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General Growth Properties puts retail centers up for sale

SHARE General Growth Properties puts retail centers up for sale

WASHINGTON — A troubled mall operator is putting prominent retail centers in Boston, New York and Baltimore up for sale in a desperate attempt to shore up its finances.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc. has hired a New York-based commercial real estate firm to put the well-known retail centers up for sale.

New York brokerage DTZ Rockwood LLC said Thursday it has been retained to sell off New York's South Street Seaport, Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Baltimore's Harborplace & The Gallery, all three of which are prominent tourist destinations.

General Growth, owner of the Fashion Place and Cottonwood malls in Utah, is saddled with huge amounts of debt it took on during the real estate market's boom years when it aggressively bought up assets. Refinancing that debt has proven difficult amid a global credit crunch.

Analysts are unsure whether new managers, installed in late October, will be able to keep the company afloat as the recession drags on and U.S. retailers struggle.