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The Financial Crisis: Five Years Later

General Growth Properties, Real Estate's Big Bankruptcy

April 16, 2009: General Growth Properties files for bankruptcy

General Growth Properties (GGP), which owned New York’s South Street Seaport, Boston’s Faneuil Hall, and more than 200 shopping malls, collapsed under $27 billion in debt it couldn’t refinance. “It was a disaster waiting to happen,” Henderson Global Investors’ Patrick Sumner told Bloomberg News. “They were going to be in the front line when the guns went off.” The real estate company emerged from bankruptcy in November 2010 and split into two entities. General Growth still operates 123 malls but sold Faneuil Hall; the spinoff got South Street Seaport.

Berfield is a writer for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York. Follow her on Twitter @susanberfield.

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