By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU —A Sheriff auction of the Wausau Center mall has been postponed for the second time in less than a month, one day before the property was scheduled for sale.
Initially, the sale was to take place July 11. That date was moved to July 18, but on Monday the date was again reset, this time for July 25.
A confirmation of sale hearing is set for Aug. 14 in Marathon County Circuit Court, where the order foreclosure was filed June 5.
No explanation has been given for the delay.
Earlier this year, CBL & Associates Properties, the former owner of Wausau Center, turned its nearly $18 million mortgage back to the bank, essentially walking away from the property. Court documents indicate Wells Fargo Bank initially issued the loan.
When CBL defaulted on the loan, Rialto Capital Management of Miami hired Mid-America Real Estate Group of Milwaukee to take over the mall. Last summer, Economic Development Director Chris Schock positioned the move as “good for Wausau.”
Wausau Center is back on a list of properties managed by Mid-America Real Estate Group, though the mall did not appear on the list several weeks ago. Calls and emails to Mid-America have not been returned.
The foreclosure order, signed by Circuit Judge Greg Huber, states that the premises cannot be sold in parcels but will be sold at public auction under the direction of the Marathon County Sheriff at a “time and manner provided by law.” The lender is free to bid on the property at auction but is not required to do so. Other bidders could also come forward.
If the lender does not win the auction, all proceeds from the sale will be applied to the amount due the lender, according to the order. As of May 30, the total amount due was listed as $18,922,717 including principal, interest, default interest and late penalties. Additional penalties are accruing daily.