Metro

Mall owner files for bankruptcy

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Though General Growth Properties Inc., the national real estate investment company that owns Providence Place Mall, filed for bankruptcy last Thursday, students will still be able to shop and catch a movie as usual.

The bankruptcy claim comes a few months after the owner announced its decision to sell the mall to help pay off the company’s massive debt, The Herald reported Jan. 27. The company has yet to find a buyer.

“While we have worked tirelessly in the past several months to address our maturing debts, the collapse of the credit markets has made it impossible for us to refinance maturing debt outside of chapter 11,” said Chief Executive Officer Adam Metz in a statement on Thursday.

But the daily operation of all GGP’s properties will continue as usual, Metz said. Any eventual change in ownership will not affect the mall’s individual retailers, according to a Jan. 13 Providence Journal article.

GGP representatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In February, the company reported an overall dip in revenue and fourth-quarter funds that were lower than expected, forcing it to cut its workforce by more than 20 percent, according to the Journal.

The petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week listed more than $25 billion in debts, according to an April 16 Providence Business News article.

Much of that debt was acquired during a series of property purchases that made GGP the nation’s second-largest mall owner, including a reported $8 billion taken out to buy the Rouse Co., a competitor that owned Providence Place and 36 other malls.