“The fight really changes from month to month,” he said.
“The hardest hit are in retail and restaurants, especially the types of entertainment. So we saw, you know, big tenants like the Furr cafeteria in Farmington finally closed, you know, the Furr cafeteria that we put in in the late 1970s, ”he added.
Peterson said occupancy has fallen by about 10%, but there are reasons it hasn’t gone down further.
“Like I said, we have a large portfolio of 500 tenants across New Mexico, so we have a diverse outlook,” he said. “Most of them are retail businesses and restaurants, but we even have some that are apartment renters or single family housing tenants, so different areas of this type of different areas of commercial real estate have acted differently throughout the pandemic. ”
One of their properties, McMahon Marketplace, shows how the pandemic has treated every business differently.
“We have a McDonald’s and a Starbucks, both with drive-thru. And you watch it all the time, you’re probably talking about 15 cars deep. They are fine. But then in the same mall we have a brewery, we have a gym. They absolutely thrived before the restrictions, and now they can barely function and they just hang on, ”he said.
The paycheck protection program has helped some of their tenants, and Peterson Properties has benefited from these loans as well.
“When you talk about commercial real estate where our costs are fixed, like mortgages and property taxes and things like that,” he said.
In addition to government assistance, the community has also stepped up its assistance. Recently someone helped pay the rent at the Cinnamon Sugar and Spice Cafe in Nob Hill.
“We are very happy that this shows the community’s support for the tenants,” said Peterson.