POMPANO BEACHFRONT RESTAURANTS GET RENT RELIEF FROM CITY TO EASE COVID-19 IMPACT
BY MARIE PULEO | POMPANO BEACH NEWS REPORTER
POMPANO BEACHFRONT RESTAURANTS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative impacts on local businesses, including two landmark restaurants – the Beach House and Oceanic, which are part of the Pompano Beach Fishing Village development next to the pier. In an effort to address economic issues the two restaurants are experiencing due to significantly reduced revenues, the City has agreed to provide relief in the form of deferred rent payments.
The Beach House, which opened in 2018, and Oceanic, which opened in August 2019, are located directly on the beach, just north of the pier, and have become major attractions for Pompano Beach.
Pompano Pier Associates, the developer of the Pompano Beach Fishing Village, has ground leases with the City for the Pompano beachfront restaurant parcels through two of its affiliates. The developer notified the City that, due to the impacts of the pandemic, Beach House and Oceanic were unable to pay their rent obligations to the developer, and in turn, the developer was unable to pay the rent due to the City.
The minimum rent per year is $75,000 for the Beach House parcel, and $94,800 for the Oceanic parcel, payable quarterly, plus percentage rent of 1.25% of gross revenue in excess of $6,000,000, payable annually. The leases include other obligations, such as base rent and a proportionate share of operating expenses and taxes.
The City, the developer and its affiliates have entered into a “forbearance agreement” for each parcel, which allows a 50% reduction of the minimum rent for the months of April 2020 through December 2020.
Beginning in January 2021, the developer will pay the City nine equal monthly payments for the remaining 50% of the minimum rent due. The deferment applies to the minimum rent only, and no other sums due under the leases.
Last week, the Pompano Beach City Commission approved the agreements for the nine months of rental reduction and deferred payments.
“We’re not giving away anything here,” explained City Manager Greg Harrison. “We’re just deferring rent and giving them some time to get back on their feet.”
“I’m glad that we’re doing this,” said Vice Mayor Barry Moss. “These people have invested millions of dollars in these two properties and we have to do everything we can in order to help them get through these difficult times.”
Moss added: “They’re really wonderful restaurants that are shining stars in Pompano, so I think we have to be accommodating to them to the extent that’s possible.”
Mayor Rex Hardin said: “We need to do what we can to try and help as many businesses in Pompano Beach as possible.”
He noted that the City has established an Economic Response Team to help businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the rent deferral for the two beachside restaurants is just one more example of working together “to get through this.”
Commissioner Andrea McGee said she was very much in favor of the City’s efforts to help “secure the investment that’s been made in time, money and energy” into the Beach House and Oceanic, as well as other local businesses.
In addition to the two anchor restaurants on the beachfront, the Pompano Beach Fishing Village includes Lucky Fish Beach Bar and Grill, which opened last month, and the Pier Parking Garage. Still under construction are Alvin’s Island beach goods store, BurgerFi, Kilwins, Cannoli Kitchen and a dual-branded Hilton hotel.
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