CHARLESTON – Kanawha Circuit Judge Joanna Tabit has issued a temporary restraining order against the owners of the Charleston Town Center parking garage in a lawsuit alleging the mall’s owners breached its contract pertaining to a loan.

The restraining order, which was issued on March 9, will prevent the garage owners from spending money outside of its day-to-day operations until Tabit rules on whether to place the parking garage into a receivership.

A hearing for that decision is scheduled for March 28.

Tabit ordered the mall be placed into receivership in January, after a lawsuit was filed in November by U.S. Bank National Association against the mall owners.

CBRE was appointed as receiver for the mall’s operations, according to court documents.

The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court by USBNA against Charleston Town Center SPE Inc. after USBNA claims the mall’s owner defaulted on a $100 million loan.

Tabit later granted the city of Charleston and the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority party status in the case. CURA owns the property that the mall and the parking garage are on.

The lawsuit was filed after the mall owners defaulted on the loan that was issued in 2007 and after the owners tried unsuccessfully to sell its stake in the mall the previous month.

The original loan was given by Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital in September 2007, according to the suit. U.S. Bank eventually became the trustee.

The mall owners also agreed that in the event of a default, the bank would immediately be entitled to possession of all rents and sums due under any lease guarantees, whether or not the lender enters upon or takes control of the property.

The plaintiff is represented by Arie M. Spitz, Matthew P. Kingery and Christopher P. Schueller.

The defendant is represented by Edward P. Tiffey and M. Shane Harvey.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 17-C-1527

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