NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A well-known realtor and commercial property specialist said yesterday that commercial property landlords are trying to work with tenants grappling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the ease in restrictions on local retailers has come at the right time.
David Morley, president of Morley Real Estate, which manages more than 40 commercial properties told Eyewitness News: “The lockdowns were tough and many retailers were struggling with curbside. It’s been a rough year and definitely landlords are cognizant of what’s going on, the fragile state of their tenants and they’re trying to work with them.”
During his national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced that “the retail sector, including pharmacies, may resume in-store services Monday to Saturday following the protocols prepared by The Bahamas Federation of Retailers and certified by the Ministry of Health.”
Morley said: “It’s much needed. You have some retailers with inventory sitting on the dock waiting to be cleared and not having the money to do it. There was the hope that the prime minister would ease restrictions ahead of Christmas. The timing is very important and will allow retailers to make something out of this year.”
Morley noted that while some retailers have sought to adapt to current circumstances and adjust their business models, others have not.
“When you look at what’s happening, those who have adjusted are faring better,” he said.
“In a positive, non-threatening way our advice to all retail tenants is that you have to find ways to modify your business model and seek new opportunities. You can’t expect everyone to just reduce their rent, you have to put your best foot forward and try to make things work.”