The cash-strapped owner of Faneuil Hall Marketplace has put the popular outdoor mall up for sale as it battles to shore up its finances and avoid declaring bankruptcy.
General Growth Properties Inc., the second-largest US mall operator, is offering to sell Faneuil Hall and two other well-known east coast tourist destinations, the South Street Seaport in Manhattan and Harborplace & the Gallery in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. General Growth is struggling to refinance $900 million in debt to stave off bankruptcy.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is one of the city's top tourist attractions, and its sale will be closely watched by city officials, merchants and rival operators. The marketplace consists of four buildings owned by the city of Boston, including Quincy, North, and South markets. General Growth is selling it lease-hold interests at the marketplace, which had more than $102 million in retail sales in the 12-month period that ended September 30.
The city owns and runs the fourth building, nearby Faneuil Hall, a historical venue for some of the country's most prominent orators.
General Growth began leasing the property from the city in 2004 after buying out the previous manager.
Executives with General Growth were not immediately available for comment today. The Chicago-based investment realty trust yesterday announced that a group of creditors has agreed to extend a deadline for repayment of $900 million in debt related to real estate acquisitions in recent years.
The portfolio of malls up for sale is being marketed by the New York firm DTZ Rockwood.