The owner of the Berkshire Mall has just over two weeks to pay almost $1 Million in back taxes in order to retain ownership of the largest shopping complex in The Berkshires.

According to The Berkshire Eagle, Michael Kohan, of Berkshire Mall Realty Holdings LLC, who bought the mall in September 2016 for $3.5 million, has vowed not to lose control of the 720,000-square-foot building on the 89-acre site. In a brief interview with the publication, he said he will have this settled by the 18th.

Town officials are saying little about the situation, but Town Manager Paul Sieloff says that this is an unfortunate situation, but they are going through a process required by the law.  Through that legal process, Kohan has until 1 p.m. June 18th to pay in full the $422,000 in fiscal 2018 property taxes owed to Lanesboro, and $520,000 it owes to the Baker Hill Road District, the entity that owns and maintains the connector road between U.S. Route 7 and state Route 8.  If the back taxes are not paid off by that date, the town will seize control of the property.

The 720,000 square foot shopping complex has fallen on tough times in recent years, losing such retail giants as Sears, J.C. Penney, Macy's and Best Buy, as well as multiple 'unexplained' power outages, and a lack of plowed parking lots over the winter.

However, in an effort to turn around the mall's fortunes, the road district and town officials have been proactive in seeking options to redevelop the mall.  A small glimmer of hope for the Mall comes in the form of the building's first new tenant in years, with The Berkshire Mall Emporium set to open June 23rd in the 60,000 square foot space previously occupied by J.C. Penny.

New business is a step in the right direction, yet many believe the new Emporium business will not be enough to keep the doors open.  However, last week, a marijuana cultivation company, Chilly Farms of Westborough, told the Select Board of Lanesboro,  it had scouted the mall as a potential location for growing recreational marijuana.






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