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?


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
Melissa and Doug Town Blocks Wooden Play Set

Block play meets role play

New! Town block set from Melissa and Doug Toys