Bedrock offers additional rent relief to small business tenants
Two months into the pandemic in Michigan, Detroit real estate firm Bedrock has announced additional rent relief to tenants in downtown Detroit. The so-called “Bedrock Relaunch” program would allow eligible restaurant and retail tenants to temporarily amend their leases to wave rent and fees for the month of June and instead wave base rent in favor of a 7 percent fee on gross sales for reopened businesses. Qualifying tenants will also be allowed to use their security deposit toward the cost of reopening and modifying their business for to suit new COVID-19 restrictions, per a release.
Tenants qualify if they are currently operating in a Bedrock building or plan to open for service prior to December 31, 2020 and were in good standing on their lease pre-pandemic. The lease changes would last through 2020. Bedrock says it is also considering other strategies to try to improve social distancing experiences downtown including sidewalk and street closures for expanded outdoor dining and converting parking lots into drive-in theaters.
Metro Detroit cities prepare for expanded outdoor dining with social distance
Cities including Birmingham and Plymouth are adjusting their policies around outdoor seating to allow restaurants to expand socially distanced patios once the governor permits food and beverage establishments in the region to reopen. There’s a belief that dining outdoors with social distancing is slightly lower risk than dining in an enclosed space such as a dining room. Crain’s reports that Birmingham is temporarily allowing restaurants and cafes to adjust and expand outdoor dining onto sidewalks and streets through September 8. The city also waived annual outdoor dining permit fees and is adding additional sidewalk seating in the form of picnic tables. Plymouth has also begun the process of reorganizing portions of its downtown and Old Village areas for more outdoor seating.
The city of Detroit is still evaluating its options. As one business restaurateur, Victor Dzenowagis, points out, patio seating will only help establishments in certain locations such as those within Main Street corridors.
Oakland County reopening kits
Oakland County is providing “reopening toolkits” to local businesses featuring hard-to-acquire PPE and equipment like gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, touch-free digital thermometers, posters, social distancing stickers, and CDC guidelines. Kits can be ordered online. The county has also developed basic guidelines for different types of businesses including food service.
Hamtramck community comes to agreement with Yemen Cafe owner to preserve mural
Organizers of a “Save the Mural” campaign in Hamtramck have reached an agreement with a developer to preserve a mural celebrating the Yemeni community, WDET’s Nargis Rahman reports. Last summer, the mural came under threat when Yemen Cafe owner Ali Al-Zuebairi announced plans to build a mixed use property on a neighboring lot he owns. The city developed a mediation strategy that brought together local leaders and stakeholders to resolve the conflict, and all parties recently signed on to an agreement that would potentially turn the adjacent parking lot into a park celebrating Yemeni heritage.
U-pick orchards are back
Michigan’s u-pick orchards are now permitted to reopen across the state provided that they create a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, screen their staff for symptoms, and ensure social distancing.
Michigan residents hold onto $50 million worth of bottles
With bottle returns on hold due to novel coronavirus, many Michigan residents are saving their bottles in hopes of eventually returning them for a 10-cent deposit. That adds up: There are an estimated 70 million unredeemed cans and bottles being held onto by Michiganders right now, amounting to about $50 million, according to the Detroit Free Press.