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Loan Backed By The Shops At Willow Bend In West Plano Is Delinquent

West Plano's The Shops at Willow Bend is facing a new retail challenge in 2020: a late loan payment. 

The Shops at Willow Bend's restaurant row, which it opened in 2019 to spur traffic.

The North Texas mall is one of three Starwood Retail Properties assets collateralizing a delinquent loan with an unpaid balance of $135.7M, according to Trepp Analytics. 

The delinquent loan is in the second of two, 60-day forbearance periods after passing its two-year extended maturity date in November, Trepp said. The delinquency was first reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Starwood Retail Properties told Bisnow in a statement it hopes to extend and restructure the loan, which covers a national portfolio.

About 48% of the delinquent loan's balance is collateralized by the The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, with the remaining balance tied to Starwood's Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn, Michigan, and Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Virginia. 

The loan could easily be transferred to special servicing, although Starwood expressed a strong interest in modifying or extending terms of the debt, Trepp said.

The late payment is a cold reminder that even malls in affluent areas with millions of dollars invested in experiential retail face headwinds in today's shifting retail environment. 

The Shops at Willow Bend was reinvented last year with the opening of a new restaurant row and a high-end Equinox fitness center to drive lifestyle-oriented traffic.

These venues, along with the existing Crayola Experience for kids, were laid out to draw repeat traffic for the benefit of all mall retailers. 

Stony Point Fashion Park also received heavy investment in chef-driven restaurants, specialty shops and entertainment hot spots as tenants, according to Starwood Retail Properties' website. 

Starwood Retail said it is still focused on the future of The Shops at Willow Bend despite falling behind on payments. 

"[It] is business as usual at the property as we continue to work hard executing our repositioning plans," the retail owner and operator said in a statement.