I live just outside of Rochester Hills, MI. Our downtown is a quaint one, recalling dreams of Americana with shops and restaurants galore. About a year ago, it was decided that the main street – the heartbeat of downtown Rochester Hills – should be replaced. Getting downtown became a nightmare. In support of one our favorite little towns, we tramped through the traffic for dinner, only to find some of our favorite restaurants empty. We wondered how they’d survive the construction. The town is known for its holiday lighting and Christmas parade, and we held our breath, watching and waiting to see if the work would be completed before the lights were officially turned on.
Luckily, the work was completed in time and the city roared back to life. The shops and restaurants that had sat quietly empty for months were once again filled with customers. One day while shopping downtown, I started talking with a local store owner. She told me something amazing: their landlord had dropped the rent during construction. Understandably, most people didn’t want to take the extra time to reach the downtown area, and this greatly impacted the local economy.
Talk about a good landlord! These are the good ones – the ones who know their tenants and are able to work with them during difficult times. It’s extremely admirable to say the least. It is my understanding that in the case of Rochester Hills, there was some talk about the government supporting these small shops downtown during construction.
Usually, I’m not one for this type of government spending, but when an entire town is practically shut down and the local economy comes to a halt because of it, paying the rents for small business owners is a useful and smart move. It keeps the businesses in place and keeps the economy stable during a period of transition so that things can go back to normal once the construction is complete.
To the landlords who did their best to support their tenants during construction, my hats off to you! You epitomize the type of landlord we want our clients to lease from.