Publix has become the latest landlord to offer rent relief to its retail tenants due to the impacts of Covid-19.
The Lakeland-based grocery store giant is waiving rent for two months for businesses operating at Publix-owned shopping centers, according to a press release. Publix is also waiving two months of payments for common area maintenance fees and taxes.
Publix is following similar moves by other landlords in Florida and across the country whose tenants are experiencing hardships due to the novel coronavirus. Some national tenants, such as The Cheesecake Factory, have told their landlords they are not going to pay rent in April.
In South Florida, all non-essential businesses have been ordered to shut down. Grocery stores are allowed to remain open since they are considered essential businesses.
A Publix employee at one of its Miami stores at 9420 Southwest 56th Street has tested positive for the coronavirus, the Miami Herald reported.
Publix has increasingly purchased the retail centers that it occupies. Out of the company’s 1,239 supermarkets, Publix owned the land and the building at 351 locations, according to the company’s annual report. Publix reported that sales were $38.1 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, up 5.6 percent from 2018.
Publix has made a number of large acquisitions in South Florida. In June, the company purchased the Doral Plaza Shopping Center for $70 million from Chicago-based ShopCore Properties. In March 2018, Publix paid $15.7 million for a shopping center at 3339 West 80th Street in Hialeah. It also paid $21.58 million for the 85,060-square-foot shopping center at 12100 Southwest 127th Avenue in Miami.