PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA — Despite some creative financial maneuvering and dealing, Preit, the owner of Plymouth Meeting Mall, Willow Grove Park, and numerous other major shopping centers along the East Coast, may still face bankruptcy.
Preit, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, said on Thursday that it has reached an agreement with 80 percent of its bank lenders for an additional $150 million to support its continuing operations.
But the company, which was recently threatened with removal from the New York Stock Exchange due to plummeting value in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, added that it must reach an agreement with the remaining 20 percent of lenders to avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
It's not yet clear when the remaining 20 percent of lenders will make their final decision.
The moves come as the company works to get its stock back up over $1 in order to retain good standing with the NYSE. Preit has six months from the date of the warning, Sept. 25, to do so. Delisting would be a devastating blow to the company, and would cause a significant devaluation in stock for any shareholders. A drop in Chapter 11 certainly wouldn't help the company in it's efforts to regain value by that deadline in March 2o21.
It's just the latest sign of the impact of the pandemic on the economic landscape of the Montgomery County area. Preit previously said that across all of their properties, just four percent of their tenants failed to reopen following the coronavirus shutdowns, calling it a "substantial re-occupation." Still, it hasn't been enough to offset a $29.2 million loss for 2020 as a result of the shutdown.
In addition to Plymouth Meeting Mall and Willow Grove Park, Preit also owns the Springfield Mall, Fashion District in Philadelphia, the Moorestown and Cherry Hill malls in nearby South Jersey, and numerous other properties on the East Coast.
With reporting from Patch correspondent Anthony Bellano