assessment to be dropped from $1.45 million to $315,570, per Syracuse Post Standard. Such a reassessment would decrease the mall's property tax bills and lessen the Kohan Group's tax load.
That particular tax maneuvering came in a month where the Kohan Group had a lien placed on the Southbridge Mall in Mason City and was informed of a $328,888 property tax bill by Cerro Gordo County.
June was perhaps the busiest month of all for the Kohan Retail Investment Group. It bought two malls, one in Kenner, Louisiana and one in Midland, Michigan, for a combined $18.65 million (per the New Orleans Advocate and Michigan Live) and received a bid on its mall property in Benton Harbor, Michigan for $2.1 million by Durga LLC ($400,000 less than the reserve price), per Herald Palladium.
The Kohan Group purchased Towne Square Mall in Owensboro, Kentucky for $4 million, NBC 14 News.
Kohan personally assured the Globe Gazette that, despite owing a then $218,637 in back taxes to Cerro Gordo County for the Southbridge Mall, "You don't have to worry."
But, in a follow-up chat, Kohan said that the mall was "going under" and that's why he had stalled on tax payments.
The Kohan Group bought the Prescott Gateway Mall in Prescott, Arizona for $8.8 million (per The Daily Courier) in the same month Kohan himself issued another pledge to pay back taxes on the Southbridge property.