Back on April 15th, General Growth Properties, the 2nd largest owner of U.S. malls, declared bankruptcy with $27 billion in debt. While General Growth Properties said at that time that the bankruptcy filing did not mean that they would be closing mall doors, many analysts disagree. ‘Malls are in terrible shape,’ said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a Manhattan retail consulting and investment banking firm. ‘The consumer is in survival mode.’
General Growth Properties includes 200 of the country’s largest malls in 44 different states. With retail vacancies on the rise, consumer spending down, retailers should expect to see an increase in retail and commercial office space vacancies as well as declining rents.