J.P. Morgan Chase files to foreclose on Market Common

Myrtle Beach, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The global financial services firm J.P. Morgan Chase has filed for foreclosure against the owners of The Market Common, according to filed court documents.

J.P. Morgan Chase filed the foreclosure documents in the Horry County 15th Judicial Circuit Court on Tuesday, but development officials insist it's business as usual for the well-known attraction along Farrow Parkway.

The Market Common General Manager Sue Bonin said Jones Lang LaSalle, a Chicago-based management company, has been appointed by the court as receiver for the Myrtle Beach development and would take over property operations.

"Jones Lang LaSalle Retail's Greg Maloney was chosen as the Receiver of the property because of his outstanding reputation in managing retail assets and helping to increase Net Operating Income," JLL spokeswoman Joanne Bestall said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Bestall said Jones Lang LaSalle is the largest third-party manager of regional malls across the country, noting it has relationships with national, regional and local retailers. The company helps retailers find the right tenant mix for leased and managed centers.

"As a Receiver, Jones Lang LaSalle and/or Mr. Maloney are appointed by the courts and will work closely with lenders and borrowers to control and direct the use of assets until resolutions are achieved," Bestall further stated. "Although Receivership designations vary state by state, they share the same premise of appointing independent managers to assume fiduciary responsibility for the assets. During the Recievership process, the Receiver chooses the most appropriate firm to manage and lease the asset, and provides recommendations for the most profitable outcome of the asset - including the sale of the asset."

The Sun News reported Wednesday that LUK-MB1 LLC, the company that owns The Market Common, owes more than $105 million.

Bonin said the court put JLL in charge "in response to challenges in the current economic climate."

While the situation may be a surprise to some, Bonin said business at the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base is usual, and no changes are anticipated.

"It's important for the local community to know that The Market Common is open and ready for business, as usual, and we do not expect any operational interruptions," Bestall commented.

The confidence behind the future of The Market Common has many business owners and tenants satisfied for the meantime.

"It's just a sign of the times, unfortunately," said Joe DeLong, who works at Dolce Lusso, a hair salon located at The Market Common. "I think these tough economic times are going to continue for several months ahead and hopefully not years. But for us, things are good and we're going to continue to invest."

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