YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — As the Charleston Town Center Mall goes up for public auction on Jan. 24 out of receivership, former Charleston mayor Danny Jones said former mall owner, Cafaro Company, may be interested in repurchasing it.
Cafaro Company refutes Jones’ comments made about the company being interested.
“We don’t know why Mr. Jones said something like that,” Joe Bell, the Director of Corporate Communications for Cafaro Company, told MetroNews.
“We had never intended to take part in that auction. We have not talked to him about anything to that effect. The basic answer is that we are not interested in participating in that auction.”
Jones said the Youngstown, Ohio-based Cafaro Company, which owns malls in Barboursville and Bridgeport, would look to purchase the mall for $20-25 million dollars when it goes up for auction on the Kanawha County Courthouse steps.
He added Tuesday on his radio show, 580-LIVE on 580-WCHS, that Cafaro Company would target purchasing the parking garage as well, which sits on land owned by Charleston Urban Renewal Authority.
“We were aware of the fact that this was going for bankruptcy auction,” Bell said. “We had no interests in participating in that. This was something that we had made no for quite some time.”
The mall has been in receivership for almost a year after its former owners defaulted on a $100 million loan given by the U.S Bank Association. The mall owed $93 million of that loan, forcing the U.S. Bank National Association to file a lawsuit against Charleston Town Center SPE Inc. in November 2017.
The national real estate firm CBRE Group was appointed as the receiver.
Jones said the mall has lost 40 percent of its tenants in recent years.