Property taxes on Spring Hill Mall real estate were paid Thursday, but West Dundee and Carpentersville officials continue to be concerned about the future of the mall.
The Kohan Retail Investment Group, which purchased the mall’s real estate six months ago, missed the June 1 deadline for the first installment of 17 lots of property tax owned by a New York company.
On Friday, the Kane County Treasury confirmed that it was processing $ 114,436 for real estate payments owned by Spring Hill Mall Realty Holding LLC, owned by Cohan Retail Investment Group. The payment includes a 1.5% late fee and covers the first half of the property tax payment on the property.
Michael Cohan, founder and CEO of Cohan Retail Investment Group, said Friday that payment delays were “just overlooked.” “The invoice was sent to another address. We didn’t receive it.”
However, Thursday’s payments did little to alleviate concerns about the future of the mall. According to West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson, the mall is currently less than half occupied.
“Brookfield or Simon (the mall management company) won’t wait until the newspaper article pays the property tax,” Nelson said Thursday’s article about the mall’s omissions.
Officials from both towns pointed out a news account detailing the history of the Cohan Retail Investment Group in other communities and the continued disappearance of problematic properties after the company purchased them.
“The village believes that the future of the mall requires significant intervention by local governments,” Nelson said, saying that most of the mall’s assets are within the village of West Dundee. “We do not believe that current ownership will bring the best interests to the real estate or the community.”
According to the news, utilities have been suspended at some Kohan Retail Investment Group facilities in the past because electricity and water charges have not been paid for months. The news account also showed that Cohan missed the property tax payments on other real estate owned nationwide.
Michael Kohan did not deny the previous problem.
“There are challenges with these traits,” he said. “Any landlord who has a rewarding mall has a problem.”
However, he said the company helped stabilize and in some cases revitalize the problematic property. But he couldn’t provide an example when asked.
“In fact, we did a good thing with the mall we bought,” he said.
However, West Dundee and Carpentersville officials remained skeptical.
“Looking at their models nationally, they weren’t the best community partners in history,” said Eric Johnson, village manager at Carpentersville. “But I encourage them to change that story in our community.”
Mr. Kohan said he had no concrete redevelopment plans for Spring Hill Mall, but said he had talked with potential tenants. He said potential uses for the property could include entertainment and perhaps call centers. He was also open to the possibility of mixed use of real estate, including housing.
Officials at Carpentersville and West Dundee said they have done little to communicate their plans for the property since Cohan bought the mall. West Dundee officials said tentative uses such as carnivals, paintball facilities, and call centers do not match how they would like to see real estate redevelopment.
Authorities eventually want to do some sort of multipurpose development, including housing on the mall’s grounds. Carpentersville officials recently approved plans to develop an apartment on the corner of Huntley Road and Route 31 near the mall grounds.