CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County circuit judge has ruled the Charleston Town Center mall parking garages can be auctioned off later this year.

Town Center parking garages will be up for auction soon.

Kanawha County Circuit Judge Dave Hardy said Monday that he’ll enter an order allowing the receiver of the property to schedule the option. It’s expected to be in the April-May timeframe.

The garages were owned by the Charleston Building Commission but have been in receivership since last fall. The receiver, Boyd Real Estate Resources, asked Hardy to allow for the auction so the investors in the garages, bondholders, could get some of the approximate $12 million to $15 million owed them.

Officials don’t anticipate the auction price will cover the entire amount.

The garages have long been an area of dispute. Since the mall opened in the mid-1980s, the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority has owned the ground where the garages are located. Some have said a contributor factor to downfall of the Town Center has been patrons have to pay to park.

Town Center Mall is currently owned by the Hull Property Group which may be one of the bidders for the garages. Others potential bidders mentioned have included the Capital Sports Center Development Association, which plans the Capital Sports Center for part of the current mall, the Charleston Marriott and Embassy Suites.

Officials have said the garages are in need of repair.