Laurelwood Shopping Center waiving May rent for all tenants due to coronavirus closures

Laurelwood Shopping Center waiving May rent for all tenants due to coronavirus closures

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One Memphis landlord is stepping up for the second month in a row. In April, we told you the president of Laurelwood Shopping Center in East Memphis was waiving tenants’ rent. He’s doing the same thing again this month.

Slowly but surely customers are starting to come back inside the stores at Laurelwood Shopping Center.

“It’s been okay. It’s been nice to see people,” said Brooks Terry, owner of Babcock Gifts.

But slowly is the key word, and the landlord, President of Laurelwood Cory Prewitt, knows that.

After waiving rent in April while stores were closed, Prewitt decided he would do the same thing in May as they start to reopen.

“In May, look at restaurants, they’re still mostly empty,” said Prewitt. “There aren’t a ton of people running in to shop. So I knew this was going to be gradual.”

Even though his store is open back up, Terry said May’s rent concerned him and other tenants more than April’s.

“In May, with not having revenue for a while I’m not sure how everyone would’ve covered that, so my guess is he kept people in business,” Terry said.

Terry was able to keep and pay his whole staff.

That’s what Prewitt wanted.

He said he’s able to waive rent because the shopping center has savings and no debt, and he said it’s the right thing to do.

“We’re different. I really do see Laurelwood as a community and as a family,” said Prewitt.

And speaking of family, at the end of the day, that is who Prewitt is thinking about when he makes decisions both in business and in life.

“Basically, I wanted to make decisions that make my wife and my son proud,” said Prewitt.

As for June, Prewitt said he’s considering only collecting common area and maintenance fees from tenants.

In an uncertain time, a Memphis landlord is trying to remain a constant support for business owners.

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