Landlords, lenders file suits as retail property values fall as much as 75%

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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The Lord & Taylor at Crossgates Mall
The Lord & Taylor at Crossgates Mall outside of Albany, N.Y.

Banks and landlords that granted retail property owners mortgage and rent payment deferrals during early-pandemic shutdowns are now aggressively seeking payback.

Lenders are foreclosing on the Saks Fifth Avenue at Miami’s Dadeland Mall that has not made a payment since March, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Ten other Saks stores and 24 Lord & Taylor stores serve as collateral for the $846 million mortgage and stand to be seized in the suit, as well. 

Last week, the Crossgates Mall outside of Albany New York filed a $594,407 suit for back rent against Lord & Taylor, which has filed for bankruptcy and is closing all 38 of its stores. And Simon Property Group recently filed a $107 million suit against the Gap.

Lenders and landlords have been moved to take legal actions due to value declines of 75% or more in prime retail locations. Three buildings in the Madison Avenue retail district in New York recently sold for 80% less than what they were valued at in 2014.