MYRTLE BEACH — A shopping mall located between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach faces foreclosure after allegedly defaulting on a $12.5 million mortgage.

Myrtle Beach Mall owners currently owe about the half of the mortgage, $6.3 million, after multiple loan modifications, according to a lawsuit filed by California-based real estate investment trust Westridge Lending LLC.

Additionally, the mall sitting at the intersection of U.S. 17 and S.C. 22 owes $241,713 in 2021 property taxes, according to the Horry County Treasurer’s office. That includes nearly $32,000 in penalties. The Horry Independent first reported the news about the mall’s financial issues.

Messages sent to representatives for the Myrtle Beach Mall seeking comment were not returned April 13. The mall was bought in 2014 by two Los Angeles-area firms, Peak Financial Partners and Misuma Holdings.

“Our goal is to identify turnaround opportunities in the commercial retail sector,” Peak Managing Director Gil Priel said at the time of the sale. “The Myrtle Beach acquisition is a welcome complement to our portfolio of real estate investments, which we anticipate will generate strong returns over the long term.”

Westridge Lending’s attorney Douglas Zayicek told Post and Courier Myrtle Beach that the AMC movie theater, Bass Pro Shops and Chick-fil-A on the mall site are not affected by the possible foreclosure.

Located less than a mile from Tanger Outlets, the 36-year-old mall has seen many changes over the years — at one time anchored with now-closed Kmart and JCPenney. Only Belk remains as an original tenant.

Although the opening of Bass Pro Shops and a renovation in the early 2000s brought life back into the mall, it has dwindled down to half its capacity with less than 40 restaurants, stores and organizations still calling it home.

A few years ago, a developer was going to transform the mall into an outdoor setting, keeping the anchors while building a mix of residential of commercial — much like Market Common in Myrtle Beach — but the project never moved out of the planning stage.

The mall now faces an uncertain future, with a possible public foreclosure sale by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, according to the lawsuit.

“My client is only concerned with getting paid what it is owed, and has no plans past the foreclosure action,” Zayicek said.

In January, the mall’s owners were ordered to pay more than $104,000 after allegedly defaulting on a 2020 insurance policy, according to online records.

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