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WHITE PLAINS-Steven Rubenstein, a spokesman for Tishman Speyer Properties, says the New York City-based development firm has notified the city that the $125-million retail project to be built at the former Macy’s department store in the White Plains Town Center “is on hold.” This development is a direct result of the finanical woes plaguing Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp.

“Loews is trying to work out its financial difficulties,” Rubenstein says. “We are continuing to talk with them as well as pursue other options.”

He reveals that Tishman recently realized that financing of the 400,000-sf project “could not be structured due to Loews current financial situation.” Loews was to build a 21-screen movie, 5,100-seat theater at the development on Mamaroneck Ave., and Main St. Another lead tenant at the project will be a Target department store.

Tishman had hoped to begin demolition of the vacant Macy’s department store this month.

City officials and business leaders have pointed to the White Plains Town Center venture as the linchpin of the city’s ongoing Downtown revitalization effort.

Loews Cineplex Entertainment, the number two movie theater operator in the US, is just one of many theater chains suffering from declining revenues brought on by over-expansion and lower ticket sales. Recently, Standard & Poors cut the company’s credit rating three times in less than a month, down to CCC-plus. The chain operates 2,960 screens in 376 theaters in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia.

The company, which previously stated that it might default on a bank loan, reported on Sept. 21 that it had reached an agreement with the syndicate banks that provide funding to the company under its Senior Secured Revolving Credit Facility to grant a temporary waiver of the restrictions of the terms of its credit facility.

The waiver, which is for a period of 90 days, will allow Loews to have access to funds to meet its financial obligations during this time.

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