The Richland Mall will be sold immediately as a result of an order from U.S. District Court Judge Patricia A. Gaughan; the decision stems from foreclosure action brought by Wells Fargo against the mall, claiming they were owed more $40 million.
The owner of the property, Centro Richland LLC, failed to meet the July 5 deadline for repayment to the holdings company.
Despite the foreclosure, the mall has the possibility of remaining open under new ownership.
“We’re optimistic that someone is going to buy it. With Avita there (offering health care services), it has got a lot going for it,” Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson said to reporters.
Centro Richland, purchased the mall in 2006 from WEA Richland LLC, Richland Manager LLC and Centro Watt Operating Partnership 9 LLC. Centro Richland began to fail to make payments on the property in 2014.
Centro owes $37 million in outstanding debt on the loan, plus interest of $918,833, accrued interest of $751,532 , $5,824 in late charges, a prepayment premium of $2,492,446, and attorney fees that are a result of terms of the mortgage.
The two parties entered into a default agreement in April and the mall is now up for public sale following an appraisal from Richland County commissioners.
Avita Health System, a successful and independently operating health care provider located on the grounds, released a statement Tuesday saying it remains optimistic the sale will not impact their business.
“Despite the recent attention surrounding Richland Mall, we will not change our plans to expand and grow our Avita Ontario location,” said Jerry Morasko, president and CEO of Avita Health System.Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones