The future of a decades-old convenience store in Mountlake Terrace is unclear after the current owner’s business license was revoked and the store closed due to a tax dispute with the state.
Handy Mart, located at 22802 44th Ave. W., has been closed since May 27 after the Washington State Department of Revenue had the store’s Certificate of Registration revoked due to two tax bills past due of $6,462.38 and $5,732.23. “Without a business license they can’t conduct business,” said Department of Revenue Regional Compliance Manager Ross Garrison.
But even with the current tax issue, the store may get new life as a sale of the property to new owners may be imminent.
Current owner Kwon Lee confirmed that unpaid taxes have resulted in the current closure of the business he has owned and operated since November 2005. Kwon also stressed that the past dues taxes could be paid now and the store opened again, but a health issue currently has him incapacitated and unable to run the business at this time anyway.
“I could easily go into escrow and settle those matters,” he said, “but there’s no sense right now due to my condition.”
Kwon is also currently considering an offer for the property, which has been listed for sale at $1.2 million. “I’m eager to sell and they seem like eager buyers,” he stated.
Kwon purchased the .54 acre parcel and its 51-year-old building on the southwest corner of 228th Street SW and 44th Avenue West in 2005 for $650,000.
– By Doug Petrowski