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Old Posted Aug 3, 2020, 6:22 AM
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Originally Posted by N830MH View Post
Finally! I've got a news for you. American Dream Mall in Miami. Groundbreaking in 2021.

Let's do it!
Not so fast:

Triple Five Faces Big Covid-19 Woes, but Analysts Say Don’t Write It Off
By Esther Fung
July 14, 2020 8:00 am ET

With Covid-19 keeping millions of consumers out of malls and shopping centers, much of the news about Triple Five Group, one of the largest private retail real-estate owners in North America, has been grim.

As of June, Mall of America is 60 days delinquent on its $1.4 billion mortgage and is negotiating with a special servicer for new terms, according to real-estate data firm Trepp LLC. The long-delayed American Dream project, which barely started opening when the pandemic hit, has at least $2.8 billion in debt, much of it borrowed in 2017.

But some retail experts say it is too early to count out the Canada-based company, which faces problems with Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., and American Dream in East Rutherford, N.J., the country’s most expensive mall development.

Triple Five has in its favor the reluctance of creditors to foreclose on challenged properties, especially those being managed by leading operators with decades of experience. The controlling Ghermezian family is known for its charm and success at blending shopping with theme parks, aquariums and other forms of entertainment . . . .

. . . a Triple Five spokesperson declined last week to comment on the Mall of America debt but acknowledged that the company is facing “financial challenges due to Covid-19.”

Mall of America, one of the country’s largest with 3 million square feet, was temporarily closed in mid-March, and some tenants have withheld rents because of the mandated closures. It was to reopen on June 1, but the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody and the ensuing protests pushed the date to June 10.

As for the American Dream, the enclosed 3-million square foot mall development was already a challenge for Triple Five in the years leading up to the pandemic . . . . [and it] announced that it would close on March 16 because of the pandemic.

Since then there has been more pain. Vitamin seller GNC Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy last month, announcing up to 1,200 store closures including one in American Dream. Last month, American Dream sued a Korean restaurant owner for breach of contract, alleging that the tenant had refused to construct and open its premises according to the lease.

. . . Starwood Property Trust, one of the [mall's] construction loan creditors, declined to comment . . . .

One wonders who's going to provide construction financing for a new project to this company. I wouldn't put a lot of faith in any timing right now. It surely depends on the cvirus and the economy, both of which are almost unknowables even 12 months from now. Sounds to me like this announcement is mostly PR (and maybe an attempt to get the governments involved to move on the infrastructure improvements which have to be finished before the mall is).
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