Note: the Berkshire Mall reopened at 11 a.m. on Friday.
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The Berkshire Mall is closed on Thursday because of "power issues."
The mall posted on Facebook shortly around the time the shops were expected to open at 10 a.m. saying the building was closed for Thursday. It is not clear if or when it will reopen.
The post simply reads, "Due to power issues, Mall will be closed today, Feb 22."
The Lanesborough Police Department on its Facebook page said it had "been advised that the Berkshire Mall will be closed today and until further notice."
The ownership of the mall has been struggling to pay its Eversource electric bill and there have been unconfirmed rumors for weeks that the utility would shut off power. The power is still on at Target and Regal Cinemas, which own their own sections of the building.
Solomon's Furniture, on the south end of the mall, says it is open with shortened hours and is accessible through its exterior door. The store says it has its own electrical but because there is no power for the lights in the parking lot, it will close at 5 p.m. until the mall's power issues are fixed.
The mall also lost power in the main areas on Jan. 16 and was forced to close for the day.
An Eversource spokseman said details of the power problem could not be divulged out of respect for the customer's privacy.
"We just can't discuss it," the spokesman said. "We have certainly given them a complete history."
The struggles of the Berkshire Mall have been ongoing since Berkshire Mall Realty Holdings, a subsidiary of Kohan Retail Investment Group, took over ownership. A number of stores have closed in recent years, including anchors Best Buy, Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Sears.
The owners have continuously fallen behind on bills and taxes. The ownership has received multiple demand notices for back taxes and water bills. Kohan has been taken to court several times regarding unpaid bills to vendors.
The ownership has reportedly been talking with Eversource more recently regarding the electric bill, and company officials were on site last week demanding payment. Last month, a portion of the mall lost power for a day.
The mall's importance to the town of Lanesborough is considerable. It is the largest taxpayer and may be the county's largest potential development site. Berkshire Regional Planning Commission has received a state grant to examine potential re-used of the property and the Baker Hill Road District is still awaiting state Legislation to allow it to take ownership of the mall. The hope is that the road district, which currently oversees just the Connector Road, can find a developer to repurpose the property.
The Baker Hill Road District doesn't necessarily want to own the mall, but it fears circumstances may require it to.
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