For the second time in three years the Woodville Mall in Northwood has a new owner, leaving city officials wondering what’s in store for the deteriorating retail complex.
Records in the Wood County Auditor’s office indicate it was sold Dec. 27 for $800,000 to Ohio Plaza Shopping Center, LLC.
The previous owner, Woodville Mall Realty Management purchased it in October 2009 for $700,000 and the appraised value by the county is $504,200.
According to filings in the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, Ohio Plaza Shopping Center was registered with the office on Sept. 25, 2012.
The incorporator’s name on the filing is Soleyman Ghalchi and the mailing address for Ohio Shopping Plaza is in Glen Cove, New York.
The mailing address for the seller is also in New York.
The proximity of the companies and the sale price leaves Bob Anderson, Northwood’s administrator, less than optimistic the new owner has plans to develop the site.
“There seem to be a lot of similarities between the new and old owners,” he said. “By my way of thinking it could be for tax purposes. I would like to be optimistic they did it so they could improve it or tear it down or do something with it. There is some activity. The new mall owners or their representative have contacted Toledo Edison to see if there is power in there. They’ve also contacted our street and maintenance people and our police department has had some contact.”
The city has been monitoring a retention pond at the site, which drains water from the parking lot. Electrical service is needed to operate the pond’s pumping system, Anderson said.
“We don’t want that flooding so we’ve been working with Edison to get power back there,” he said.
Save for two anchor stores, the Andersons and Sears, the mall has been vacant since late 2011 when the Wood County Health Department closed it due to code violations. Brad Espen, the department’s director of environmental health, last week said his office hasn’t been contacted by anyone representing Ohio Shopping Plaza.
In December 2011, officials from the health department and the city toured the building and found a leaking roof and ceiling, mold, wet carpeting, no heat and an inoperable fire suppression system.
Late last year, Dan Anderson, president of The Andersons Retail Group, announced the store would be closed by February.
Shortly after the announcement by Anderson, Tireman Auto Service Centers, which has a facility adjacent to the mall, also said it would be leaving this year. Randy Jones, president and chief executive officer of Tireman, told The Press the Toledo-based company decided the deteriorating conditions of the mall and parking lot no longer fit in with the company’s image.
In August 2009, Mike Kohan, a New York businessman, told The Press he was closing a deal to buy the mall from Ariel Real Estate Holdings and Kahen Holdings,
The purchase was completed three months later and Kohan said he had “a lot of plans” for the site, including opening his own stores that sold clothing, shoes, books and toys.
He said that having his own merchandising business offered him an advantage as he wouldn’t have to wait for tenants to fill the vacancies.
Kohan incorporated Woodville Mall Realty Management in September 2009, signing the registration as “Mehran Kohansieh.”
Dave Gallaher, who chairs city council’s economic development committee, said prospective mall buyers in the past have contacted the city to acquaint themselves with municipal services and discuss potential development plans.
“That hasn’t happened this time,” he said.
To raze the mall, the new owner would need a demolition permit from the city and notify the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Bob Anderson said.
A bond would also have to be posted with the city.
Ghalchi couldn’t be reached for comment prior to The Press deadline.