CBL & Associates Properties Inc., owner of Little Rock’s Park Plaza mall, filed for court protection from creditors on Sunday, following some of its biggest tenants into bankruptcy after the pandemic kept consumers at home, forcing many retailers already weakened by e-commerce to quit paying rent.
The filing in the Southern District Court of Texas will give the company a chance to keep operating while reorganizing its finances and business. It listed estimated assets at about $1 billion to $10 billion, and estimated liabilities at around the same amount.
Some of CBL’s biggest renters, including J.C. Penney Co. and Ascena Retail Group Inc. have already filed for bankruptcy with plans to close stores. Analysts have long predicted a shakeout in malls and strip shopping centers serving less affluent areas, which dominate CBL’s roster.
CBL had warned investors it was in trouble because tenants weren’t paying their rent. As of mid-August, the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based company managed 108 properties in 26 states.