Largest Real Estate Bust In History

General Growth Properties, the 2nd largest mall operator in the nation, declared bankruptcy this morning. The company was felled by mounting debt from short-term mortgages it used to expand its holdings.

"Despite bargaining for months with its creditors, General Growth faced dwindling options for handling its more than $25 billion in debt, largely in the form of short-term mortgages that will come due by next year. The company has been severely wounded by the recession, which has wreaked havoc upon the retailers who inhabit its more than 200 malls in 44 states. Many stores have shuttered, depriving mall operators like General Growth of revenue.

The filing by the Chicago-based company, made in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan, included most of the company's malls, which will continue to operate. General Growth's reorganization efforts will likely focus on selling off properties. It has already suspended its stock dividend, cut its workforce by 20 percent and stopped virtually all new development."

Full Story: General Growth Properties Files for Bankruptcy



Here's how I think we should re-use empty malls

I've put together a list of possible better uses for empty mall space.


(a) CHEAP Housing: true mixed-use -- integrated with retail and jobs. America - especially California - lacks cheap housing, not housing itself.

(b) Lower-rent space for non-profits, federal government agencies, local city government offices, "satellite" police substations, city government maintained "community centers"

(c) Free rent art gallery/art class spaces

(d) Repair shops for clothing/shoes, electronics

What do you think?


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."