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Projection: Up to 3,000 Retail Properties to Close

This from the Boston Herald--analyst Burt Flickinger says that up to 3,000 retail properties could close in March and April. That sounds like a massive, massive number. We haven't heard anyone else make that kind of projection. We haven't heard about many actual mall closings at all to date. There's certainly a lot of properties hurting. But could that projection possibly be right?

The current spate of retailer bankruptcies and those expected in the new year - along with still-healthy companies limiting or stopping their expansions - could have a ripple effect on the commercial real estate market.

Burt P. Flickinger, managing director of New York consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, expects 2,000 to 3,000 U.S. malls and shopping centers to close in March and April.

...

Normally, the large banks and financing companies would have adequate funds to “backstop” the REITs and other retail center owners. But so many retailers and property owners are either “retracting or collapsing” at the same time that there's insufficient credit to save every one, according to Flickinger.

“It's a natural falling out,” he said.

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