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NEW YORK CITY- Time Equities, an investment management firm thatowns 122 retail centers, including shopping centers, malls andstreet-front retail locations in 25 states, has reshuffled itsstaff to triage the asset management side of its business. The firmhas seen an influx of requests for abatement and rent deferrals asof recent with the current coronavirus pandemic, Ami Ziff, directorof national retail, tells GlobeSt.com.

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"On the asset management side, our team is busy triaging leasingmatters where tenants are asking for rent relief, some need it,some don't," Ziff said. "To give free rent to everyone, you'll goout of business and have to hand properties back to the lender.That's not the solution, so we have to handle each requestindividually."

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The firm has not laid off any of its staff and has repurposedcertain folks from its acquisition teams to focus more on assetmanagement, Ziff said. He dealt with similar situations in hiscareer during the 2008 Financial Crisis and emphasizes taking itone call, lease and mortgage at a time to come up with fair andequitable solutions that allow survival for all involved parties.And not all tenants are in the same predicament.

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For instance, Ziff has learned that in some firm's real estateportfolios, grocery store tenants have had sales jump up over 100percent since the start of the pandemic, and craft stores are up 75percent, whereas some restaurants have shuttered altogether.

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Time Equities has had an easier time managing the influx oftenant requests, which it attributes to its technological filemanagement system that contains lease agreements, Argus andMicrosoft Excel files. In addition, Ziff said prior to the crisishe would travel on an estimated four flights a week to consult withtenants, so continuing communication virtually through video chatson Zoom or Facetime hasn't been much of a big transition, hesaid.

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According to a recent GlobeSt.com article, Time Equitieshas had a tradition of prioritizingits stakeholders' interests and will continue to work on a case bycase basis to assess tenants needs. "We have a gigantic economicdisruption [attributed to the coronavirus], the cost of which willhave to spread across the economy. However, no one person, or onecompany, no one property owner can carry the need on their ownshoulders," Francis Greenburger, chairman and CEO of Time Equities,told GlobeSt.com.

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Mariah Brown

Mariah Brown is the New York Bureau Chief and Real Estate Reporter for GlobeSt.com, covering the New York Metro area, Northeast region and national real estate trends. She is responsible for producing multi-media content, including articles, podcasts and video. Before joining the GlobeSt team, she served as a New York Times fellow, reported for the Associated Press in New York and Philadelphia and several other New York City-based outlets.