Penfield, N.Y. — In an effort to lure in start-up businesses, DDR Corp. is offering six months of free rent to prospective tenants.
Tuesday, the Ohio based company announced that its small business incubator program would come to shopping centers in New York and Pennsylvania. Panorama Plaza is the only Rochester area shopping center that is part of “Set Up Shop,” according to the company’s website.
“I certainly applaud business owners looking for new and creative ways to enhance their business model,” said Tony La Fountain, Penfield Town Supervisor.
Tenants would have to sign leases for nearly three years to receive the six months.
“Set Up Shop has become a proven resource for fostering the growth of small business,” said Paul Freddo, senior executive vice president of leasing and development for DDR in a news release.
This new program is being done to help fill vacancies throughout DDR’s shopping centers; but Panorama Plaza is not among the largely vacant sites according to town records.
There were only two vacancies as of November 2011 according to a survey done by the town.
DDR’s website lists three vacant spaces eligible under Set Up Shop.
“It’s a creative way of leasing space, but I also feel that Rochester right now is on a good comeback,” said Joe Fiorie, President of J. Fiorie & Co. a commercial real estate company based in Pittsford.
Fiorie said he had not heard of any similar deals taking place in the Rochester market.
“It’s a good deal if you can amortize that over the 2 ½ years,” said Eugene Fram, Professor Emeritus at E. Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT. “It reduces the rent over that period. There has to be a market for the store that you are going to put in (what you are) installing there, that’s the critical question. Is there a customer base?”
DDR Corp did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.