Concessions stand: Wary of another shutdown, retail landlords sweeten pot for tenants

Many insurance policies don’t cover pandemic-related losses, leading landlords to find new ways to keep businesses in place

TRD NATIONAL /
Aug.August 25, 2020 06:00 PM
Retail landlords such as  Dan Gilbert are offering their tenants additional concessions to keep them on the rent roll (Getty, iStock)

Retail landlords such as  Dan Gilbert are offering their tenants additional concessions to keep them on the rent roll (Getty, iStock)

Some retail landlords are offering additional concessions to tenants in case the government mandates another Covid-related shutdown.

Landlords are including language in new leases that allows retail tenants to defer part of their rent if the government requires store closures, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many insurance policies did not cover pandemic-related losses, leading landlords to find new ways to keep struggling tenants in place.

In one case, EastBanc, which owns and operates 25 retail properties in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood, has offered to cut tenants’ base rent to 50 percent if the city forces a shutdown, the Journal reported.

In Detroit, development company Bedrock — created by billionaire Dan Gilbert — is allowing tenants to forgo their base rents if they provide the company with 7 percent of gross sales.

Throughout the pandemic, retail landlords have largely offered deferrals to tenants whose businesses have been decimated who were unable to pay rent. But other landlords have sued and sought to evict some chain retailers over millions of dollars in unpaid rent. Meanwhile, landlords are seeking to exclude pandemics as being labeled force majeure events — act of God — which they argue would make it more difficult to get financing if that language is included. [WSJ] — Keith Larsen


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