Los AngelesRetail rent deferral and rent relief plans have targeted smaller tenants first over larger tenants that have access to outside capital and the capital markets. This has been true for many landlords, particularly in large anchored shopping centers.

NewMark Merrill Co. is one example. The retail investor, which owns more than $2 billion in assets in California, Colorado and Illinois, split his tenants into three categories: small tenants fully shuttered, small and regional tenants with limited operations and large tenants with access to the capital markets. “Our general attitude with the small tenants was to help them get through the pandemic,” Sandy Sigal, President and CEO of NewMark Merrill Co., tells GlobeSt.com. “We worked with them so that we could buy them time to apply for programs like the PPP. Often the solution was some form of deferral or late payments until they could get their PPP funding. They needed triage now.”

Larger tenants did request rent relief, but preference was given first to smaller tenants. Those tenants were the most impacted and had limited resources to cope with the crisis. “We got calls from larger tenants for help with rent,” says Sigal. “My answer was, I have to worry about the people dying today not three or four months from now. For every bit of assistance I give a larger tenant that has access to other markets is assistance that I cannot give to my smaller tenants. Most big tenants were understanding of that approach.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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