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East Hills Mall's former owner postpones auction

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A default has been issued against Chris Hayden and Craig Craver, developers of "City Lights," the project to replace East Hills Mall with a modern open-air mixed use shopping center in northeast Bakersfield.

A public auction of East Hills Mall has been rescheduled to next Monday at the request of the shopping center's former owner, according to information provided by the company handling the property's foreclosure.

The notice may suggest Modesto-based Retail Equities LLC has granted local developers additional time to make up a payment of more than $7 million they missed last summer.

An auction had been scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday on the steps of Bakersfield City Hall South, 1501 Truxtun Ave. But now it is set for the same time, same place on May 20.

The current owners are City Lights LLC and MarkChris Investments LLC. Together those entities purchased the 350,500-square-foot property in late 2017, agreeing to pay $8.75 million. They were supposed to make a final payment of $7.5 million June 29 of last year but apparently did not.

County property records say the bill now comes to $7,752,789.55.

City Lights and MarkChris had proposed to demolish and redevelop the property, which was to be renamed City Lights and reopen last year. Instead, the former mall has remained blighted.

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