The Aiken Mall, in the midst of foreclosure proceedings, will not go to auction on Monday as was initially planned.


U.S. Bank National Association, which serves as a trustee to the mortgage lenders, withdrew the 35-acre property from auction Friday, according to the Aiken County Master-in-Equity office.


The open bid process was set to begin at 11 a.m. at the Aiken County courthouse.


According to Clerk of Court records, Aiken Mall Acquisitions LLC, which owns about 35 acres at the mall, owes approximately $28.5 million, including interest and late fees, to U.S. Bank.


The mall has been emptying out over the years with several stores closing up shop or relocating. Anchor stores include Belk, Dillard’s, JC Penney, Sears and Books-A-Million.


No explanation was given as far as U.S. Bank’s decision to withdraw the auction process.


David Penix, a local commercial real estate consultant, indicated U.S. Bank may have withdrawn the request due to a increasingly positive outlook for the stock market and the economy.


“The record high stock market in the last month is probably the biggest reason to point to,” Penix said. “That’s probably why the investors changed their strategy at this point.”


Michael Ulmer covers the county government beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since March 2013. He is a native of North Augusta and majored in political science at the University of South Carolina.