Evergy cuts power to Towne West Square over delinquent bill
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - True to its word, Evergy has cut the power to Towne West Square over mall management's delinquent electric bill.
"Kohan Retail Investment Group has again fallen delinquent on the electricity bill for Towne West Mall and the electric service is disconnected," Evergy said in an email to KAKE News Friday morning. "The larger stores at the mall have separate accounts that remain in good standing and their service remains active."
Hot Topic posted on Instagram that the Towne West location will be closed until further notice.
Charley Cooper with Kohan said in June, the last time Towne West was at risk of losing power, "For peace of mind to everyone, there will be a security deposit in place going forward."
Cooper sent the following message to tenants after the power was cut Friday:
"At approximately 6:04 AM, there was a loss of power at Towne West Square. The mall will be closed Friday, September 8, 2023, to customers with the exception of the anchor locations that are separately metered. Any Tenant needing access to their space may use Service Corridor D. All entries and exits must sign in/out as we will need to know who is on the property for safety reasons. If you have direct rear-entry to your space, we will still ask that you first sign in as we will be monitoring the entire property for safety. There will be updates as they are available. Any and all questions or comments regarding the situation must be directed to out corporate office."
Towne West Square in Wichita is again at risk of losing power if management doesn't pay its Evergy bill.
According to a letter sent to mall tenants, management, Kohan Retail Investment Group, must pay its outstanding balances to avoid service disconnection.
It’s the second time in nearly three months that Evergy has sent a notice to tenants about cutting off service. And we confirmed with Evergy that the management company didn't pay its bill on Thursday.
“Oh, it's so frustrating because we want everything to run smooth for our veterans that come in to shop and all the agencies we work with. Now everything is up in the air. What's gonna happen if the electricity is pulled? Will we even have access to the mall,” said Jennifer Garrison, Co-founder of Passageways.
"Over the past several months, Evergy has attempted to work with the management of Towne West Mall to remedy the Mall's electric bill," the letter says.
The utility confirmed it has informed the businesses in Towne West that Kohan has not paid the electric bill and service will be disconnected Friday if payment is not received.
“It doesn't sound like a real hopeful letter. We're kind of moving into plan B. What do we need to do,” said Garrison.
"Kohan Retail Investment Group has again fallen delinquent on the electricity bill for Towne West Mall and the electric service faces disconnection Friday. The larger stores at the mall have separate accounts that remain in good standing and are not subject to disconnection," Evergy said in a statement to KAKE News.
"Our impression was that the company who is outside of Kansas that owns Towne West Mall had taken care of things, we could kind of breathe. We didn't have anything to worry about and here we are,” said Garrison.
If this seems eerily familiar, it's because the mall was close to losing power less than three months ago for nonpayment of the Evergy bill. After several extensions in June, Kohan finally settled its debt.
Also, then, mall managers Kohan Retail Investment Group sent this email to Garrison saying in part:
"For piece of mind to everyone, there will be a security deposit in place going forward."
A former Towne West employee told KAKE News previously that from time to time, the company writes workers bad checks that end up bouncing. When we contacted local management about that issue, it referred us to Kohan out of New York.
We reached out to mall managers. As of now, we haven't heard back.