Firm dealing with debt

General Growth Properties Inc., which owns the Glendale Galleria and operates the Burbank Town Center, filed a plan Wednesday in bankruptcy court to restructure terms for $9.7 billion in secured mortgage loans in the hopes of relieving its debt obligations.

The Chicago-based firm, which owns more than 200 malls nationwide, filed for bankruptcy protection in April and has tried to alleviate its debt obligations, and those related to 158 regional shopping malls, by the end of the year.

General Growth is the second-largest mall operator in the country, with more than 200 million square feet of retail space, and could not pay off more than $27 billion in debt when it sought government protection.

Analysts called the move one of the largest real estate failures in U.S. history.

Its bankruptcy filings have not affected operations at the Glendale Galleria or the Burbank Town Center, which have continued normal operations and have been isolated from the proceedings, General Growth spokesman David Keating said in an e-mail.

“We’ve maintained from the very beginning that our properties would not be impacted by the bankruptcy process,” Keating said.

“It has remained ‘business as usual’ at all our properties, and will continue so.”


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