Joshua M. Bowman quoted in The Boston Globe on the struggles of restaurant and retail tenants in downtown Boston to work-out conflicts with their landlords

November 27, 2023

Joshua M. Bowman, chair of the firm’s Hospitality Practice Group and a partner in firm’s Real Estate and Business Law Departments, was quoted in The Boston Globe on November 26, 2023. The article, “Why landlords hold the post-pandemic fate of downtown in their hands like never before,” discusses how restaurant and retail tenants in downtown Boston are struggling to pay rent under leases that were signed before the pandemic. The article describes how several tenants in Boston are under pressure to pay rent that they can no longer afford, and have sought flexibility from their landlords with varying degrees of success. Josh is quoted describing how some landlords are unable to consent to rent concessions because doing so could result in such landlords defaulting under their mortgages.

Read the full article from The Boston Globe (subscriber content).

From the article:

But in a challenging financial market, not all landlords can afford to bend. Many are bound to air-tight mortgages and lending agreements they cannot fulfill without the agreed-upon rent from retail tenants, said Josh Bowman, an attorney who chairs the hospitality group at law firm Sherin and Lodgen in Boston.

Others would rather have an empty storefront they can later lease at full price than a tenant in place paying below-market. And they often answer to lenders with little connection to the local market.

“As an example, let’s say the lender is underwriting a revenue stream from that lease for at least five years. The landlord will sometimes say the tenant needs an accommodation. And then the lender says no,” Bowman said. “That’s the end of the story.”