Sleiman Enterprises, the third largest property manager on the First Coast, will work with small and locally owned tenants on rent relief.

“We feel very strongly that our tenants need this time to focus on staying in business and being able to rebound from this,” COO Michael McNaughton told the Business Journal.

For tenants who qualify, two months will be added to their leases. Tenants are still expected to pay their share of common area maintenance, property taxes and insurance, but if they cannot meet this, it can be deferred with a true-up by the end of the year, McNaughton said.

Not all tenants are eligible for the program: For example, grocers and drug stores, which are deemed essential and exempted from COVID-19 related executive orders, will not receive the abatement.

With 1,000 tenants and more than 5 million square feet under management, the program will be costly for Sleiman Enterprises, McNaughton said.

“This puts a lot of pressure on us, but as a 65-year-old company, we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs,” McNaughton said. “We know we wouldn’t be here without our tenants.”

In addition to property management, Sleiman Enterprises has its own development and construction arms.

Most projects are still advancing on pace, McNaughton said, though some tenant build-outs are on hold.

The company is also still actively evaluating assets, but it is not being “overly abundant” in pursuing acquisitions at this time, McNaughton said.

“I think there is a general optimism in the market that this will be short-lived,” he said.

To see the article on Jacksonville Business Journal, click here.