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Receiver appointed in Valley West Mall foreclosure proceedings

Krista Freitag, who specializes in overseeing properties in foreclosure, has been appointed as receiver of Valley West Mall while a foreclosure petition makes its way through legal proceedings, a Polk County District Court judge ordered today.

In mid-May, U.S. Bank filed a foreclosure petition against the owners of Valley West Mall, alleging loan and other required payments had not been made since May 6, 2021. The mall’s owner, Minneapolis-based Watson Centers Inc., owes nearly $3.5 million in missed payments, according to the filing.

The mall is located on nearly 60 acres at 1551 Valley West Drive in West Des Moines.

In Friday’s court hearing, held virtually, representatives for Watson Centers did not contest the appointment of a receiver, who will oversee the property, including managing rent payments.  

Freitag, a principal of Los Angeles-based E3 Advisors, has served as receiver of retail properties with assets totaling more than $300 million, according to a biography on the firm’s website.

“This is what she does,” Matthew Laughlin, an attorney representing U.S. Bank, said during the hearing. “She’ll be a phenomenal choice to act as receiver in this case.”

U.S. Bank is also requesting that the court allow the property to be sold after a judgment is made, unless Watson Centers seeks a delay.

Court filings show that the payoff for the $50 million loan, taken out in December 2012, is $43.2 million.

Related article:What’s ahead for Valley West Mall

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