ICSC wants 90-day restraint on commercial loan obligations underlying industry
The International Council of Shopping Centers is sounding the alarm as mandated closures create a growing and major threat to the continuity of cash flow between tenant, property owner and commercial lender.
In a letter to the chairman of the National Governors Association and the president, U.S. Conference of Mayors, the association said that an increasing number of national retailers and tenants have publicly expressed their intent to skip monthly lease payments during this crisis. The non-payment of rent will jeopardize the repayment of up to $1 trillion of secured and unsecured debt held by property owners that underlays the shopping center industry.
The subsequent foreclosures would result in empty storefronts and vacant shopping centers across the nation, according to ICSC.
“The majority of the estimated $6.7 trillion of consumer activity generated by the retail, food & beverage, entertainment and consumer service industries occurs within America’s shopping centers, with nearly our out of four American jobs retail-related,” wrote Tom McGee, president and CEO, ICSC. “Approximately $400 billion of state and local taxes that support local communities, public safety resources and infrastructure is generated by the industry. This entire industry is at risk if action to support it is not taken.”
Specifically, the ICSC is asking the officials to require that all regulated banks to offer a 90-day forbearance on all commercial loan obligations underlying the shopping center industry.
“If public safety requirements mandate it, the forbearance period can be extended and at the end of this period, property owners and banks can negotiate appropriate repayment options,” McGee said. “ICSC respectfully requests that you and your members urgently consider our proposal. We stand ready to discuss and support you in its implementation.”