Inside these posts: Malls

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Snow hits home: Big companies, malls closed

Click here for photos of the 2011 Chicago blizzard

One of the biggest snowstorms in Chicago history has paralyzed businesses across the region.

The blizzard, which dumped more than 20 inches of snow on the Chicago area Tuesday night and Wednesday, will have a significant economic impact, as banks, retailers and other companies that rely on face-to-face contact with their customers were closed Wednesday or struggling to open.


Downtown businesses were mostly abandoned Wednesday morning.

One of the only lights emanating from the Thompson Center came from the Dunkin’ Donuts. The newsstand, the salon, the nail parlor, which usually bustle with commuters from the Clark/Lake stop, were closed and darkened. Get the full story »

Holiday retail sales up more than 5%, reports show

Shopping is back in style, at least for the holiday season.

Retail sales for the holidays soared more than 5 percent, according to two reports released Monday, led by online and clothing purchases. The preliminary reports, among the first tallies of the holiday shopping season, beat the estimates of most retail economists. Get the full story »

Grocery, eatery replacing Old Orchard food court

Rendering of planned grocery and eatery. (Richtree)

Westfield Old Orchard mall in Skokie has demolished its old food court and is in the process of building a high end eating area with a variety of organic, sustainable, and artisan options as well as a grocery. It’s expected to open next summer.

“Our new open kitchens and natural market experience will reflect the ever-growing sophistication and culinary awareness of our customers,” Deborah Mattes, senior general manager of Old Orchard. Get the full story »

General Growth to take charge for Hughes spinoff

General Growth Properties Inc., which emerged from bankruptcy last week, said it expects to take a $537 million noncash charge in connection with the spinoff of the Howard Hughes Corp. Get the full story »

Simon CEO says company has ‘firepower’ for deals

From Bloomberg | Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., the U.S. shopping-mall owner that paid $2.3 billion this year for an outlet-center business, has plenty of capital for more purchases, CEO David Simon said.

General Growth shares price at $14.75 each

General Growth Properties Inc. priced 135 million shares at $14.75 per share on Monday, as part of a plan to raise $1.99 billion to repay investors who helped finance the No. 2 U.S. mall owner’s exit from bankruptcy. Get the full story »

US approves Simon Property’s buy of Prime Outlets

US antitrust regulators approved Simon Property Group’s purchase of Prime Outlets on Wednesday on condition that it sell an outlet center in Ohio and remove restrictions on some tenant leases in Chicago and Orlando. Get the full story »

General Growth eyes dividend; Hughes trades

General Growth Properties plans to resume paying dividends early next year, after the second-largest U.S. mall operator emerged from bankruptcy and spun off a new company, Howard Hughes Corp.

Citing a higher-than-expected cash stake, General Growth also said it expects to retire $570 million of obligations by paying cash, avoiding the potential issuance of more than 50 million common shares. Get the full story »

General Growth exits bankruptcy

General Growth Properties Inc , the second-largest U.S. mall operator, said it has emerged from bankruptcy, one and a half years after becoming the biggest U.S. real estate company to seek Chapter 11 protection.

The Chicago-based operator of 183 shopping malls in 43 U.S. states said Tuesday it emerged from under protection from creditors after obtaining $6.8 billion of new capital and restructuring about $15 billion of debt.

General Growth operates properties, including the Ala Maona Center in Hawaii, Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, Harborplace in Baltimore and Water Tower Place in Chicago. Get the full story »

General Growth hurt by reorganization expenses

General Growth Properties, the U.S. mall owner expected to emerge from bankruptcy in early November, reported negative third-quarter funds from operations, taking a hit from reorganization expenses.

Funds from operations for its core mall properties were losses of $29.3 million, or 9 cents a share, compared with a positive $88.9 million, or 28 cents a share a year earlier. Get the full story »

General Growth to reach end of bankruptcy

General Growth Properties Inc., the No. 2 U.S. mall owner, is slated to clear its final bankruptcy hurdle on Thursday, ending the largest U.S. real estate Chapter 11 filing.

While bankruptcy could soon be behind it, the company has a lot of challenges ahead, as investors and Wall Street will be looking at how it regains credibility as one of the largest U.S. real estate investment trusts. Get the full story »

General Growth names Ackman spinoff chairman

General Growth Properties Inc. on Friday named the board of its future spin-off company and appointed hedge fund manager William Ackman to become its chairman when the mall owner and property developer emerges from bankruptcy. Get the full story »

General Growth founders denied board seats

General Growth Properties Inc. is expected next week to name the members of the board who will take command when the No. 2 U.S. mall owner emerges from bankruptcy protection, and its chairman John Bucksbaum, son of one of the co-founders, will not be on it, a source close to the company said on Thursday. Get the full story »

Toys ‘R’ Us to open 600 U.S. stores for holidays

U.S. retailer Toys R Us, which has filed for an initial public offering, said it plans to open about 600 temporary stores in malls and shopping centers nationwide, doubling the number of store locations for the holiday season.

The world’s largest dedicated toy retailer, which currently has 587 full-size Toys“R”Us stores in the United States, said the Toys“R”Us Express store openings will create about 10,000 jobs. Get the full story »

Brookfield to run General Growth spinoff

General Growth Properties Inc. has struck a deal for Brookfield Advisors LP to manage the new real-estate company it plans to spin off when it exits Chapter 11 protection.

The mall owner is tapping Brookfield Advisors to prepare the  company to separate from the nation’s second-largest mall owner and become publicly traded, according to papers filed Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. Get the full story »