Businesses that rent Denver-owned space can delay their payments

Denver City Council unanimously agreed Monday evening to defer rent payments on 10 leases within city-owned buildings, to help businesses cope financially with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The businesses, which include Dazbog, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the National Western Center Authority and Pizza Republica, will have the option to defer rent payments for three months this year, under the ordinance, which requires a second vote from the council.

Those businesses are in the Wellington Webb Municipal Building, National Western Center and the center for the performing arts, among others.

Already the Denver Center for the Performing Arts has had to cut staff and salaries and cancel shows as the pandemic has worsened. Many other businesses are also facing financial hits due to closures and decreased customer traffic.

Operators will have to pay the rent later and also must extend their leases by three months if they defer payments. If the businesses have already paid rent for April, May or June, they may select different months to defer this year, the ordinance says.

Three months of rent for all 10 businesses would total about $137,000, the ordinance says.

The deal comes as city and state officials have ordered law enforcement agencies not to carry out eviction notices in residential properties. Many politicians, however, have lamented that they don’t have the ability to require private property owners to give tenants a break.

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