General Growth Properties who had hoped to avoid a Chapter 11 filing, has had to do just that, ending a seven-month effort to refinance its debt. It may have been weakened by a string of acquisitions, most notably, that of the Rouse Company for $11.3 billion in 2004. After becoming the second largest mall operator in the U.S., the company was unable to stabilize itself in the midst of the credit crunch and a decrease in both consumer spending and its property values. Locally, General Growth operates Perimeter Mall, North Point Mall, Cumberland Mall and Southlake Mall. It also owns four regional malls in Augusta, Columbus, Macon and Savannah. Iconic national properties include the Shops at South Street Seaport in New York and Fashion Show in Las Vegas. The company has said that all properties will remain open as its goal is to emerge from bankruptcy a leaner and more profitable company. Repeat Atlanta!