Orange Park Mall parent company files for bankruptcy protection

Corporate owner cites ‘significant challenges’ from pandemic

Main entrance to the Orange Park Mall, which opened in 1975. (Photo by Michael Rivera via Creative Commons)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Washington Prime Group Inc., the company that owns Orange Park Mall and 101 other shopping malls around the country, announced Sunday night that it has petitioned for bankruptcy protection.

Twelve of Washington Prime’s malls are located in Florida. In the Jacksonville area, In addition to the Orange Park Mall on Wells Road and Westland Park Place on Lake Gray Boulevard, located on Blanding Boulevard in Jacksonville, just north of Interstate 295.

If granted by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, where Washington Prime is based, Chapter 11 would supervise the company’s exicutiong of a restructuring support agreement with creditors, led by SVPGlobal, that hold approximately 73% of the principal amount outstanding of the company’s secured corporate debt and 67% of the principal amount outstanding of the company’s unsecured notes.

The agreement would allow the malls to remain open and operate normally during the process.

Orange Park Mall, which opened in 1975, is the area’s second large, indoor shopping mall. (Regency Square opened in 1967.) Its three large anchor stores at the time -- Ivey’s, May Cohen’s and Sears -- closed over the years -- Sears finally shut down in April 2020.

A JCPenney is the largest of the 110 remaining retailers at the 953,000-square-foot mall, followed by Dillard’s Belk and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Washington Prime Group has owned Orange Park Mall since 2014.