When restaurants and bars were ordered to close in April because of the coronavirus pandemic, Madison Partners told commercial property tenants in Deep Ellum and on Lower Greenville not to worry about rent. If they paid the month’s rent, they would would be credited with a month’s rent.

Stay-at-home orders expired and restaurants reopened, but Madison Partner’s grace period didn’t end.

“She ain’t doing this just one time,” St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin owner Pete Zotos said, referring to Madison Partners owner Susan Reese.

Reese and her husband purchased many of the properties in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Reese has used her position to do good, working with renters and giving to initiatives that help local families during the holidays.

A modified rent policy continued into May and June. If tenants paid their triple nets, which include property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs, their rent was abated.

When Gov. Greg Abbott increase occupancy levels to 50 percent, tenants were asked to pay 50 percent of the rent. That increased to 75 percent of the rent when occupancy levels were raised to 75 percent in September.

Reduced rent helped local businesses like St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin, the Deep Ellum business that has been open 26 years.

“There are seven days in a week. We get three good days, three bad days and one Powerball,” Zotos said. “For the first six months, they really took care of us. [Reese] is a person who’s not just your landlord, but she partners up with you a little bit. When I talk to other restaurant guys, they say, ‘You’ve got it made.'”

Reese did not return a request for comment.


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