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.
April 16, 2009, 8am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"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."

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Published on Thursday, April 16, 2009 in The New York Times
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