Golden East Crossing 1

Golden East Crossing mall is being foreclosed on and will be sold at public auction.

Abdul Khan, manager of N.Y. Gold and Jewelry, who has been operating his business in the same location for more than 17 years, is dealing with the stark reality that he might have to move to another location.

Khan runs his shop in the Golden East Crossing mall, which is being foreclosed on and will be sold at public auction this morning.

“Am I nervous about the future? Yes, I am. Do I know business owners in the mall that are concerned about their futures? Yes, I do,” Khan said.

For Khan, it’s a “wait and see” situation. The future of the store staying in its current location depends entirely on the new owner’s plans. That plan could include closing the mall down for several months and raising the rent, he said.

“There’s no way of planning the future without knowing what the new owner’s plans are for the mall,” he said.

The law typically calls for the new owner to honor the lease agreements that tenants had with the previous owners of the property. But there are exceptions to this rule. Lease agreements can contain language that nullifies a lease in the event of a sale. Some lease agreements can be voided if the property in question is being sold at an auction.

Robbie Davis, chairman of the Nash County Board of Commissioners, said in his extensive private dealings with tenants, new owners were usually legally bound to honor the lease.

David Farris, president of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, agreed by saying that it is common practice for leases to be honored by the new owner when a property changes hands.

Farris said the new owner of the property will likely be a company that will come in and “energize” the property by making improvements and marketing it for resale. Keeping the mall open during this process is an advantage for the new owner, he added.

While not knowing the exact reasons for the foreclosure, Farris said the COVID-19-related business shutdowns created hardships for commercial property owners across the U.S.

“You’ve had businesses closed down for 60, 90 and 120 days and aren’t able to pay on their lease agreements,” he said.

Foreclosure is a process that begins when a borrower fails to make payments. When a property is foreclosed upon, the lender typically repossesses and attempts to sell the property. This happens because loans are secured by real estate, meaning the property is used as collateral. Since the property is collateral, it can legally be seized by the lender when the borrower fails to make payments.

Despite his extensive experience in business, Khan said this is his first experience leasing property that has been foreclosed on.

“I am shooting in the dark,” he said of the frustration of not knowing if he’ll be able to stay in business at his current location.

Six months ago, Khan said his company extended its lease with Hendon Properties for another five years.

Questions about the sale of the mall should be addressed to the substitute trustee, Scott McKellar of the Rocky Mount law firm of Battle, Winslow, Scott and Wiley, said clerk Debra Bobbitt of the Nash County Clerk of Courts Office.

The mall went on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Nash County Courthouse. Although a bid to purchase the property can be accepted on that date, the property must remain open for an additional 10 days to allow for upset bids to be submitted, Bobbitt said.

If the upset bid is accepted, the property must remain open to new bids for an additional 10 days.

Golden East Crossing is a 583,000-square-foot shopping center built in 1986 and was managed by General Growth Properties for nearly nine years. Atlanta-based real estate developer Hendon Properties purchased the mall in 2005 from the Canadian commercial real estate operator Cadillac Fairview.