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Owner of malls in Ocala, Melbourne files for bankruptcy protection

Washington Prime Group's properties include Paddock Mall in Ocala. Image: Google Maps


Washington Prime Group, which owns 13 malls and shopping centers in Florida, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a financial restructuring plan.

The company hopes to continue business as usual at its more than 100 properties across America.

In announcing the bankruptcy filing, Washington Prime Group blames the “significant challenges” created by COVID-19. News reports have chronicled mall lockdowns, stores struggling to pay rent and an increase in online shopping.

Its properties include Paddock Mall and Gaitway Plaza in Ocala, West Town Corners in Altamonte Springs, Melbourne Square Mall in Melbourne and Waterford Lakes Town Center in Orlando.

The publicly traded company has a deal with creditors that includes $100 million dollars to keep day-to-day operations going. The agreement also lets it market the properties, in case selling them off would cover the debt.

The bankruptcy comes as no surprise to investors. The first quarter report said there was, quote, “substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

Reporter

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.

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