Inlet Square Mall operators months behind in rent, owners say

Inlet Square mall in Murrells Inlet.
Inlet Square mall in Murrells Inlet. The Sun News file photo

The owners of the Inlet Square Mall say the operator of the shopping center hasn’t paid $90,000 in rent, yet continues to collect from tenants, according to a new lawsuit.

This week, West C Street Holdings LLC filed a suit against Murrells Retails Associates LLC and Rait Partnership LP in Horry County Circuit Court.

West C Street owns the Inlet Square Mall on U.S. Highway 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet. The defendants in the case operate the mall. The Inlet Square Mall has more than 40 tenants, according to the filing.

The Inlet Square Mall website only lists 18 shops in the directory. Four of the seven largest store spaces in the mall are vacant and many other storefronts are without tenants. There are often only a handful of cars in the large parking lots around the shopping center.

The mall opened in the late 1980s. The lease between the owners and operators runs through 2047.

The filing contends the operators did not pay rent in June or July, which totaled about $90,000. The year-long rental lease requires about $550,00 in rent payments.

The overall rent payment is needed so West C Street can make its own payments on the mall, the suit argues.

West C Street says it sent a notice of default to the operators who did not respond. Despite not paying rent to the owners, West C Street contends the operators continue to collect rent from the mall’s tenants.

The suit asks a judge to order the operators to stop collecting rent from tenants and to appoint a person to collect the money.

Officials with the Inlet Square Mall declined to comment.

Karen Pellegrino owns one of the five art galleries inside the mall and said only walkers are inside the shopping center — and they aren’t there to purchase art.

“There’s no traffic in there,” she said.

Alex Lang: 843-297-0659, @LangSunNews