Thursday, April 16, 2009

General Growth Properties Goes Bankrupt

In news that may or may not be shocking, depending on your point of view, Chicago mall owner General Growth Properties has gone bankrupt.

You can read the official press release here  .

General Growth, from its squat ugly building on Wacker Drive , ran a retailing empire, including some of the most high-end shopping centers in America.  Around these parts, it is best known for Water Tower Place , though it also owns the Lincolnshire Commons, Northbrook Court, Golf Mill Shopping Center (Niles), and Oakbrook Center.

What does this mean for your shopping pleasure?  Right now -- nothing.  It will be business as usual for quite a long time.  The stores will stay open and people will continue to shop for a long while as the bankruptcy court sifts through the documents necessary for such a large bankruptcy.  It's complicated enough when a business with just a couple of locations goes out of business.  GGP had hundreds of locations in dozens of states.

As an interesting aside, GGP is more ambitious than malls.  In some places, it owns entire towns.  I've visited and know a few people who live in one of the GGP-owned towns, and it's really quite nice.  Kind of Disney-esque, but the people who live there are the envy of everyone else in the metro.

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