Owner of five Central Florida malls files for bankruptcy
NATIONAL LEVEL – The owner of five shopping centers in Central Florida files for bankruptcy (Chapter 11).
What would you like to know
- Washington Prime Group owns more than 100 shopping centers, including five in Central Florida
- The company has not commented on its specific plan
- It is not known which shopping centers, if any, will be carried out
- Pandemic played a big role in filing, company says
Washington Main Group owns more than 100 malls in the United States, including two in Ocala, one in Orlando, one in Altamonte Springs and another in Melbourne. It is not known which shopping centers, if any, will be carried out
Spectrum News 13 contacted Washington Prime all day to get the company’s specific plan. But as the rumor of bankruptcy spreads, uncertainty grows for businesses both in and around the mall.
Washington Prime cites the pandemic, temporary mall closures and rent breaks as the reasons for the filing.
The closures have prompted online sales to overtake physical purchases.
The company says bankruptcy is necessary and is going through financial restructuring and has secured $ 100 million in funding to keep day-to-day operations running.
In a statement, Washington Prime Group said that “customers, retailers and business partners can expect business as usual in all of the company’s shopping centers throughout the process.”
Gino Rallo is the long-time owner of Shells Fresh Seafood. Loyal customers frequent his restaurant, then head to the Melbourne Square Mall next door.
Rallo has heard of the mall’s parent company Washington Prime filing for bankruptcy. He worries about tenants, especially small businesses like his.
“They are fellow restaurateurs, they are also local,” says Rallo. “We want to make sure they’re okay. They’ve been good neighbors, whatever they need, I’m happy to help them. Hope they can survive.”