Southpark Mall owner files for bankruptcy as part of restructuring plan

CBL Properties, owner of the Southpark Mall, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

The owner of a local mall has fallen into bankruptcy.

CBL Properties, owner of Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights, announced Monday it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a restructuring plan.

Southpark Mall will continue to operate as normal. While a restructuring had been in the works since before the coronavirus pandemic, the disruptions it caused were a blow to the company’s operations, a CBL spokeswoman said Monday.

“While we have been working on a restructuring plan since early this year and prior to COVID, the impacts of mandated mall closures and resulting retailer bankruptcies has certainly impacted our business as well,” the company said in an email.

The company said its bankruptcy proceedings are intended to implement a restructuring support agreement it entered into in August. That plan is expected to improve the company’s balance sheet through a reduction of about $1.5 billion in total debt.

Southpark Mall is at 230 Southpark Circle. The 672,000-square-foot mall is anchored by a JCPenney, as well as Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Regal Cinemas, according to the mall’s online directory.

CBL, based in Tennessee, has a portfolio of more than 100 properties, eight of which CBL manages for third-parties, in 26 states. In addition to Southpark Mall, CBL owns Valley View Mall in Roanoke and Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake.

Malls have been buffeted by the pandemic and public health orders intended to curb it. Local fallout includes JCPenney shuttering its Regency store, which is now under contract to be sold to the mall’s owners in a deal expected to close this week. Short Pump Town Center lost anchor tenant Nordstrom this summer due to the pandemic.

CBL’s bankruptcy filing on Sunday coincided with the bankruptcy of Pennsylvania REIT (PREIT), another mall owner battered by COVID. PREIT’s holdings include Springfield Town Center in Northern Virginia.

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