COLUMBIA — The president of a major development firm in South Carolina has filed for personal bankruptcy.

Documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbia show that Alan Bruce Kahn sought protection from creditors on Monday.

Kahn, 73, is chairman of M.B. Kahn Construction Co. Inc. He is also president of the Kahn Development Co. Those companies are not named as debtors.

Kahn said in a statement his financial problems were caused by a drop in property values in recent years. The construction business is still strong, and his decision to file for bankruptcy was made to ensure all creditors were treated fairly, he said.

The filings said Kahn has fewer than 50 creditors and liabilities valued between $50 million and $100 million. His assets are estimated between $1 million and $10 million.

Since 1968, the Columbia businessman has served as president of the Kahn Development, according to the firm’s website. M.B. Kahn says on its website that it is the 106th largest U.S. building firm that specializes in industrial, commercial and institutional construction.

Kahn’s companies have developed schools, shopping centers and other properties throughout the state and the Southeast. The 300-acre Columbia-area development, Village at Sandhill, was named as one of the world’s top nine large mixed-used centers in 2007 by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Also filing for bankruptcy Monday were two companies closely affiliated with Kahn: Kahn Family LLC and Kahn Properties South LLC. Charleston County records show Kahn Properties South owns a strip of retail properties at 915, 923 and 931 Folly Road on James Island.

M.B. Kahn is well known in the Charleston building trade. It’s a primary contractor on the Buist Academy renovation and expansion project in downtown Charleston, and is also working on James Simons Elementary and Charleston Progressive Academy.

The company has built a number of other district schools, such as West Ashley High, Burke High and Stall High, as well the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Dental Medicine.

Bill Lewis, Charleston County School District’s chief operating officer, said Kahn’s bankruptcy is a personal issue and M.B. Kahn’s local projects would be unaffected by that.

“They’re one of the state’s top general contractors for K-12,” Lewis said.

Diette Courrege Casey and John McDermott of The Post and Courier contributed to this report.