Owner's financial trouble won't affect Columbia Mall, Capital Mall

Friday, November 14, 2008 | 3:54 p.m. CST; updated 5:05 p.m. CST, Saturday, November 15, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Mall and the Capital Mall in Jefferson City will remain unscathed by the financial trouble of the malls' Chicago-based parent company, a company spokesman said.

The malls' owner, General Growth Properties, said this week it may be forced to file for bankruptcy if it can't refinance or extend nearly $1 billion in debt due next month.

But, David Keating, a spokesperson for General Growth, said "absolutely nothing" will change at the mid-Missouri malls.

"Regardless of our situation, our properties and company will continue to operate, remain vibrant and look forward to a prosperous holiday season,” he said.

General Growth Properties is the nation's second-largest owner of shopping malls. It also manages the Branson Landing development in southwest Missouri, which will also remain unaffected.

A prepared statement released by the company said it will "continue working with (its) advisers to develop a comprehensive, strategic plan to generate capital from a variety of sources."

The company's stock price fell 28 percent on Wednesday. It is trying to sell properties and cut costs to weather the financial crisis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.




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