Great Northern Mall’s seller again says tenants must vacate in 13 days: ‘I’m in panic mode’

Clay, NY – Tenants in Great Northern Mall are once again being told they have to leave the nearly empty shopping center this month, according to a tenant and the mall’s buyer.

In late October, the mall’s tenants were given a hand-delivered letter informing them the shopping center would close Nov. 20, and their leases were being terminated. The letter came from Mike Kohan, the current owner of the mall.

Tenants were upset, and as of early last week, Kohan had changed his mind after talking with Guy Hart Jr., the local developer who is buying the mall. Kohan had agreed to give the tenants more time.

Now that’s changed again.

Tenants were informed by mall management Monday that the Nov. 20 date to close the mall is back on. The text sent by the mall’s manager said they have to vacate by then, according to one tenant who shared that text with | The Post-Standard.

Hart, the developer buying the mall, confirmed that. He told “we learned this morning that the seller reversed the statement that tenants would be given more time.”

Hart said the contract with Kohan specifies the mall has to clear of tenants before the mall’s sale is final. But Hart said he offered to delay the real estate closing somewhat to give tenants a bit more time.

Still, Hart said he doesn’t own the mall yet and isn’t the one calling the shots.

Derek Potocki, who runs a wrestling school at the mall and a live theater, said he’s beside himself after learning he has to close his businesses within a couple of weeks.

“I’m in panic mode,” he said.

Potocki said he believes tenants have to be given 30 days notice, but he’s not sure what to do about it.

He told | The Post-Standard he and others were notified by the mall manager Nov. 20 is the date the mall will shut down.

Kohan did not answer his phone this afternoon.

Hart is buying the mall and plans to convert it into a “lifestyle center” with luxury apartments and townhomes, a movie theater and hotel, high-end shops and restaurants, fueled by Micron Technology’s decision to locate in Clay.

Elizabeth Doran covers education, suburban government and development, breaking news and more. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact her anytime at 315-470-3012 or email

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