Tilman Fertitta warns of real estate bust

Landry’s CEO and Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta warned of a collapse in the commercial real estate industry as countless businesses are unable to pay rent as they remain closed or are operating at partial capacity.

“We can’t pay rent if we’re not doing business,” the Houston billionaire said Tuesday, citing a potential “commercial real estate bust” on CNBC’s Power Lunch.

Fertitta repeated comments he had made previously about how everyone along the retail business chain should absorb some of the financial pain.

“I want to be a reasonable tenant, and I expect the landlord to be reasonable with me. But don’t expect me to pay you 100 percent rent when I’ve been closed by the county, the city, the state, the government — and you — because your mall’s not open, you’re facility’s not open, you have no business, your hotel’s closed,” he said. “This is a time we all have to work together.”

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He also addressed the real estate issue with President Donald Trump recently when he visited the White House with a group of restaurant industry executives.

During a meeting with Trump and members of his administration, he spoke mostly about the Payment Protection Program, which he received money for but then returned. But he also urged the president to take action on lease terminations, citing million-dollar leases in some of his biggest New York City restaurants. His request was cut off by the president’s comments commending him on the good job he’s done. The company’s biggest chains include Del Frisco’s, Mastro’s, Morton’s and the Strip House. Fertitta has been a tenant in some of Trump’s properties.

The CNBC report also noted that of Landry’s more than 600 restaurants and other hospitality concepts, 270 have reopened. He has reopened two of his five Golden Nugget casinos.

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Fertitta also said Tuesday that his suburban restaurants are doing better than those in urban areas, unlike during the great recession, which was driven by a housing crash and suburban restaurants in single-family neighborhoods were hit the…

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