Weeks after owner’s nonpayment caused 6-day outage, Westwood Mall tenants get another shutoff notice

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) — Less than a month ago power was restored to local business owners in the Westwood Mall after a 6-day outage caused by the building owner’s failure to pay the bill.

On Tuesday, a letter from the Marquette Board of Light and Power is telling them that it might be happening again.

About a month ago we began reporting on the situation involving a New York-based, nationwide investment group, the power company, local business owners, and a significant tax bill.

It all started with a letter sent from the MBLP, that in turn was shared with us. For those who have been following this story, it’ll look all too familiar. It reads:

We appreciate your business and your timely payments. Due to the configuration of the electrical system at the Westwood Mall, you may experience an outage if Marquette Board of Light & Power is required to disconnect your landlord or neighbors. At this time, we are preparing to take action against one or more customers at the Westwood Mall for delinquent non-payment.

We have notified the Marquette Township Fire Marshal about the potential disconnection of power. Building systems may be affected by this action and the Fire Marshal may take action as a result.

We have made multiple attempts to resolve this issue with the delinquent parties. Power is scheduled for disconnection on or after Wednesday April 24, 2024.

Letter from Marquette Board of Light & Power

Last month we were told these letters come regularly, but not every month. Only a handful of times was the power actually shut off in the past few years, never lasting more than a day according to owners of businesses in the mall.

Last month’s 6-day outage was the longest they said. At the same time as last month’s outage, at least one other mall in Kansas—also owned by the Kohan Group—was experiencing a prolonged power shutoff.

Westwood Mall biz owners ask for ‘feet on the floor’ after 6-day power shutoff

On Tuesday, some businesses in the mall have again shared a photo of the notice.

Along with the photo, a spokesperson for Martin Sports wrote, “we would like to prepare our customers for the possibility of another power outage at the Westwood Mall. Yep…..this again..”.

Scott Martin, owner of Martin Sports urged from his personal page for people to call the Westwood Mall’s owner, the Kohan Retail Investment Group, and attempt to connect with their CEO Michael Kohan.

A representative for the Rampage Room was more concise with their messaging, simply captioning the image with: “Foreshadowing.” In a comment, they said, “Kohls, Dunhams and the church all purchased their portions of the building. Even if we had our own, the fire marshall would shut us down because the malls fire suppression system wouldn’t be on. There’s no winning and we are at the mercy of our scumbag landlord.”

Another call to the Kohan Group by Local 3 on Tuesday afternoon went unanswered.

Local 3 will be following this story to bring you the latest updates as they happen.

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