Oak Park Mall ready for exciting future after bankruptcy

Oak Park Mall

Oak Park Mall owner CBL & Associates Properties Inc. emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month, wiping out about $ 1.7 billion in debt and senior bonds.

“This puts CBL in a much more solid position financially. … This gives us the financial flexibility we need to execute our strategy going forward ”, Stacey Keating, vice president of corporate communications at CBL, told Kansas City Business Journal.

This strategy includes diversifying properties by finding new uses for underperforming anchor spaces, she said. Former Sears spaces, for example, are occupied by tenants such as Scheels All Sports, Main Event, and a grocery store. In a shopping center, CBL has opened a casino in Hollywood and is adding Life Storage. Keating said CBL is also considering uses such as hotels and education.

Oak Park Mall’s main tenant Nordstrom plans to move to Country Club Plaza in 2023, and CBL’s development team is brainstorming various ideas on how to file bankruptcy, said Karla Rocker Engel, senior general manager of the shopping center. Nothing is set in stone, however, and she declined to discuss potential options.

CBL, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, owns Oak Park Mall through a joint venture with the financial services company Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association. CBL’s portfolio spans 24 states and 105 properties, including malls and open-air malls.

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