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Muncie Mall Owner Files For Bankruptcy, Citing Pandemic

By Stephanie Wiechmann, IPR News | Published on in Business, Economy, Local News
Carson's is one of several anchor stores the Muncie Mall has lost, thanks to national trends. (Photo: Google Maps)

The owner of Muncie Mall has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In its Texas court filing, Washington Prime Group Inc. cited the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason why it’s starting the bankruptcy process.  According to those documents, the Columbus, Ohio-based business owns 102 shopping centers in several states.

The filing is not a surprise.  In March, Washington Prime began skipping interest payments on its debt, which is listed in court documents as more than $3 billion.

A 2020 map of the Muncie Mall. More stores have closed since this graphic was made. (Graphic: The Woodmont Company)

In Muncie, the mall property is actively for sale, being managed and marketed by Texas-based commercial real estate firm The Woodmont Group.  The mall lost all its anchor stores in the last few years in national closings or local pull-outs.  The building will welcome its newest business – a secondary stock retailer named Buyer’s Market – as it opens later this week.

Since becoming Muncie’s mayor, Dan Ridenour has tried to keep the mall a prime shopping destination.  That’s because it’s valued at $30 million, making it the second most-expensive property on the city tax rolls.