Office landlords finding out which tenants are paying up during lockdown


Public office landlords are starting to report their first-quarter earnings — and investors and analysts are paying close attention to just how much rent they were able to rake in as tenants like law firms and advertising companies complete nearly a full month of working remotely. Empire State Realty Trust — whose biggest property is the Empire State Building — drew in 73 percent of its office rents in April, compared to more than 92 percent for SL Green. Other office real estate investment trusts, like Columbia Property Trust, Paramount Group and Boston Properties are on deck to announce their earnings this week. John Kim, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said Empire’s collection rate was underwhelming. And the firm said it was still weighing the vast majority of the 170 rent deferral requests it received. “Empire was surprisingly low, I would say…I would imagine that number goes up, especially once there’s clarity when the shelter-in-place ends,” he said, referring to statewide orders that have kept nonessential businesses closed across the country.

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