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Owner of Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix seeks to avert bankruptcy

[Source: Lou Hirsch, Riverside Press-Enterprise, and Cathryn Creno, Arizona Republic] — As mall operator General Growth Properties attempts to refinance loans and avert bankruptcy, observers say the immediate outcome will have no impact on shoppers.  Drew Wetherholt, national retail director in the Ontario (CA) office of brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap, said that will remain true even if General Growth is forced to sell off some or all of its malls.  “The malls will not be closing,” Wetherholt said.  “The consumer won’t even notice a change.”

Chicago-based General Growth is a real estate investment trust with stakes in more than 200 shopping centers nationwide.  In Arizona, the company owns Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix, Park West in Peoria, and three additional centers in Tucson and Sierra Vista.  General Growth is trying to negotiate an extension on $900 million in debt that was due to be repaid Friday, but warned late last week there can be “no assurance” it will get a reprieve.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]