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Southbridge Mall owner Michael Kohan paid delinquent taxes totaling $150,254 by the agreed upon deadline with the Cerro Gordo County Treasurer's office.

MASON CITY | The Southbridge Mall owner has paid his delinquent taxes.

Cerro Gordo County Treasurer Patricia Wright said in a news release Thursday morning Southbridge Mall Realty Holding, LLC, owned by Michael Kohan of Kohan Retail Investment Group in Great Neck, New York, paid $150,254 in real estate taxes and interest for the mall in downtown Mason City.

“The payment was received by the agreed upon deadline and processed on Dec. 6, 2018,” the news release said.

The payment was due by Wednesday.

Update: Mason City mall could be auctioned if $150K tax bill isn't paid by Dec. 5

Kohan’s payment includes the fees and damages due on three of four checks that bounced on Oct. 3 due to non-sufficient funds.

In October, delinquent real estate taxes and interest for Southbridge Mall totaled $177,324.

Wright said current real estate taxes for fiscal year 2017-2018 payable fiscal year 2018-2019 are unpaid. In the event they remain unpaid, the parcels will be listed on the annual tax sale in June.

The mall's real estate taxes are important to the $39 million downtown River City Renaissance Project, which includes a multipurpose arena at the mall and a hotel.

During a special council meeting in late November, City Administrator Aaron Burnett said if Southbridge Mall goes to tax sale, “several groups expressed interest in ownership of the mall,” so he doesn’t envision any “significant change” in the project if Kohan doesn’t pay the remaining taxes.

“Now obviously, if there was a change before everything was locked in then that would … create an issue if the new mall owner was not supportive of the project,” he said Nov. 27.

Insufficient funds: Mason City mall owner's tax checks bounce

The treasurer's office sued the LLC and Kohan for the delinquent taxes in September.

Prior to the lawsuit being filed in September, Wright said her office worked diligently to collect the real estate taxes on the mall.

Mason City mall owner pays taxes, lawsuit dropped

The lawsuit was dropped in October after the county received checks from Southbridge Mall Realty Holding.

The civil suit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it can be brought back to court.

Kohan bought Southbridge Mall for $1.5 million in September 2016.

On Nov. 27, the Mason City Council decided to move forward with the downtown project despite uncertainty over the payment of the mall’s real estate taxes.

The City Council approved a pre-development agreement with Gatehouse Mason City LLC in a 5-1 vote, with Councilman Joshua Masson opposed. It also unanimously approved an architectural contract with ICON Architectural Group of Grand Forks, North Dakota, for a multipurpose arena at Southbridge Mall.

Cerro Gordo County Treasurer sues Southbridge Mall owner for unpaid taxes

A letter from Gatehouse to the city states the project will have a 100-room “select-service hotel,” such as Courtyard, Hilton Garden Inn or Hyatt Place. The Music Man Square would be expanded to include a 6,000-square foot ballroom and 1,500-square-foot banquet kitchen.

As for the multipurpose arena, City Administrator Aaron Burnett noted in a memo the Mason City Youth Hockey Association, which hosts the North Iowa Bulls, needs to have the arena begin construction or it will “face some difficult decisions on investment because their ice system is well beyond its normal lifecycle and is starting to have failures.”

In 2016, the hockey association said replacing the 35-year-old ice floor and modernizing its current facility at the North Iowa Events Center could top $1 million.

At the Southbridge Mall multipurpose arena, the association has committed to pay for everything related to ice operations, plus $500,000 in cash, not to exceed $2 million. It would lease the arena and manage it during the hockey season.

ICON has worked on a number of athletic facilities, including hockey arenas in North Dakota and Minnesota.

The two projects – hotel and ice arena – need to run concurrently, Burnett said.

• Here's everything you need to know about Mason City's River City Renaissance Project

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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