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“Retail Tenants Leverage Pandemic Stress for Rent Cuts” Wall Street Journal 1/11/2021

Retail Tenants Leverage Pandemic Stress for Rent Cuts

Some retailers, restaurants, gyms and other businesses are experiencing improved lease terms as they gain the upper hand over landlords looking to retain tenants


By Aisha Al-Muslim

Jan. 11, 2021 5:30 am ET


....“What’s happening in the market is most definitely going to cause an overall devaluation of real estate across the country,” said Matthew Bordwin, principal and managing director at real-estate brokerage Keen-Summit Capital Partners LLC.

Keen-Summit picked up dozens of new clients since March and represented dine-in theater chain Studio Movie Grill, burger chain Krystal and Italian restaurant chain Il Mulino in their bankruptcies filed last year, Mr. Bordwin said. About 60% of the firm’s work was rent reductions and the other 40% was lease terminations, yielding a success rate of about 80%, he said.

“There is so much pain in the marketplace,” Mr. Bordwin said. “Every business that I speak to is now looking at their real-estate footprint to see how they can reduce costs. The landlords…are getting calls from so many people that they can’t help everyone.”

... "Winning a second round of concessions is harder to do, Keen-Summit’s Mr. Bordwin said.

“Outside of a bankruptcy situation, the landlords are working as hard as they can to hold the line. In some cases, I think to their detriment. They’re going to force tenants into bankruptcy,” he said.

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