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Bankrupt General Growth won't sell Ala Moana Center


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POSTED: Thursday, December 03, 2009

General Growth Properties Inc., owner of Ala Moana Center, plans to emerge from bankruptcy without selling its most prized shopping malls after reaching agreement with lenders on more than 90 properties, company President Thomas Nolan said.

“;I would not be surprised to see the odd sale of an asset, but it won't be to raise substantial capital,”; said Nolan, also General Growth's chief operating officer. “;We have no current plans to sell any of those assets we consider to be strategically important properties for the enterprise.”;

General Growth, the second-largest U.S. mall owner, filed a reorganization plan yesterday for about $9.7 billion of mortgages secured by regional shopping centers, community retail centers and office buildings. The plan would pay all claims in full and extend loan maturity dates by an average of 5.2 years.

General Growth filed the biggest real estate bankruptcy in U.S. history in April after amassing $27 billion in debt during an acquisition spree. The company owns or manages more than 200 shopping malls in 44 states and also owns office buildings.

Ala Moana Center, one of the properties covered by the restructuring plan, has annual sales per square foot of about $1,125, making it one of General Growth's best-performing malls, according to estimates by real estate research company Green Street Advisors in Newport Beach, Calif.

Besides Ala Moana, General Growth Properties also owns Ward Centers in Kakaako and Prince Kuhio Plaza on the Big Island, which are also affected by reorganization proceedings.

Properties that are not involved in the filings, according to General Growth, include Whalers Village on Maui.

General Growth also manages properties that are not involved in bankruptcy proceedings, including Windward Mall on Oahu, Kings' Shops on the Big Island and Maui's Queen Kaahumanu Center.

Ala Moana Center and the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian resort in Las Vegas are the only General Growth “;platinum properties”; included in the plan. The company calls these malls “;favorites of the shopper with the most discriminating taste for luxury.”;