Bankruptcy Filing Interrupts Auction of Strip Mall
The owners of a strip mall that was supposed to be sold in an auction Tuesday, filed for bankruptcy, suspending the sale of the property and leaving the future of the businesses in the mall on uncertain ground.
Six bidders gathered on the steps of the county courthouse at 11:30 a.m. hoping to buy the property from WSG Charlottesville on Route 29, that's home to GameStop and Mattress Warehouse. When they arrived, Stuart Simon - a trustee for the firm - turned them away saying WSG Charlottesville had just filed for bankruptcy 10 minutes prior.
The owners of the company are accused of being involved in a nearly $1 billion Ponzi scheme.
Simon told NBC29 that he had expected to oversee the bidding, but that the sale could not continue Tuesday and the future of the property will now go into the hands of the bankruptcy court.
Simon said that it's possible that the strip mall could go back on the auction block sometime in the future, but said it was not possible to determine when.
In the meantime, tenants from the complex were left with a feeling of uncertainty about the future. They were told to talk with whoever bought the complex Tuesday, but since there was no sale, there was no one to direct their concerns to, and no indication as to whether they'll be allowed to stay in their current location.
A tenant from Mattress Discounters asked Simon if he should continue to pay his rent to the strip mall owners, or if he should now pay the bank. Simon advised him to pay the owners until further notice.