Simon Property Group Sues Largest Tenant, The Gap, for $66 Million in Unpaid Rent

INDIANAPOLIS -- Simon Property Group, the largest owner of malls in the U.S., filed a lawsuit in the state of Delaware last week against its largest tenant – The Gap. Simon alleges that the Gap, who owns sister brands Banana Republic and Old Navy, has failed to pay over $65.9 Million USD in rent and other charges. The outstanding balance is a product of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, which has upended the finances of many large retailers and landlords alike. The legal battle is a shining example of the tensions that are currently mounting between landlords and their tenants. Countless stores, ranging from international chains to mom-and-pop hops have stopped had to stop paying rent after the pandemic offered no choice but to close up shop, in some cases indefinitely. Many similar lawsuits are expected to have their day in court in the coming weeks, following a large amount of default notices which were sent to tenants that have fallen behind in payments. The Gap, who rents from Simon in 412 locations across North America across its three brands, has publicized that they had to stop paying rent in late April on a number of temporarily closed stores, which was worth about $115 Million USD in rent. “Although we believe that strong legal grounds exist to support our claim that we re not obligated to pay rent for the stores that have been closed ... there can be no assurance…