Columbus finalizes end of lease with Subway in The Commons

The city of Columbus has finally ended its lease with the Subway restaurant in The Commons.

The owners of the restaurant, Estep and Co., told the Columbus Redevelopment Commission at the end of last year that they were closing the restaurant and sought to end the lease with the city. The redevelopment commission agreed in January to begin the process of ending the lease.

At this week’s meeting of the commission, city attorney Stan Gamso, said that the paperwork had finally been processed by the Subway corporate headquarters, allowing the lease to be terminated. The big hold up was confusion on the part of the corporate office over who the lease holder was in Columbus. The Columbus Redevelopment Commission became responsible for managing the leases in the city-owned restaurant spaces after the dissolution of Downtown Columbus Inc., a non-profit corporation the city created to find tenants for those spaces.

The Subway lease in the Commons had been signed in 2011, and had been renewed after the first 5-year term for about $2,800 a month. However the commission suspended all rents for its restaurant tenants during the pandemic through the end of June.

Heather Pope, the city’s redevelopment director, said that the restaurant owners have paid the utilities and property taxes. The restaurant equipment is expected to be removed by the end of the month.

Photo courtesy Carol M. Highsmith, from the Library of Congress collection.