It’s hard to focus today. Last night our president spoke of the economy in grave terms. The early morning television pundits said it is hard for Main Street America to fathom the severity of the credit constriction in the capital markets. I don’t think that’s true with our Main Street.
The lead story of today’s Sun is entitled “Next Crunch?” Below the headline is a large color photo of the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore. The caption reads “Because of debt, General Growth Properties is trying to sell its Village of Cross Keys and, possibly, other malls in the Baltimore area.”
The Village of Cross Keys commercial center has actually been for sale for several months now. It is a little difficult to get funding for large purchases these days.
It gets worse.
According to the story, GGP’s debt obligations are forcing it to “sell assets or even the whole company.”
That would certainly change the Town Center redevelopment dynamic a bit. The big question right now is, will GGP go ahead and submit its NT rezoning request to the county this month?
…or next month?
…or before Christmas?
There is certainly an argument to be made for doing so, even if they end up “selling the whole company.” An undeveloped property is always worth more with entitlements in place.
Forget at that for moment though. What about the folks who work at GGP?
What about our neighbors, colleagues and friends who work there?
I happen to know more than a few colleagues and friends who work for GGP. A few of them I’ve known since The Rouse Company days. They’ve been through corporate turmoil once before. I’ll bet the prospect of going through it again is not a happy thought.
I’m sure they’ve had better days at work on Columbia’s Main Street.
If I see any of you at the C20 event tonight, I’m buying.