Georgetown Mall averts tax foreclosure after loan sold, $517,569 payment
A complex series of transactions is giving Georgetown Mall’s owner a reprieve from pending foreclosure over unpaid taxes from 2006 and 2007.
As a result, Washtenaw County collected $517,569 in back taxes, and a mortgage on the 6.5-acre property was sold to a new lender.
Paula Gardner | AnnArbor.com
An additional $300,000 in back taxes still are due, with the next foreclosure deadline already set for February 2011.
Harbor Georgetown LLC - the mall’s ownership entity, led by Craig Schubiner of The Harbor Cos. in Bloomfield Hills - passed the March 31 deadline to pay the back taxes or face forfeiture of the property to Washtenaw County Treasurer Catherine McClary.
This spring’s redemption period deadline passed without payment from either Schubiner or a lender.
However, the tax foreclosure was stalled because the servicer of a loan secured by the mall is embroiled in bankruptcy and litigation in Nevada. The bankruptcy prohibited the tax foreclosure, according to McClary.
However, McClary worked with the bankruptcy trustee to extend the deadline for the foreclosure to May 21, allowing the trustee to sell the mortgage loan.
That move also cleared the way for the county to collect the back taxes from the buyer of the loan, instead of taking possession of the property and putting it up for auction later this year.
“I believe that collecting the taxes are the best thing for the community,” McClary said.
However, she acknowledged that community still has concerns over the future of the property. The mall, located on Packard Road north of Eisenhower, has been vacant since Kroger closed its store there in the fall.
“I don’t believe that purely collecting the taxes are going to change the blight,” she said. “There’s clearly blight there.”
The loan was sold to Value Ann Arbor Management LLC, according to documents. The state has no record of that company, according to its Web site and a state employee.
Schubiner did not identify the new lender. However, he said in an email that he remains the property’s owner.
“Harbor Georgetown remains the borrower on the loan as well as the owner of the real estate. We are working on new ideas for the site and will share those with the community in the coming months,” Schubiner said.
The property is valued at $4.6 million, based on its 2010 state equalized value. Schubiner paid $6.1 million for it in 2001, according to city records.
Meanwhile, the city’s Georgetown Mall Citizen’s Committee will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in a 6th floor conference room at City Hall.
The five-member committee, appointed in February, includes McClary.
“Their role will be to gather information that we have and provide information about the site so that we can assure that the property is adequately maintained and secured,” said Jeff Kahan, city planner and staff liaison for the committee.