Retail landlord calling for additional assistance for tenants as businesses continue to struggle


SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- Across California, many businesses continue to struggle in San Diego County, and some business owners say they can’t afford to pay their rent anymore without their usual income during this pandemic.

Landlords are also feeling the effects of the small business struggle.

“Many tenants are paying their rents, there aren’t many tenants paying their rents from profits,” said Sandy Sigal, CEO of NewMark Merrill Companies. “We’re not going to make any money or have any profits this year at all, we know that, but we do need enough money to pay our mortgages and lenders.

NewMark Merrill Companies own about 80 shopping centers in three states, including California. They own 12 shopping centers in San Diego County, from Oceanside to Chula Vista.

Sigal said many of his tenants had been hit hard during this pandemic, especially in California.

“The category type that we’ve lost lots of tenants are the nail and hair salons, very often run by mom and pops,” he said.

In San Diego County, the following seven tenants have closed their businesses permanently.

  • Expedia – Terra Nova Plaza in Chula Vista
  • Souplantation – Piazza Carmel in San Diego
  • Souplantation – Chula Vista Crossings in Chula Vista
  • Pronto Insurance – Tri-City Crossroads in Oceanside
  • Elements Massage – Nordahl Marketplace in San Marcos
  • Shape Threading – Nordahl Marketplace in San Marcos
  • Keller Williams – Rancho Bernardo Village in San Diego

“We did what we could to help tenants where they needed it,” said Sigal. “If you’re a small restaurant and you had to close, you were closed for 3 to 4 months; we did what we could to help you, which included rent deferrals and helping you apply for those PPP loans. We bought tarps. We bought fans, and we bought artificial turf. We’re doing what we can.”

But Sigal said landlords could only do so much, and it’s up to the government to step in and help save these businesses.

“If there was a fire or earthquake or flood, they would have insurance for all this,” he said. “We need to extend what was PPP or The RESTART Act. I’m in favor of some stimulus to the unemployed.”

Without additional assistance now, it’s a struggle he expects to continue until significant changes are made, and businesses can fully bounce back.

“If the government helps my tenants, I’d be helped enough,” he said. “This is no one’s fault, but the pandemic and we all got to get through this together.”

From ABC10 news. Click here for the full article.