Some real estate lawyers -- who probably know a lot more about the topic than I -- think the GGP bankruptcy ruling is "an anomaly rather than a glimpse of things to come." The theory, I think, is that this is a unique case mainly because of the brinksmanship: the whole company was thrown into BK rather than individual assets.
I still think this is a great strategy. Sometimes to save what you have you have to go to the brink. GGP did. It was the first in this cycke and may not be the last.
The gurus at Wachtell are saying, "[T]he GGP ruling may herald a trend towards bankruptcy filings by highly structured real estate enterprises which today find themselves vastly over-levered." They go out on talk about independent directors and separateness covenants and agree the issues are novel and have not played themselves out. Go click on the link above read it. It's worth a few minutes of your time if you care about these issues.
I believe most everyone agrees with the court that the real goal is to get this company out of 11. It is time for that real work to begin. Stay tuned.