Greg Maloney, president and CEO for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, has heard he's closing down Valley View Center. He's heard he's tearing down Valley View Center. "I've heard all the rumors," says Maloney, whose company was appointed by the courts just last week as the receiver for the beleaguered mall that's fallen back into the hands of the lender group.
"I'm even getting calls from our Dallas office," says Maloney, who's based out of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail's Atlanta HQ. "They'll ask, 'Are we closing down Valley View?' No, we're not closing it down. Or tearing it down. We will continue to operate it as a regional shopping center and see where the issues are and fix anything we can immediately. We will go in there and assess the assets and figure out what we would suggest to the lender group. And 99 times out of 100, the thing we recommend is: Fix what you can, lease what you can and put it on the market. Most lenders aren't in the business of owning real estate. They loan money to people who own real estate. But we have no intention of closing it down. Quite the opposite."
In other words, he says: For the next 30 to 60 days, JLL will make sure all bills are paid and all money that's due is collected -- which wasn't happening under Macerich, sounds like. JJL, which manages the likes of Highland Mall in Austin and Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, will also survey the property and tell the owners what's working and what ain't and what needs some sprucing up and what could should maybe oughta go. And, says Maloney, "We'll do our best to improve the asset in the short term."
"We'll give the lenders a property condition report to let them know the condition of the propert, review leases and come up with a plan for short term, the medium term and the long term should they have to hold on to it," he says. "We've been doing this since things turned bad in '07, and we've seen some shopping centers get worse and some get better -- it all depends if the lender group wants to spend cash and if there'd someone willing to turn it around."
He says give it two, three months. Then call back. Already marked it down.