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Country's largest mall operator closing its 200-plus shopping centers

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The largest owner of shopping malls in the nation is closing all of its shopping centers and retail properties because of the coronavirus pandemic. Simon Property Group said the closings start at 7 p.m. local time Wednesday. The malls are expected to re-open March 29, the Indianapolis-based company said in a news release.

Simon owns more than 200 properties, including Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, and Solomon Pond in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Other major Simon-owned malls that are closing Wednesday include:

  • Glenbrook Square in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Auburn Mall in Auburn, Massachusetts 
  • Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville, Indiana
  • Eastland Mall in Evansville, Indiana
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The closings come after such major mall tenants around the country — including Macy'sJ.C. PenneyNordstromGap, Victoria's Secret and Sephora — have announced they are temporarily closing locations. Many retailers say they plan to re-open by March 31, but others haven't given a specific timeline. Most retailers are keeping their online stores open.

Simon said in a statement the decision came after "extensive discussions with federal, state and local officials and in recognition of the need to address the spread of COVID-19."

"The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," CEO David Simon said in the statement.

Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Orange Park Mall, Clay Terrace and Markland Mall are closed due to the coronavirus. The properties remain open with modified operating hours.

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