A General Growth Properties Inc. shopping mall in Gretna, Louisiana, is being foreclosed on by lender Citigroup Inc. after the shopping-mall owner failed to repay a $95 million loan on the property, Citigroup said.
The 24th Judicial District Court for Louisiana's Jefferson Parish issued a writ of seizure and sale for Oakwood Shopping Center, New York-based Citigroup said today in a statement. General Growth, based in Chicago, missed a March 16 deadline to pay the Citicorp North America Inc. loan, Citigroup said.
General Growth, which has stakes in or manages more than 200 shopping malls in 44 U.S. states, has been negotiating with lenders and putting real estate up for sale in an attempt to avoid filing for bankruptcy. The company last month said it has $1.18 billion in past-due debt, and last week warned again it may be forced to seek bankruptcy protection.
General Growth spokesman David Keating and Chief Financial Officer Edmund J. Hoyt didn't immediately return telephone calls seeking comments on the foreclosure.
The Louisiana court appointed SRSA Commercial Real Estate Inc., which manages commercial properties with more than 3 million square feet of space, as keeper of the Oakwood mall. The mall "will continue to operate normally and without interruption to tenants or visitors," Citigroup said in the statement.
General Growth fell 5 cents, or 10 percent, to 45 cents as of 2:29 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The company's shares have plunged 99 percent in the past year.