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Unpaid Utility Bills May Cause Cash-Strapped Mall to Shut Down Friday

As Jamestown Mall's new owners struggle to pay tens of thousands in gas and electric bills left unpaid by the previous owners, St. Louis County officials issue an ultimatum: pay up or close the doors Nov. 30.

A long-unpaid gas bill may cost Jamestown Mall shops big this holiday season, according to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

After recieivng complaints that the movie theater in the mall was too cold, county officials found that the theater’s temperature had dropped to below 68 degrees, a St. Louis County Department of Public Works spokesman told the post.

As it turns out, the gas had been turned off. And, according to the Post, it was “unclear how long the mall had been without gas.”

This kind of violation could force the struggling mall to close if not resolved, the spokesman said.

The county gave the mall until last Monday to correct the situation, but that’s when mall manager Mike Kohan said he was working with Laclede and officials to get the situation resolved so that the mall could stay open.

Kohan, who was also the manager of the mall when it went into bankruptcy, said that the mall had been recently acquired by a new owner after having been foreclosed on and put up for sale.

He was given until Thursday to resolve the situation.

An official said that the county does “not want to shut down a mall three weeks before Christmas,” but that inspectors would be there Friday to ensure that the gas is on.

“We’re hopeful that it is,” he said, adding that while the electricity has remained on, there was a concern this week that it would also be turned off due to non-payment.

Kohan said that he paid a $13,000 electric bill on Wednesday, but that the gas bill left unpaid by the previous owners was closer to $20,000.

Nicole November 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM
U guys should know a out the hidden side of the mall, where the roof is falling through and mold growing plants growing from the rain when it comes through the broken windows. They put up a wall to block one whole side of the mall so only workers know about it. My husband work there. The health department should investigate . The mall has over 800 leaks and mold everywhere. If u knew all the other things u would less worried about heat then and more about what u are breathen in.
Matthew Ingmire November 30, 2012 at 01:03 PM
All I can say is if they shut it down, goodbye and good riddence.
sharon Schiller November 30, 2012 at 01:45 PM
There are still workers who depend on their jobs there so I wouldn't be so quick to say close it down. There are still people who work there. I would hate to see Penny's and Macy's close.
Elizabeth O'Fallon November 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM
It makes me sad to think of this because I remember spending lots of time at this mall as a kid. If they can't afford to pay their bills though, how could they stay in business?
E. Holloway November 30, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Back in the '80s and '90s Jamestown Mall was a wonderful place to go. What happened?
Candace Jarrett November 30, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I echo Elizabeth's sentiments about the mall. I remember going there all the time when I was younger. It was a Saturday thing. My mom would get the three of us dressed and after breakfast we'd all get out to either Jamestown or Northwest, a museum or movie, then to the grocery store. It's sad and I'd rather see it renovated than shut down. There are still tenants paying their bills so it's sad the management is having difficulty. If you shut down everything in NoCo, where will the tax base go? You have to support local businesses to keep the area viable.
annalou marie November 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I pray that Penney's and Macy's stay open. There isn't much here in North County and we have to drive far to shop anymore. So sad.
Deborah Lewis November 30, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Its because of the bad economy and our entitlement society caused by the Progressives in our government. So way to go those of you who voted for Lacy Clay and President Obama! Thanks for nothing.
Elizabeth O'Fallon December 01, 2012 at 02:54 AM
I think another issue though is location. Jamestown Mall was always a bit off the beaten path. Back when it was the only Mall around people would drive a distance for all the shops. As we lost a number of shops, and once the shooting happened a few years back many folks no longer wanted to make the drive. I honestly stopped shopping there when they lost Sears. I loved that store. While I'm saddened to see it empty out, but I'm also not surprised to see it happen. Every mall seems to have it's "hay day." It seems like Jamestown is simply following in the same pattern that Northwest Plaza did.
Elizabeth O'Fallon December 01, 2012 at 02:55 AM
While I'm no fan of President Obama or Lacy Clay, I'd stop short of blaming them for the Jamestown Mall problems. This mall has had issues for years.
erin December 01, 2012 at 05:04 PM
For those of you that remember going there long time ago, why did you stop? That's why it is what it is, we all just stopped going. Just like northwest plaza, its coming down as we speak. As far as rebuilding or putting something else there, if that was viable it would have happened already. Look at all the empty land surrounding the place. If McDonald's won't put a restaurant there, then nothing will go there.
Elizabeth O'Fallon December 01, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I personally shopped there for Sears. It was a one stop shop for me. When Sears left I no longer had a reason to frequent Jamestown Mall.

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