Sheriff’s sale looms for Colonial Park Mall

Ed Gruver//March 27, 2023

Sheriff’s sale looms for Colonial Park Mall

Ed Gruver//March 27, 2023

The Colonial Park Mall in Lower Paxton Township is listed for a sheriff’s sale. 

Lower Paxton Township solicitor Steven Stine said Monday the sheriff’s sale is scheduled for July 20. Stine said the owners of the mall, Kohan Retail Investment Group, can pay their debt prior to the sale, but it must be paid in full and at one time to avoid the sale. 

Stine added that the payment must also cover unpaid bills plus penalties, attorney fees, and costs incurred by Lower Paxton Township. 

“It’s listed for sheriff’s sale,” said Stine. “They can pay it if they want to, as long as they pay in full and in one payment. If they do that, great.” 

The Colonial Park Mall, which has been struggling financially for years, owes $256,000 in unpaid storm water and sewer fees, according to the Township. Stine said mall owners promised to pay the fees but didn’t. The Lower Paxton Township Authority has stated that mall owners have failed repeatedly to regularly pay stormwater and sewer bills. 

“Not only didn’t they pay the delinquent amount, they didn’t pay the quarterlies,” said Stine. He estimated that if the mall goes to sheriff’s sale, the debt will have risen to approximately $260,000 or more. 

“The balance gets bigger every day,” Stine said. 

The money from the sheriff’s sale will be used to settle the mall’s debts. 

The potential sale would involve the mall’s main building, which comprises approximately 40 acres. Boscov’s, which owns its store, and the former Sears property will not be included in the sheriff’s sale.  

In February 2022, Stine filed a civil complaint against the mall for money owed. Mall owners said they would pay their debts the week of March 11 but failed to do so. Stine filed a default judgment on March 1 to start the process of proceeding to a sheriff’s sale. 

“I’ve done everything I can do for now,” said Stine. 

Along with the unpaid stormwater and sewer bills, the mall is also reported to be approximately $500,000 dollars in debt for unpaid municipal, county and school district taxes. That debt would not be included in the potential sheriff’s sale, as it is being handled by Dauphin County’s Tax Claims Bureau 

In the fall of 2022, the Township Authority decided to shut off water to the mall, but mall owners paid their debt. 

Like many malls across Pennsylvania, Colonial Park has suffered the loss of several stores over the years. In summer 2020 Lower Paxton Township supervisors approved a zoning ordinance specifically for the mall property and supported a mixed-use property that along with retail could include apartments, hotels, and offices. 

Per published reports, interest has since been shown by developers, but no agreement has been reached between a potential developer and mall owners.