'We are in the same boat as our tenants’: New Lakeside Mall owner drops rent for shops amid coronavirus pandemic

Owner also has Battle Creek property

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Out of the Box Ventures, the company that bought Lakeside Mall last year, announced that it will be reducing rent for tenants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We believe that we are in the same boat as our tenants. Their success is our success,” said Ophir Sternberg, founder and CEO of Out of Box.

The company said rates will be decreased by 60-70 percent for most tenants at its properties. This rent reduction is not a loan or promissory note, but rather a partial rent forgiveness. It will last for at least the next 60 days.

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“We have committed to solely cover our costs, charge tenants the minimum rent possible, and pass along any additional savings that may be available from public or private entities,” Sternberg said. “We are asking that the tenants who elect to participate in this offering only pay their share of common area maintenance fees and taxes with no obligation to repay the balance of their rent for April and May.”

In addition to Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights, Out of the Box owns one other Michigan property -- Battle Creek Plaza in Battle Creek. It also owns properties across the country.