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Bonita Lakes Mall owner celebrates birthday

By Staff
special to The Star
July 14, 2003
CHATTANOOGA July marks a major milestone for CBL &Associates Properties Inc. as the company celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The Chattanooga-headquartered shopping center owner and developer has experienced tremendous growth since the company was formed in 1978.
CBL has grown to become one of the top five owners of malls in the United States and is the largest owner of malls in the southeast.
Charles B. Lebovitz formed CBL &Associates Properties Inc. with five other associates, including John Foy, vice chairman and chief financial officer and treasurer, and Ben Landress, executive vice president management. Both are still with the company today.
Lebovitz's oldest son, Stephen, currently serves as CBL's president and secretary.
CBL &Associates started with 45 employees and has grown to more than 1,000. The company has also grown to include 55 malls in its portfolio of 161 shopping centers in 25 states. They comprise almost 60 million square feet.
Not only has CBL been in business for a quarter of a century, but the company is also celebrating its 10th anniversary as a Real Estate Investment Trust, a publicly traded company.
Other major milestones include:
2001 CBL acquired 23 properties from The Jacobs Group, the company's largest acquisition.
1998 CBL acquired 11 shopping centers adding 6.6 million square feet to its portfolio.
1997 CBL's aggressive development program led to 14 projects being developed and opened in 12 months totaling more than 3.4 million square feet.
1988 CBL opened regional office in Boston to focus on developing New England properties.
CBL &Associates developed Bonita Lakes Mall and Bonita Lakes Crossing in Meridian in 1997. Bonita Lakes has nearly 100 stores including American Eagle, Bath &Body Works, Buckle, Dillard's, Goody's, J.C. Penney, McRae's and Sears.
The development also has nine eateries and a nine-screen United Artist Theater featuring the largest screens in East Central Mississippi and West Central Alabama.
CBL &Associates currently has three new projects under construction including Coastal Grand-Myrtle Beach (1.5 million square feet) in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Waterford Commons (354,872 square feet) in Waterford, Conn.; and Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace (312,000 square feet) in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pa.
Six of CBL's existing malls are currently undergoing major renovations, bringing major design improvements to Parkdale Mall, Beaumont, Texas; Jefferson Mall, Louisville, Ky.; St. Claire Square, Fairview Heights, St. Louis, Ill.; Eastgate Mall, Cincinnati, Ohio; and East Towne and West Towne Malls, both in Madison, Wis.