HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — McKinley Mall in Hamburg has been put up for auction, a move that has surprised local officials.

The property, which was purchased by the Long Island-based Kohan Retail Investment Group in 2021, is set to go up for auction next month.

Thursday, Town of Hamburg officials announced that Kohan Retail Investment Group also owes $176,069.14 in overdue taxes, which were due on Feb. 15.

Hamburg Town Supervisor Randy Hoak said he was unaware of it until a resident emailed him about seeing the mall on an auction website. It was purchased by the Long Island group for $8.5 million.

“I was quite surprised to see there was an auction coming up, April 17th, a virtual auction which will apparently take place over 2 days,” Hoak said.

Before the 2021 purchase, the land was in foreclosure. Courts approved the purchase after it was disputed by the Town of Hamburg and the Buffalo-based Benderson Development group, which had wanted to purchase the property.

Hoak said that he hasn’t talked to Kohan Retail Investment Group owner Mike Kohan in recent months, saying the last time they spoke last year was about Kohan’s ideas for the space. In 2021, the town board passed an incentive zoning district for the mall, to give flexibility for use of the space.

The official use for the space is still a question mark. There are still some stores on the premises as well as a movie theatre, and an indoor skate park is in the works.

Hoak is still hopeful for the future of the land plot.

“I’ve always been hopeful for the mall property,” Hoak said. “It’s a nice parcel, it’s located right off the thruway, there’s some strong neighborhoods and there’s strong communities around Hamburg as well, West Seneca, Orchard Park, certainly a strong retail customer base and it’s one of the gateways into the town of Hamburg.”

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.