Mall Avoids Foreclosure

The Orchards Mall has paid its taxes, avoiding foreclosure for another year. Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski tells WSJM News the mall paid its 2015 property taxes Monday, which was the deadline. The tax owed was about $275,000. Witkowski tells us he wouldn’t have allowed the mall’s owners to enter a payment plan like he does for other delinquent property owners. However, he says as long as they paid up on Monday, they had a right to hold on to the property.

“The other areas of whether or not they do things right is something for the local unit and for others to judge,” Witkowski said.

The 2016 and 2017 property taxes for the mall are still owed, amounting to about $325,000 because the mall appealed its 2016 tax bill and won. The deadline to pay 2015 property taxes or face foreclosure was the end of Monday, and heading into the afternoon, Witkowski told us there were about 650 property owners still behind. Another property facing possible foreclosure was the infamous tarp house on Niles Avenue and Hoyt Street in St. Joseph. Witkowski tells us its owner paid up on time