The Maine Mall, built in 1966, is an enclosed shopping mall located in South Portland, Maine, a suburb of Portland. At 1,200,000 square feet (111,000 m2), it is the largest shopping mall in the state of Maine. Anchored by Best Buy, JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, and Sports Authority, the mall features over 140 tenants, a food court and several ancillary restaurant/retail pad sites.
On April 16, 2009 the Mall owner, General Growth Properties, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This status has not seemingly affected the day-to-day operations of the mall, but raised questions as to whether the owner will be able to retain ownership of the property while they attempt to refinance $27B debt collateralized by their national real estate portfolio. Rumors have been further fueled by the Mall owner's late payment of its 2009 bi-annual South Portland property tax bill exceeding $900,000.
As of June 2009, the overall vacancy rate for the Mall is substantially higher than historically seen rates. Large vacant anchor space remains as the former Filene's, Linens and Things, and Vinny T's spaces have not been re-tenanted. Several smaller retail spaces within the enclosed mall remain as well, as well as at least one restaurant outbuilding formerly occupied by Sebago Brewing. No one has quantified this vacancy rate, but it is representative of the much larger national retail contraction.
Highlighted Timeline This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this article to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (July 2009)
In late 2008, Forever 21 and H&M opened in the former Filene's Mens & Home. Also, an Apple Store and a Coach, Inc. store opened.
In 2007 the vacant building that formerly housed Filene's was to be demolished and replaced by a 16-screen movie theater and restaurants. General Growth also wanted to relocate the current Best Buy and David's Bridal stores to an adjacent property in an attempt to create a Lifestyle Shopping Center at that site. The project, however, was put on hold for unknown reasons. Joseph Soley, a local property owner who owns two retail centers near the mall, attempted to file a lawsuit, claiming that General Growth's expansion of the mall would negatively impact his own businesses; the lawsuit was dismissed. The project has been delayed indefinitely because of the suit.
In 2005, Federated Department Stores, the owner of Macy's, acquired the Filene's chain. Due to the presence of an existing Macy's at the Maine Mall, both the Filene's and Filene's home store were shuttered in 2005 to prevent overlap.