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Auction of East Hills Mall canceled by lender

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Posted at 10:39 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 13:39:00-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The public auction of the defunct East Hills Mall has been canceled, according to the trustee, Chicago Title.

The trustee confirmed to 23ABC News that the lender, Retail Equities, canceled the auction, but gave no reason.

The property was originally scheduled for auction on May 13, but the auction was postponed multiple times since then.

It's not clear if the property will be put up for auction again.

The East Hills Mall has been a source of controversy in recent months as the owners fell into default on their loan.

Documents obtained by 23ABC News show that Mark Chris Investments, who purchased the property last year, owe an estimated $7,752,789.55, including fines and fees accrued since defaulting on its loan in January. Mark Chris Investments, along with City Lights, LLC, bought the property from Retail Equities LLC for $8,750,000 in December of 2016.

The new owners planned to rennovate the property and re-open it as City Lights Mall. That project was approved by the Bakersfield City Planning Commission back in November of 2018 . The plan was for the new 358,295-square foot mall to sit on 34.6 acres and include a movie theater, eleven major retail stores and even a new fitness center.

However, the property has been beset with issues since.

Back in March, a video of YouTubers RNK ALL DAY entering the mall and walking around went viral. The video showed how a January fire ravaged the inside of the mall .

The Kern County Treasurer-Tax Collector's office also confirmed to 23ABC News that City Lights, LLC is in default on its property taxes for the current year. The Tax Collector's office says the account is delinquent by $206,000 for this tax year.