ShoppingTown Mall in Dewitt remains in a kind of limbo, after its former owner defaulted on a loan last year. Local government officials say they have been unable to reach the company that has taken possession of the property, to find out what it's plans are. After getting U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on the case, there are now some answers.
It's been eight months since the Florida company LNR Properties bought the mall. Since then, officials in the town of DeWitt say they have been trying to reach LNR, to find out what plans are in the works for one of the first suburban shopping centers in central New York.
DeWitt town Supervisor Ed Michalenko says the property has a big impact on the budget.
"This property is one of the highest assessments in the town of DeWitt. And its collapse would have a significant impact on homeowners and residents and property owners throughout the town," said Michalenko.
LNR's answer to this -- in a statement issued after Schumer held a news conference Thursday in DeWitt -- is that the company is happy to engage in reductive and ongoing dialogue with Schumer and Dewitt officials.
LNR say they are a special servicer acting on behalf of the trust that holds the defaulted loan on ShoppingTown, and under IRS rules, it can't undertake a long-term development of the property. But it says it now is a responsible steward of the property, trying to increase it's value and market it to outside developers.