General Growth Continues Negotiations With Banks

General Growth Properties is still in talks with lenders. The owner of Tysons Galleria, Landmark Mall and the Mall in Columbia said Monday morning that it had yet to reach "unanimous agreement" with a consortium of banks on an extension to pay back $900 million worth of loans and that negotiations continued.

Mortgages worth $900 million on two Las Vegas properties were due to be repaid Friday, after General Growth's lenders gave the mall behemoth a two-week extension on Nov. 28

If the company cannot get new terms on the loans, the banks could declare General Growth in default. If that happens, General Growth said in a regulatory filing last month, it may seek bankruptcy protection. The loans due on Friday were related to two Las Vegas properties: The Shoppes at the Palazzo and the Fashion Show Mall.

General Growth took on substantial debt during a period of acquisition in the 1990s and earlier this decade, with its biggest purchase being the purchase of Columbia-based developer Rouse in 2004.

General Growth is now struggling to refinance much of the debt it took on during the boom years in the midst of an ongoing credit market freeze. Some local officials and residents are concerned about what a potential bankruptcy might mean for future projects General Growth had been working on in the area, including an overhaul of Columbia's downtown and a redesign of Landmark.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  December 15, 2008; 11:35 AM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Real Estate
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