AUSTIN (KXAN) — Mesa Cleaners has shut down, again. In July, all of the stores closed without notice. But, within days, three were reopened after owners paid Goodwin Management Inc. several thousands of dollars in late fees, including back rent.
However, that was short-lived according to the management company that oversees the Mesa Cleaners on Mesa Drive in west Austin.
At the time of that closure, the owners of the company owed more than $18,000. Today, that bill has jumped up to $41,362.
“It’s going to take a lot of $10 dry cleaning to pay off those $40,000,” said Rick Hall, an upset customer who had to find out the hard way, along with others, that the stores had closed again.
Now, Hall can only stare at his 10 dress shirts hanging inside the Mesa Cleaners on Mesa Drive.
“There’s like a turquoise and blue striped shirt,” he said pointing inside from the window. “That’s about $500 worth of clothes in there that I don’t want to just walk away from.”
Customers have stopped by and left written notes asking to be contacted in hopes of getting their clothes back.
“You don’t expect places like a dry cleaner to just shut down overnight,” he said. “There’s a bit of anger that goes through because you’re like, ‘OK, how am I going to get my clothes?'”
Those who stop by any four Mesa Cleaners and Fashion Cleaners locations are being asked to contact the owners. Their information was taped on the window.
KXAN called Naushad “Ali” Surtanali multiple times, but got no answer. We stopped by the address listed, but Surtanali no longer lives there.
We also called Akbarali “Akbar” Momin who responded via text claiming he had not been a part of the company since 2016. Goodwin Management says Momin is an owner and on the lease. KXAN has requested a copy of the lease.
Some customers are upset with the property management company and the shopping center claiming they’re using the clothes as leverage.
Goodwin Management, on the other hand, says that’s not the case and are in the process of claiming the building as abandoned. They hope by doing so they will be able to return the clothes to its proper owners.
They don’t expect the process to take more than a month and will let customers know via social media when they can stop by and pick up their clothes. No word yet on the process they will take to distribute and verify the owners of the clothes.
“This is our property and we need to have it returned,” said Hall.
KXAN also reached out to Asana Partners, owners of the Mesa Cleaners property in the Triangle on Guadalupe in central Austin.
“The landlords have been working diligently with Mesa Cleaners to rectify the situation. We encourage anyone who has clothing at the location to contact the owner of Mesa Cleaners. It’s a top priority for the landlord for everyone to get their clothes back.”