CoolSprings Galleria owner, CBL Properties, files for bankruptcy

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Tennessee-based shopping mall operator has announced it has filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday.

Chattanooga-based CBL Properties, which owns CoolSprings Galleria and CoolSprings Crossing in Franklin, among many other shopping centers around the country, made the announcement Monday along with another shopping mall operator, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust.

CBL and PREIT both claimed in their filings that the COVID-19 pandemic was the cause of financial difficulties for their companies and that the pandemic forced tenants to permanently close stores or not pay rent.

Both companies, who filed separately and are owned and operated independently of each other, plan to keep their mall properties open during the duration of the bankruptcy process.

Even before the virus, malls have struggled to attract shoppers who are increasingly shopping online or elsewhere. But the pandemic has forced malls to temporarily close for months.

CBL operates 107 malls across the country. Philadelphia-based PREIT has more than 20 properties, mostly centered in northeastern states.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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