Friday, December 4, 2009

Neshaminy Mall owner General Growth files reorganization plan

"General Growth Properties Inc. filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan today in hopes that it can work out its $9.7 billion in secured mortgage loans.

The Chicago real estate company locally owns the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem and the Christiana Mall down the road in Newark, Del.

Neshaminy Mall totals 1 million square feet and has 120 stores. Among its anchors is Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, Boscov’s and Sears. The mall opened in 1968 and was renovated in 1995 and 1998. Christiana, a 1.08 million-square-foot mall, has 130 stores of which Lord & Taylor, JCPenney and Macy’s are anchors. That mall was constructed in 1978 and renovated in 1990.

The filing highlights two big issues converging at the same time on retail property owners. One is the difficult credit market, where borrowers are having a tough time renegotiating debt, and the other is the challenging retail climate. The $9.7 billion exceeds previously announced agreements in principal to restructure $8.9 billion of mortgage loans.

General Growth filed for bankruptcy in April. The reorganization plan is set to be confirmed on Dec. 15 and will allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year. The company has over 200 regional shopping malls in 44 states."

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