Westfield reportedly defaulted on its $558 million loan, which it is handing back to the lender, which will appoint a receiver. For the time being, the mall will remain open despite "unsafe conditions" and a "lack of enforcement against rampant criminal activity," especially following the soon departure of Nordstrom, the mall's anchor tenant.
In 2022, city officials launched a "harm reduction" facility near the mall, which aimed to address the open-air drugs market that exists in the streets surrounding the mall. That effort failed, and now Westfield has decided to call it quits.
Compared to the rest of its properties across the country, Westfield's San Francisco mall, known as San Francisco Centre, has seen "unprecedented" poor performance, the company said.
Prior to the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) "pandemic" in 2019, the mall generated $455 million in sales. Last year, sales were down about a third to just $298 million. And once Nordstrom leaves its 312,000-square-foot space in August, revenue figures are expected to plummet even further as only 55 percent of the property will remain leased.
Other Westfield malls, by comparison, average around a 93 percent lease rate.
(Related: Park Hotels & Resorts is fleeing San Francisco due to rampant crime; says city's "path to recovery remains clouded.")
Keep in mind that Westfield's San Francisco Centre is not some low-end mall that was already on the down and out prior to the escalation in crime that rose out of the ashes of the George Floyd psy-op. It is considered to be an upscale mall boasting retailers like Bloomingdales, Aesop, Rolex, and Sephora.
The fact that a mall of this caliber is simply collapsing due to crime just goes to show how bad things have gotten in San Francisco, a once-thriving city that was taken over by far-leftists who seem to have intentionally driven it into the ground as part of their "woke" agenda.
"For more than 20 years, Westfield has proudly and successfully operated San Francisco Centre, investing significantly over that time in the vitality of the property," the company said in an announcement.
"Given the challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy and foot traffic, we have made the difficult decision to begin the process to transfer management of the shopping center to our lender to allow them to appoint a receiver to operate the property going forward."
Other retailers that have recently made the decision to also flee San Francisco include Whole Foods Market, Old Navy, Gap, and Office Depot. Of the 203 retailers that were open in 2019 in the city's Union Square pre-"pandemic," just 107 are still in operation – this represents a decline of 47 percent in just a few short years.
Not just crime but also the new work-from-home culture that emerged out of covid is also keeping people out of downtown San Francisco, depriving local businesses of much-needed revenues. Coupled with out-of-control crime, the city now has a very serious problem on its hands that, unless remedied, will drain it of cash and lead to a crash.
Data published back in November by the San Francisco Controller's Office suggests that by the year 2028, property tax decreases could reach a whopping $196 million per year. In a best-case scenario, property tax decreases by 2028 will be as little as $100 million per year.
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