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Sleiman Enterprises Waiving 2 Months Of Rent For Many Local Tenants

San Marco buildings acquired by Sleiman Enterprises
Sleiman Enterprises acquired three of San Marco's most iconic buildings in 2019.

One of Jacksonville’s largest property managers is waiving rent payments for April and May for its small and locally owned tenants who are struggling with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sleiman Enterprises said on its website that for tenants who qualify, the two months' rent will be waived,  but with caveats.  Two additional months will be added to the end of their leases.

“We feel very strongly that our tenants need this time to focus on staying in business and being able to rebound from this,” said COO Michael McNaughton in a statement published on

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Tenants who qualify will still be expected to pay their share of common-area maintenance, property taxes and insurance, but if they cannot, those can be deferred with a true-up by the end of the year,  according to McNaughton.

True-up is an accounting term that means to reconcile balances with the help of an adjustment, basically meaning tenants are expected to pay in full by the close of 2020.

The company has more than 1,000 tenants and manages over 5 million square feet, making it the third-largest property manager on the First Coast, according to Sleiman Enterprises.

“This puts a lot of pressure on us, but as a 65-year-old company, we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs,” McNaughton said. “We know we wouldn’t be here without our tenants.”

McNaughton added some tenants' property buildouts are on hold, and the company is keeping a close eye on its assets amid the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“I think there is a general optimism in the market that this will be short-lived,” he said.

The Jacksonville-based company operates a number of marquee shopping centers around the First Coast that include the South Beach Center, Baymeadows Village, Edgewood Avenue Square, Hodges Point Plaza, Kernan Village, part of San Marco Square and others.

The company was born in 1955 when Eli and Josephine Sleiman started the former Lynwood Grocery Store.

Sleiman Enterprises' most famous asset was the Jacksonville Landing on the Downtown Northbank, which was sold to the city last year for $15 million and was then demolished.

Sons Toney, Joe and Eli, Jr. followed in their parents’ footsteps and are the second generation to lead the company.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.