Owner of Asheville Mall & other shopping centers files for bankruptcy

Two mall operators filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, hurt by the coronavirus pandemic that has forced their tenants to permanently close stores or not pay rent.

Both companies,CBLand Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, said their malls will remain open as they go through the bankruptcy process.

CBL owns Asheville Mall along with several other shopping centers across North and South Carolina.

Even before the virus, malls have struggled to attract shoppers who are increasingly shopping online or elsewhere. But the pandemic forced many of them to temporarily close for months. Mall tenants, which operators rely on for rent payments, are also stressed. Some are going bankrupt and closing stores, such as department store chain J.C. Penney.

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