MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Oak Court Mall is all decked for the holidays, but people who work and shop there are concerned about what will happen in the New Year.
According to a foreclosure notice posted Tuesday, the East Memphis mall will be going up for auction at the end of this month.
Some business owners said they found out from customers and social media Oak Court Mall was in foreclosure.
Tony Patton, who owns Mahogany Inc., said he doesn’t like the news, but there is not much he can do about it.
“The only thing I can say is whoever gets it, I wish they would do better about it,” said Patton.
Patton has been in the mall for fourteen years. He said he’s concerned about a rise in crime inside and outside the mall. He’s also concerned someone will buy the mall and tear it down.
“It’s crossed my mind,” said Patton. “Only thing I can do is pray and ask God to help us out.”
The foreclosure notice states the sale includes any and all unpaid taxes and any other prior claims, liens, easements, set back lines, and restrictions.
Last year, the company that previously owned the mall, Washington Prime Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Woodmont Company now owns the shopping center.
We contacted Woodmont to find out what the foreclosure means for businesses and employees in the mall but have not heard back from anyone.
Josh Ingram, Owns and operates a Shoe MGK booth in the mall. He said he’s not worried about someone else buying the mall.
“I work elsewhere, and it’s not the first time it’s happened,” said Ingram.
Oak Court Mall was built in 1988 on Poplar Avenue. The 847,000-square-foot retail facility is anchored by major retailers like Macy’s and Dillard’s but has struggled in recent years to maintain stores.
Right now, there are two empty storefronts inside the mall’s main entrance.
Some shoppers there Tuesday night, though, said it is the only mall in the area, and they would hate to see it go.
“It would be devastating,” said shopper Persela Butler. “You would have to go to the Wolfchase. That is a long way. A lot of people don’t have vehicles to go out there.”
Quantara Jones said she has shopped at Oak Court for years with her family and was surprised to hear about the mall’s financial troubles.
“To lose it would be a great loss because everywhere else, so many stores are closing in the neighborhood,” said Jones. “That causes us to go out further to search for groceries, search for a place to shop.”
The auction date is set for December 28 at noon at the Shelby County Courthouse.