Following payment of more than $31,000 in delinquent water and sewer bills, and a $6,000 reconnection and reactivation fee Thursday afternoon, retailers and other organizations housed at the Orchards Mall should be able to reopen for business right on schedule this morning.
Benton Township officials revoked the mall's occupancy permit after water service to everything in the mall except for JC Penney's was terminated for lack of payment. The JC Penney store has its own utility lines and was not impacted by the one day shutdown that every other store in the mall face including the popular JoAnn Fabrics which only has an exterior entry to the store, no internal connection.
Shop owners, employees and the general public were all greeted early Thursday with large signs on every door in the house signaling the news that the occupancy permit had been revoked for non-payment of water and sewer bills.
Later in the day, Benton Charter Township Superintendent Kelli Nelson shared the following statement regarding the situation:
June 7, 2018
Benton Charter Township Statement Regarding Mall Occupancy Revocation
It is unfortunate that the Orchard’s Mall owner has placed both the Mall tenants and Benton Charter Township in this precarious position. The owner of the mall has done this community a disservice and continues to waste valuable tax payer resources. Benton Charter Township strictly adheres to its utility ordinances which ensures that all utility customers receive equitable service and treatment. The Mall has consistently been on the shut off list for nonpayment and has continued to wait until the last hour to make the required delinquent payments. The Township has issued Notices of Occupancy Revocation in addition to the shut off notices. The Mall owner and tenants were aware that the Certification of Occupancy would be revoked if the water was disconnected. The Mall did make a payment in the form of a cashiers check after the shut off had taken place. The Mall is being required to make an additional $6,000 deposit in order for service to be reinstated. Upon receipt of such payment the reinstatement of water service will be scheduled as soon as possible. The Township continues to strive to develop its commercial and retail district despite the negating affects due to poor management of the Orchards Mall.
Kelli L.S. Nelson Benton Charter Township Superintendent
Authorities will reinstate water service this morning on a schedule that should be well ahead of the mall's regular opening hours today, and all merchants and other organizations with operations in the mall are expected to be back open for business today.
Meanwhile, the mall's proposed plan to go on the auction block was postponed from earlier this week to next week will try to find a buyer to take the mall off of Michael Kohan's hands. It was originally slated to go on the block Monday and be wrapped up by noon Wednesday. A notice from real estate broker Steven Silverman was posted Wednesday saying the auction is now slated to take place next Wednesday, June 13th.
Silverman is with Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions, an investment advisory and brokerage service in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He posted on the online bid site a notice that the auction had been postponed from its original start date to next Wednesday. The listing for the mall still shows a starting bid of $750,000.