Report: Layoffs Coming To Mall Owner Brookfield Properties

Brookfield Place

Brookfield Properties Retail Group CEO Jared Chupaila delivered bad news to his employees this week.

The Chicago-based real estate company with among the nation’s largest portfolios of retail is laying off 20 percent of its workforce.

“While many companies were quick to implement furloughs and layoffs at the onset of the pandemic, we made the conscious decision to keep all our team employed while we gained a better understanding of its longer-term impact on our company,” Chupaila said in an email to employees obtained by CNBC.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to takes a toll on stores, Chupaila said the mall owner has decided to make cuts “to align with the future scale of our portfolio.”

Chupaila said the cuts will include corporate headquarters staff and leasing agents. It is expected to impact 200 of the company’s 2,000-person workforce.

According to the company’s website, Brookfield Properties has more than 170 retail properties in 43 states representing 150 million square feet of shopping space including five premier locations on Fifth Avenue, Lafayette and West 57th Street in New York City.

At the end of March, Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest retail real estate investment trust, furloughed 30 percent of its workforce, or about 1,200 to 1,400 people, according CNBC.

The biggest mall owner in the U.S. is dealing with the closure of all of its properties due to the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the country and around the world.

Simon’s furloughs affected employees at its Indianapolis headquarters as well as at its malls and outlets nationwide, a source told CNBC at the time. An unspecified number of workers were permanently laid off as well.

CEO David Simon said is not taking a paycheck during the pandemic, the source said. In addition, upper management salaries are being slashed by as much as 30 percent.

The company’s headquarters houses about 1,000 of its approximately 4,500 employees, 1,500 of which were working part-time, according to Simon’s annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The retail industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of retail employees have temporarily lost their jobs, from Gap and Macy’s to Kohl’s and JCPenney.