General Growth Gets Extensions from Lenders

General Growth Properties Inc. has reached a forbearance and waiver agreement with its syndicate of lenders on its Fashion Show and Palazzo mortgage loans totaling $900 million. The agreement, in connection with loans that originally had a Nov. 28 maturity date, extends until Feb. 12, 2009. In addition, the shopping center REIT has entered into a forbearance and waiver agreement with the syndicate of lenders for its 2006 senior credit agreement; the agreement extends till Jan. 30, 2009. In connection with the agreement, General Growth has agreed to certain restrictions and covenants during the forbearance period. The news followed an announcement on Nov. 30 that the parties on the Fashion Show and Palazzo mortgage loans had agreed on an interim extension of two weeks and were continuing to discuss a longer-term extension. Last Friday, General Growth announced the completion of about $896 million in mortgage loans, with maturities ranging from five to seven years. The proceeds were used to retire a $58 million bond issued by The Rouse Co., maturing Dec. 11, 2008, as well as to refinance about $814 million of mortgage indebtedness scheduled to mature in 2009. These refinanced loans are separate from the Fashion Show and Palazzo mortgage loans. General Growth currently has an ownership interest in or management responsibility for more than 200 regional shopping malls in 44 states, as well as ownership in master-planned community developments and commercial office buildings. Its portfolio totals about 200 million square feet of retail space and includes more than 24,000 retail stores nationwide.