GGP mall in peril

March 21, 2009|By Chicago Tribune

Citigroup Inc. moved to seize one of General Growth Properties Inc.'s shopping malls in Louisiana after the Chicago-based shopping mall operator missed payment on a $95 million loan.

General Growth owns most of the Baltimore area's regional malls, including Harborplace and Towson Town Center, and is Columbia's master developer. It operates more than 200 malls nationwide and has been warning investors since November that it may have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection if it cannot renegotiate its debts.

Citigroup North American filed a petition Tuesday in the 24th Judicial District Court for Jefferson Parish asking for payment by selling the Oakwood Shopping Center in Gretna, La., New York-based Citigroup said in a statement yesterday.

The loan was due Monday.

The court ordered that a writ of seizure and sale be issued and that Jefferson Parish take control of the shopping center and sell it, according to Citigroup.

General Growth is "evaluating appropriate responses to the action filed this week," said David Keating, a spokesman for the mall operator.

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