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UPDATE: East Hills Mall auction postponed

Property buyers defaulted on loan, owe more than $7M
Posted at 4:58 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 21:40:23-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — UPDATE: The public auction of the East Hills Mall property has been postponed by the auctioneer. The auction is now scheduled for May 20 on the steps of Bakersfield City Hall.

ORIGINAL STORY:
The East Hills Mall property, declared a potential public nuisance by the City of Bakersfield earlier this year, will be auctioned off to the highest bidder according to paperwork filed with County Records.

According to official records obtained by 23ABC News from the Kern County Hall of Records, the property will be auctioned publicly on May 13 at 10 a.m. in front of City Hall on Truxtun Avenue.

The documents also 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.

23ABC News has reached out to Mark Chris Investments for comment, but has not heard back yet.

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.