Through black material meant to keep prying eyes out of the former location of Sears, a department store chain, at the Bangor Mall mattresses and other furniture sit, wrapped in plastic, April 5, 2022. Credit: Sawyer Loftus / BDN

A recent decision to condemn part of the Bangor Mall will not strengthen the mall owners’ argument that the city has overvalued the property for tax purposes, according to two Bangor officials.  

Bangor condemned a portion of the mall that used to house a Sears department store and auto garage in January after local businessman Nathan Reardon tried to set up shop there. The city deemed the space unfit for use because of a lack of heat and working sprinkler system, and had denied Reardon a permit to erect a required firewall in the space.

Reardon pleaded not guilty last May to charges that he fraudulently obtained a federal COVID loan for one of his businesses. 

A spokesperson for Namdar Realty LLC, one of the firms that owns the Bangor Mall, said that mall management was working closely with the city and code enforcement office to “resolve any issues pertaining to the property in question,” but did not answer a question about whether it planned to appeal its assessment based on the code office’s placarding. 

The New York-based firm specializes in buying up declining real estate properties, like malls and retail outlets. 

The placarding of part of the Bangor Mall should not affect the property’s value because Reardon’s actions did not fundamentally alter the structure of the building, stymying any case the owners might make for a future abatement, according to Bangor Code Enforcement Director Jeff Wallace and City Assessor Phil Drew. 

Thomaston assessor David Martucci echoed this, adding that condemning a building for abuse of use was not the same as condemning a building for having structural problems. Still, taxpayers could end up footing the bill if the Bangor Mall appeals its latest assessment. 

Corporations often appeal their assessment in order to receive a lower tax bill, or abatement, which drains resources when assessors have to revisit or defend their assessments, especially if they’re appealed to the state Board of Property Tax Review, Martucci said. 

“Even if the town is successful in defending their values, taxpayers still have to pay the legal costs to do all that,” he said. “So in effect, the taxpayer is going to get hit, whether they are successful or not.” 

The owners of the Bangor Mall have appealed their assessments on several occasions. Two of those assessments, for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, were settled after the owners appealed to the state Board of Property Tax Review, while two other appeals, for fiscal years 2020 and 2021, are still pending as the state board works through vacancies and a backlog of cases.

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Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to