Coronavirus: Realtor finds win-win way to help struggling tenants

Oberer Companies, the developer of the Cornerstone in Centerville and other local retail and restaurant centers, has fed hundreds of front line workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company reached out to their local restaurant tenants situated near local hospitals to purchase food to donate to area health care workers working around the clock battling the virus. Deliveries have come from Rusty Taco, Domino’s Pizza, Firehouse Subs, Cassano’s Pizza King and others.

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“We have provided meals to ERs, COVID floors and to the invaluable support staff,” said George R. Oberer, Jr., CEO of Oberer Companies.

“These folks are under a tremendous amount of stress so we wanted to do a little something to brighten their day and show some appreciation for the job they are doing by providing lunch or dinner”.

The initiative is a win-win for the front line and Oberer’s restaurant tenants, said Chris Conley, Oberer president.

” We found a creative way to support our tenants while supporting some of the front line workers,” Conley said. “We challenge other shopping center owners to do the same.”

Conley said landlords and companies have a responsibility amid the crisis.

“We’re not on the front lines and I just wanted to do something that I hope would help someone through their day,” Conley said. “If everyone could do that, everybody would have at least one better day. Because it is tough.”

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In addition to area hospitals, Oberer delivered lunch to two local Kroger stores that serve as anchor tenants in Oberer developments.

“We have lots of tenants who are struggling being in the food business, so those guys are really staying open for their employees because the level of sales they’re doing is barely covering payroll and food costs,” Conley said.

With tenants struggling to pay rent, Conley said the company hopes this initiative to buy food from their tenants will send a message.

“(This is so) the tenants know also that we’re trying to do something for them, too,” Conley said. “We’re not just worried about rent.”

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