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CHICAGO-General Growth Properties, which is headquartered here and owns 168 malls nationwide totaling about 146 million sf, has announced generally positive third quarter results. Total funds from operation at the leviathan REIT increased 30.4% to $121.1 million, compared with $92.9 million for the third quarter of 2001. That FFO represents $1.41 per share this quarter, compared with $1.23 per share a year ago.

The mall owner also reports that total sales were up 2.3% during the first nine months of 2002, compared with a drop in total sales of 2.4% over the same period in 2001. However, annualized sales per sf were $351 as of the end of 3Q02, compared with $360 at the end of 3Q01. Overall mall occupancy at the end of the third quarter this year stands at 88.7%, a bit better than 88.3% at the same time last year.

It was a reasonably busy quarter for General Growth. In August, the REIT formed a joint venture with Teachers Retirement System of Illinois to acquire retail properties (and it has done so in California, Ohio and Massachusetts). Also, General Growth broke ground in September on the 200-acre Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, IA, which will feature retail, entertainment and recreation when it is completed in 2004.

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