Blown Down Movie Screen Led To CBL Success

Thursday, June 17, 2004

A blown down movie screen led to the phenomenal success of CBL and Associates, Michael Lebovitz told the Chattanooga Rotary Club on Thursday.

Mr. Lebovitz told of his grandfather, Mose Lebovitz, being in the movie business with his cousin, Jay Solomon.

He said when a storm knocked over the screen for their Skyway Drive In on Brainerd Road, they decided to put in a shopping center at the site.

He said Mose Lebovitz sent a postcard to his son, Charles Lebovitz, telling him to bone up on the shopping center business.

The family opened Eastgate Mall on Sept. 20, 1962.

Mr. Lebovitz said the family operation merged with the Arlen firm in 1971, then became CBL and Associates in 1978. Two of the original five associates, John Foy and Ben Landress, were at the Rotary luncheon as was Charles Lebovitz.

He said the firm at that time owned no shopping centers, but he said they followed the advice of Mose Lebovitz, who said, "Think big and stay small."

They began developing shopping centers in the South, Southwest and West.

CBL began working on the Hamilton Place Mall project in 1982 and it opened in 1987. Mr. Lebovitz said its success "shows what a regional mall can contribute to the economy of a community."

He told of CBL going public and of becoming the sixth largest owner of shopping centers in the country.

He said dividends have grown from $1.50 to $2.90 this year.

Mr. Lebovitz said CBL is opening 10 new shopping centers this year. Next year it will open its first shopping center in California.

He said mall developers "panicked" when companies began selling on the Internet, but he said that has had an effect but has not been nearly as damaging as was feared.

He said security is a much greater concern at malls after the 9-1-1 attack.

Mr. Lebovitz said CBL is also involved in renovating and expanding a number of existing malls, saying it is important to "keep them clean and fresh."


CBL & Associates Declares Common Stock Dividend And Preferred Stock Dividend

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. on Friday announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend for the company’s Common Stock of $0.265 per share for the quarter ending March 31. The dividend is payable on April 17 to shareholders of record as of March 30.  The Board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.4609375 per depositary share ... (click for more)

Covenant Transport To Pay $30,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Covenant Transport, Inc. will pay $30,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Friday.   The EEOC’s suit had charged that Covenant discriminated against an applicant for a commercial truck driver position on the basis of his disability. Covenant conditionally ... (click for more)

City Police Officer Seriously Injured In Crash On Dodson Avenue

A Chattanooga Police officer was seriously injured in a crash on Dodson Avenue on Friday afternoon.   Police said the injuries to Sean Lynch, 38, are not life-threatening.   Police responded to a traffic crash at 1400 Dodson Ave.   The crash involved a silver Ford 350 van,  (Vehicle #1) a white Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser driven by Officer ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Charges That Georgia Law Firm Stole One Of The Woodmore Elementary Cases From Chattanooga Attorneys

A Circuit Court lawsuit charges that one of the Woodmore Elementary bus wreck cases was stolen from a Chattanooga law firm by Georgia attorneys just shortly after the Nov. 21 tragic crash that killed six students and injured others. It is illegal in Tennessee for attorneys to contact victims of a tragedy for 30 days after the incident. The lawsuit brought by Carl Lewis, father ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Haggling Must Stop

Far be it for me to suggest the Hamilton County Commission and the School Board need to spend more time at recess but it was obvious this week the two groups need to work at being better friends. We have nine county commissioners and just as many corresponding school board members to work together for the betterment of one entity – Hamilton County. Everybody who thinks that is happening ... (click for more)