Brookfield Properties, one of the largest mall owners in the country, plans to lay off 20 percent of its retail staff, according to a report by CNBC.
Brookfield Properties plans to cut jobs at its retail division because of a decline in business and in new leasing activity. The company said it will make cuts “to align with the future scale of our portfolio,” according to Jared Chupaila, CEO of Brookfield Properties’ retail group in an internal document shared with CNBC.
Chupaila said the reductions will affect staff at the company’s corporate headquarters and its leasing agents. Brookfield Properties retail division has about 2,000 employees.
Brookfield Properties is a subsidiary of Brookfield Property Partners, a real estate arm of the Toronto-based investment manager Brookfield Asset Management. The company became one of the largest mall owners in the country when Brookfield Property Partners acquired Chicago-based GGP for $9.25 billion in 2018 and merged the assets into Brookfield Properties.
The company has more than 170 retail properties in 43 states, according to its website. Its portfolio includes Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan, Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Florida, and the Crown Building in New York.
Retail, especially malls, have taken a hit during the pandemic. A number of anchor tenants have filed for bankruptcy.
In September, Brookfield Property Partners and Simon Property Group agreed to buy J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy in a deal valued at $1.75 billion. J.C. Penney is an anchor tenant at many of Brookfield and Simon Property’s malls.
Brookfield did not immediately return a request for comment. [CNBC] — Keith Larsen