I have not been out protesting but our daughters have. They are seeing their communities come together. People aren’t in offices so they are able to come out on the streets and rally together. It is exhilarating to just watch.
Landlords must rally around the community. It is time to rethink commercial leases on the ground. Restaurants and stores is the key to thriving communities. What that means is changing the structure of the lease. As an owner of properties, we take community responsibility to heart.
Owners need to partner with the people in their stores. Rent should be based on the income that is coming into the store with a set price that the rent can’t go below. That gives upside to the owner and perhaps if there is downside it gives the landlord an ability to have a conversation that the business isn’t working. There are ways to change the rent.
The city should force landlords to figure out how to find a tenant, period. It is not okay to leave those spaces empty because they can afford to. It isn’t good for the community. Waiting for those high rents to return is how we got to a place where few local stores can survive. Who wants that?
A few restaurants have tried to negotiate with their landlords and some have agreed for this change while others are just going to wait it out. I hope that they won’t be allowed to wait for long and are forced to find tenants so we can return to vibrant cities where the community is the backbone of everything.
If you have not read this editorial from Sarah McNally, it is a worthy read about this topic.