American Dream Woes Likely to Lose Triple Five Stake in Mall of America – Trade Observer
The owner of the 3.1 million square foot mega-mall in East Rutherford, NJ, Triple Five Group, could lose almost half of its shares in his Mall of America in Minnesota and Edmonton West Mall in Canada to its lenders due to American Dream’s difficulties, Axios first reported.
A spokesperson for Triple Five did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Triple Five could lose a 49% stake in the malls as it used them as collateral for a $1.2 billion construction loan to build the long-delayed American Dream mall, which has faces cash flow problems due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New Jersey’s $5 billion mall – which includes retail, an indoor amusement and water park, and a 16-story indoor ski slope – finally opened in 2019 after nearly two decades of construction and three developersbut COVID-19 has thrown another wrench into the project.
Triple Five, owned by the Ghermezian family, was forced to close on March 16 as stay-at-home measures were put in place in New Jersey. It finally reopened in October but ran into cash flow problems, causing it to miss payments.
Kurt Hagena Triple Five executive, officials in Bloomington, Minnesota, told that Triple Five was “likely” to lose stakes in the Mall of America and West Edmonton Mallreported Bloomberg.
“It would have been much better if American Dream had burned down or had a hurricane hit it, financially, because we would have been covered by insurance,” Hagen said, according to Bloomberg. “This pandemic that we didn’t see coming wasn’t covered and was the worst-case scenario imaginable.”
Even with the pandemic, the American Dream Mall saw sales of $54 million in 2020, including $39 million in the fourth quarter alone, according to Bloomberg.