Mall owner PREIT files for bankruptcy

Nov 24, 2020

Dartmouth Mall property owner Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month as the brick and mortar retailers on which it depends — already struggling to cope with the rise of ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba — were hard hit by the pandemic.

The voluntary Nov. 1 filing formed part of the company’s debt restructuring plan, according to a Nov. 6 statement in which PREIT announced a third quarter loss of $16.5 million in revenue.

According to the statement, the losses resulted primarily from store and mall closings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Total occupancy at PREIT malls was 93.2%, down 1.2% compared to this time last year.

“We are pleased to be moving closer to a normal state in our business while moving forward with strengthening the company’s balance sheet and positioning it for long-term success through our prepackaged plan,” said PREIT chairman and CEO Joseph Coradino. “We look forward to the upcoming holiday season, meeting our shoppers’ demands through an array of shopping options and opportunities to visit with Santa.”

The bankruptcy filing comes after a series of bankruptcies and closures affecting stores at the mall. J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy in May, although the Dartmouth store remains open, while Justice closed its doors in July.

Sears, an original anchor store at the mall, was replaced by Burlington after closing last year