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ShoppingTown Mall misses court payment deadline, McMahon wants ‘soap opera’ to end

ShoppingtownMallInterior.jpg
Ellen Abbott
/
WRVO News (file photo)
The inside of Shoppingtown Mall in DeWitt.

County Executive Ryan McMahon hopes what he calls the "ongoing soap opera,” involving back taxes on Shoppingtown Mall in Dewitt, is over by the end of the year.

ShoppingTown missed its latest court ordered deadline this week to start paying back $9.7 million in back taxes. McMahon said the county has been negotiating with the company that owns the almost dead mall, but said a recent offer shows the property owner has no intention of rectifying the issue.

“They didn’t come with any check, although they did offer in the form of a bond payment or insurance payment, $10,000,” McMahon said. “They thought that was a good number, which shows you these are not serious individuals. These discussions have not been in good faith. They know the offers they made and they knew the answer before they put it on paper. They’re using this as a tool to go to a judge and say don’t do anything, we’re talking to these guys, we’re making great progress. In a former life I’d use different language as to what this all is.”

The mall, which has served shoppers since the 1950s, has been dying a slow death, with tenants trickling away in recent years, leaving a hulking empty mall in the middle of the town of DeWitt. McMahon said the county will let the legal situation play out. There are two lawsuits involved, but he expects it won’t be long before ShoppingTown runs out of delaying tactics, and is forced to turn the property over to the county.

"When you get to the point where you’ve lost tax certiaries, you’ve lost court cases, and you’re at the appeals level, you’re exhausting your options,” McMahon said. “And because of the way we’ve pressed this, Moonbeam's running out of options.”