The lenders who backed a struggling downtown Towson mall launched foreclosure proceedings in Baltimore County Circuit Court this week.
Capmark Finance Inc., the New York-based lender to Towson Commons LLC, disclosed in its court filing that the company holds two loans, one for $49 million and the other for $17 million on the property, owned by Western Development.
Cushman Wakefield, a New York-based commercial real estate brokerage and consulting firm, confirmed last week that it has been hired by Capmark "to advise them on the disposition of both the note and the property," according to David Baird, a senior managing director for the brokerage firm's Maryland region.
Officials with Capmark did not return calls seeking comment Thursday evening.
The 12-story Towson Commons complex includes retail and office space, a garage and a movie theater; it spans the west side of the 400 block of York Road and reaches more than half a block onto both Pennsylvania and Chesapeake avenues. It was completed in 1992, and has long suffered from vacancies.
General Growth Properties, which had been managing the property, filed for bankruptcy protection 15 months ago. At the time, the company was the nation's second largest owner of retail centers, with 200 malls and other specialty shops.
In its reorganization plan, the company agreed to turn over management responsibility for 18 malls in 11 states, including Towson Commons, to Jones Lang LaSalle. General Growth hopes to emerge from Chapter 11 by October.
The Chicago-based company, which is master developer of Columbia and owner of most of the Baltimore area's regional malls, amassed $27 billion in debt by buying malls and shopping centers. Much of that debt came with its acquisition of Columbia's Rouse Co. in 2004.
Malls the company owns include Towson Town Center, Mondawmin Mall, White Marsh Mall, Cross Keys and The Mall in Columbia. It also owns the Gallery and Harborplace, the Rouse projects that were central to redevelopment of Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
This article has been modified to reflect the accurate ownership of Towson Commons.
The Towson Times and the Associated Press contributed to this article. Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts