SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County has filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court against Great Northern Mall and its owner demanding more than $5 million in unpaid taxes.
As of February, $5,233,648 was owed, according to the filing. The debt spans five years.
The lawsuit details an agreement between Great Northern Mall’s owners and Onondaga County in 2020 that would allow overdue taxes for prior years to be paid in monthly installments.
The county alleges those agreed monthly payments weren’t made from October 2021 to February 2022.
In the event taxes aren’t paid, the county threatens to take over the property instead.
The lawsuit was filed the same day Great Northern Mall reopened from a one-day power outage, reportedly blamed on unpaid bills owed to National Grid.
The mall was also closed for weeks in February due to broken water pipes.
A spokesperson had said Onondaga County was exploring its legal options, but did not mention the lawsuit filed Wednesday morning.
Onondaga County’s similar threat of foreclosure against ShoppingTown Mall convinced its owners, from Moonbeam Capital, to negotiate a direct sale to the county’s industrial development agency. A project to sell the dead mall to new developers is pending.
Onondaga County bought ShoppingTown Mall in December of 2020 for $3.5 million. $10 million in back taxes over five years and $3 million in interest and late fees were waived in the deal. The owners averted foreclosure by declaring bankruptcy.