Port of Seattle Commissioners bar evictions of tenants

SEATTLE --  Port of Seattle Commissioners voted Wednesday on a small package of relief for tenants at all of its facilities.  Commissioners voted to bar evictions of tenants at all Port facilities until June 30th.

Commissioners also voted on a two-month deferral of rent and fees for airport concessionaires and tenants.

According to the Port, the deferral plan at the airport covers six kinds of operators: dining and retail, rental cars, remote parking, ground transportation like taxis, TNC's and shuttles, and some commercial buildings like flight kitchens.

"Our business partners and their employees urgently need financial help now while they wait for federal relief.  We stand together through this unprecedented global health crisis." said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck.

Part of the plan also includes developing an outreach program for port employees and tenants to get access to state and local relief resources.

In most cases, the immediate emergency relief will involve a deferral of both minimum annual guarantee (MAG) and percentage of gross income monthly payments, according to the Port.

"This first set of actions, and the principles guiding future relief packages, will help our tenants and workforce weather this storm and be ready to work when demand begins to return," said Port Commissioner Sam Cho.

According to airport officials, passenger volume has dropped dramatically. In a teleconference meeting with the Port, Lance Lyttle, managing director of aviation said that yesterday only 3,500 passengers went through airport security. On a typical April day, more than 50,000 passengers would come through Sea-Tac Airport.

Several airlines have dropped capacity at the airport. Alaska Airlines and Delta have reduced capacity by 70%, American Airlines and United by 50 to 60% and Southwest Airlines by 31%, according to Lyttle.

The Port also plans on developing an outreach program for its tenants and employees to access local, state and federal relief resources.

Additional relief strategies are expected by the middle of the month, according to the Port.