Dallas Landlord Offers Free Rent to Businesses to Help Get Through COVID-19

The 15 or so businesses at the Sylvan Thirty shopping center have one less thing to worry about during these uncertain times: rent

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The shops at Sylvan Thirty on the edge of West Dallas and Oak Cliff aren't as busy as they usually are this time of year.

"The loss of income is the biggest impact here," Christina Puleo said.

Puleo and her husband own CiboDivino, an Italian Restaurant that's turned into a takeout market because of COVID-19 restrictions.

"We definitely have a heartbeat," she said. "We definitely have community support. We definitely have landlord support."

"We're all working towards the same goal, which is to keep business afloat," Brent Jackson said. Jackson owns Oaxaca Interests, which owns the Sylvan Thirty property. "It's like family."

Jackson said his company started to look at worst-case scenarios in February.

"Before it was announced as a pandemic, we wanted to have a backup plan or two," Jackson said.

That plan included three months of free rent for businesses.

"I'm certain we'll all look back in history and say this was just a really crazy time," Jackson said. "But I think the beauty of what's occurring is human grit, determination, care and respect."

Jackson said tenants will get three months base rent free. They will still have to pay insurance, taxes and property maintenance fees. He said community support of the businesses that are open is a vital part of the equation, too.

"It was a very nice touch of support, as well as a lot of relief on the economic side," Puleo said. "It goes back to, I think, we're all in this together."

"We're a wonderfully caring city," Jackson said. "And I know that we'll be just fine."

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