One of the investors with an ownership interest in Nolan River Mall in Cleburne filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 22 in the federal bankruptcy court in Fort Worth. The mall’s owners also owe back taxes on the property for 2007, according to records at the Johnson County tax office.

Investors Tom Morris and Denis Engel own the mall through entities that also own Six Flags Mall in Arlington and Sunrise Mall in Corpus Christi. Claiming Morris has mismanaged the properties, Engel sued him and entities associated with him Feb. 22 in the Texas Northern District Court in Fort Worth. That suit asks the court to appoint a third party to assume day-to-day operations of Nolan River Mall and other properties.

The International Bank of Commerce and Creative Financial Solutions of Austin recently posted Six Flags Mall for foreclosure, claiming the owners defaulted on $9.5 million worth of loans, according to a Fort Worth newspaper. The dispute also involves Nolan River Mall and Sunrise Mall. A judge stalled foreclosure proceedings last week, however, by granting a 10 day delay to hold a hearing on Morris and Engel’s disputes.

Morris did not return a phone call to his office, and no telephone number for Engel could be found.

Nolan River Mall, at West Henderson Street and Nolan River Road, covers 19.03 acres and has been appraised at $3,862,886, according to tax office records. Property taxes on the mall for 2007 totaled $90,255.64, which were due Jan. 31. Having not been paid, the amount, with interest and penalty charges, now totals $98,378.64. The owners have until the end of March to pay, said Scott Porter, Johnson County tax-assessor collector.

“After July 1, if they’re still delinquent, they would be turned over to the county’s delinquent tax attorneys,” Porter said.

For now, the mall remains open with about 32 tenants, Cleburne Economic Development Director Jerry Cash said.

“It doesn’t seem like there’s anything imminent that would immediately affect the day-to-day operation,” Cash said.

A business group from Dallas considered purchasing the mall last year, but the deal fell through, Cash said.

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