Westfield Broward mall’s $95M CMBS loan heads to special servicing

The mall’s anchor tenants include Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney

Westfield Broward mall, CEO Christophe Cuvillier
Westfield Broward mall, CEO Christophe Cuvillier

UPDATED, Aug. 10, 3:20 p.m.: The owner of Westfield Broward mall is more than two months behind on payments for its $95 million loan.

A commercial mortgage-backed securities loan for the sprawling 317,513-square-foot mall at 8000 West Broward Boulevard in Plantation has entered a type of refinancing known as special servicing, according to data provider Trepp. The owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, has not made a payment on the loan since April, according to Trepp.

The CMBS loan is broken up into two parts: $42 million and $53 million. Both went into special servicing in June, Trepp data shows.

The largest tenant backing the CMBS loan at the mall is Regal Cinemas, which occupies 55,823 square feet and is currently closed. Other tenants include H&M, which occupies 22,177 square feet. And anchor tenants include Macy’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney, which filed for bankruptcy in mid May.

After publication, Westfield Broward Management said in a statement,  “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, like many businesses, we are in the process of renegotiating the relevant aspects of our debt service agreement on the property, and the center continues to operate to serve the Broward community.”

The South Florida Business Journal first reported the news.

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Unibail-Rodamco acquired Westfield Group in 2018 for about $25 billion. Westfield Group had purchased Westfield Broward, along with the Westland Mall in Hialeah, for $400 million in 2007. The mall in Broward was built in 1978 and was renovated in 2013.

Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has a portfolio worth more than 60.4 billion Euros (or $71.7 billion) as of June 30, according to its website. The company owns more than 89 shopping centers in Europe and the United States.

Many retail properties are financed by CMBS loans. The loans can be especially problematic for borrowers, since they are harder to restructure than a conventional mortgage when they run into trouble, and can only be restructured through special servicing.

In some cases, lenders could take over properties with CMBS debt. Wells Fargo is currently seeking to foreclose on Southland Mall in Cutler Bay after alleging the mall owner defaulted on its $65.1 million CMBS loan.