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Jamestown Creates $50M Fund To Aid Tenant Reopenings

Ponce City Market, in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood in Midtown Atlanta.

Jamestown, a prominent developer of mixed-use projects, has set up a $50M relief fund to assist small businesses as they prepare to reopen to wary customers emerging from expiring shelter-in-place orders.

“There's a certain minimum cost of working capital to reopen. Our goal is to get as many people reopened together,” Jamestown President Michael Phillips said. “I think there will be needs over the next 12 to 18 months.”

The $50M fund will come from a mix of Jamestown's balance sheet and from credit lines, Phillips said. The funds will be parceled out to tenants for hard and soft operating expenses.

The money may come in the form of loans, tenant improvement dollars spread over the life of leases or in the form of abated rents, he said, and Jamestown could also provide assistance with marketing and advertising instead of cash. 

Thus far, Jamestown has collected 82% of rents across its portfolio in May, Phillips said. Jamestown's crown jewel in Atlanta is Ponce City Market. While the property never officially closed, many vendors in its popular food hall did. Those tenants are scheduled to reopen later this month, Phillips said, while the rooftop restaurant reopened this week.

"I think the time we need to worry is in the third quarter, fourth quarter about how the restart occurs, which is why we created the fund,” he said.