Town Center latest mall to face difficulty as pandemic continues

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Town Center at Cobb is the latest metro Atlanta mall to face financial difficulties as retailers close and shoppers stay at home to avoid the pandemic.

Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland plan to sell $200 million in loans for Town Center. They will auction the loans on the steps of the Cobb County Courthouse on Feb. 2.

New lenders could keep Town Center open, or try to liquidate the mall’s assets and close it.

Even before the pandemic, the mall had been struggling to compete with online retailers like Amazon and faced an uncertain future. Many malls closed for weeks last spring.

Retailers at Town Center and nationwide have been hammered. Sears closed its Town Center store last year. Two other tenants, Belk and JCPenney, have filed for bankruptcy in the past year. While the Macy’s at the mall remains open, the company is closing dozens of locations nationwide.

Other metro area malls have had financial trouble, too, including the Mall at Stonecrest in DeKalb County and Southlake Mall in Clayton County.

Like other regional mall owners across the country, Town Center owner Simon Property, has fallen behind on loan payments in recent months, according to a Dec. 17 report by the debt rating agency Moody’s Investors Service.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment and Royal Bank of Scotland did not respond to a request for comment. Simon Property and Marie Moore, general manager of Town Center, did not respond to requests for comment.

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