General Growth Properties
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|Traded as||NYSE: GGP|
|Industry||Real estate investment trusts|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
Number of locations
|120 U.S. locations|
|40 U.S. states|
|J. Bruce Flatt, Chairman
Sandeep Mathrani, CEO
|Revenue||US $3.02 billion|
|US $994 million|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references
General Growth Properties, Inc. is an American real estate investment trust, headquartered at 110 North Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois, a historic building designed by architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. It owns and manages shopping malls throughout the United States.
General Growth Properties owns or has interest in 120 regional shopping malls in forty states. General Growth Properties has been in the shopping center business for more than 60 years, blending innovation, tradition and reputation to create some of the country’s unparalleled shopping locales, including such destinations as Ala Moana Center (Honolulu), Tysons Galleria (D.C.), Glendale Galleria (Los Angeles) and Water Tower Place (Chicago). The entire GGP portfolio totals roughly 125,000,000 square feet (11,600,000 m2) of retail space and includes more than 24,000 retail stores. These include international retailers and anchors, as well as popular regional stores covering a colorful range of categories. More than 1.8 billion consumers visit a GGP mall every year. GGP has centers in 37 of the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. More than half of GGP's portfolio is located in these markets including 32 properties in the top 10 U.S. markets.
General Growth owns the largest open-air shopping mall in the world, Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Ala Moana Center is also a flagship of a General Growth Properties tourism program called "America's Premier Shopping Places." It lists a number of tourist destinations that include Water Tower Place in Chicago.
The company was founded by two brothers, Martin and Matthew Bucksbaum, in 1954. That year, they opened their first shopping center, Town & Country Shopping Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1960, General Management opened its second center, Duck Creek Plaza in Bettendorf, Iowa; this was their first mall to have a department store (Younkers) as an anchor.
In 1970, General Management became General Growth Properties (GGP). Two years later GGP became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. However, by 1984, management felt that the company's stock price did not fully reflect the value of its business. So management decided to sell the company's assets and take the company private. GGP sold 19 malls to Equitable Real Estate Investment Management in an $800 million deal – considered the largest single real estate transaction in the United States at that time – but continued to manage the malls as part of the deal. Ultimately, shareholders realized a 22% internal rate of return on their investment from the original initial public offering (IPO) through 1984. GGP issued another public offering in 1993 to raise money for future expansion plans. In 1995, GGP moved its headquarters from Des Moines, Iowa, to Chicago.
Starting in 1993, GGP expanded its portfolio dramatically by acquiring existing properties and constructing new malls. In 1995, it acquired Homart Development Company, the mall development subsidiary of Sears. On November 13, 2004, GGP acquired The Rouse Company, including its Howard Hughes Corporation land development subsidiary, in the largest retail real estate merger in American history. GGP grew to be the nation's second-largest mall operator.
Co-founder and CEO Martin Bucksbaum died in 1995. He was succeeded as CEO by Matthew Bucksbaum. Matthew retired in 1999, and was succeeded by his son John.
Company debt crisis
GGP reported in excess of $25 billion in debt (mostly mortgages) as of September 30, 2008. In late November 2008, GGP missed a deadline to repay $900 million in loans backed by two Las Vegas retail properties. This meant that GGP lenders could issue a notice of default, which would make GGP seek protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Exit of Bucksbaum family
The company's problems forced the ouster of CEO John Bucksbaum, though he remained chairman of the board. On October 26, 2008, Bucksbaum resigned. Director Adam Metz became CEO. The value of the Bucksbaum family fortune shrank by 97 percent since December 2007.
GGP failed to reach a deal with its creditors; and on April 16, 2009, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy: the largest real estate bankruptcy since at least 1980, and the largest ever filing by a mall operator. 
According to its bankruptcy filing, GGP had about $29.6 billion in assets at the end of 2008, and $27.3 billion in debt. GGP suspended its dividend, halted or slowed nearly all development projects and cut its work force by more than 20%. GGP also sold some of its non-mall assets. Chief Executive Adam Metz said "While we have worked tirelessly in the past several months to address our maturing debts, the collapse of the credit markets has made it impossible for us to refinance maturing debt outside of Chapter 11." GGP obtained $375 million in debtor-in-possession financing.  Mall gift cards remained usable.
On February 24, 2010, GGP finalized a deal with Canadian property company Brookfield Asset Management that would involve up to a $2.625 billion equity investment.
GGP hired Sandeep Mathrani as its new chief executive, and on November 8, 2010, it left bankruptcy, and offered new stock shares to the public. Unlike most Chapter 11 bankruptcies, existing General Growth stockholders were not wiped out upon the company's exit from bankruptcy.
The exit from bankruptcy included the creation of Howard Hughes Corp., as a spinoff, with each holder of a General Growth share was scheduled to receive one share of new General Growth stock and 0.0983 share of Hughes Corp. common stock. Hughes Corp.'s assets will include Summerlin, a 22,500-acre (91 km2) master-planned community in Las Vegas, and South Street Seaport, a shopping center in Manhattan. Unlike General Growth, Hughes Corp. will not be a real estate investment trust, according to a registration statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
- 2 December 2008 Chicago Architecture Info General Growth Properties page
- 19 September 2007 Ala Moana Center press release
- 27 June 2007 Travelvideo.tv article
- 13 December 2006 Honolulu Advertiser article
- 16 April 2009 America's Shopping Places website list of malls
- Business Record (Des Moines), December, 2003 - General Growth Properties Inc., by Stephen McIntire
- Jim Zarroli (April 19, 2009). "Retail Real Estate Braces For Sell-Off". National Public Radio. Retrieved March 7, 2010.("General Growth made a number of high-profile acquisitions of shopping malls in every part of the country. Some of General Growth's biggest included: the $1.85 billion acquisition of Homart Development Co. from Sears Roebuck in 1995, said to be one of the largest real estate transactions in history at the time")
- Martin Bucksbaum, 74, Pioneer In Shopping Center Development
- Frank, Robert; Kris Hudson (2008-12-09). "Dark Days for Mall Dynasty: The Fallen Bucksbaum Family". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Harper's Magazine
- E-mail This (2009-04-16). "General Growth Properties Files for Bankruptcy - DealBook Blog - NYTimes.com". Dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- [dead link]
- "Expired Story". Chicago Real Estate Daily. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger (2009-04-16). "Mall gift cards still good, despite bankruptcy | New Jersey Business". NJ.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- Hudson, Kris (November 1, 2010). "New CEO at General Growth Properties Gets His Payday". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
- "Ackman bets on General Growth spinoff". Crain's New York (Bloomberg News). October 15, 2010.
- "Pat Larkin's Value Journal: The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC)". patlarkinsvaluejournal.com. 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- General Growth's official website
- General Growth's Property Locator Map
- Yahoo! Finance - General Growth Properties
- - Counseling Clients in the Aftermath of General Growth Properties, American Bar Association