Thank you to our friend Denice Hertlein of Clark Schaefer Hackett for insightful comments relating to Ohio House Bill 371 which has the potential to place more requirements on condomninium associations and their officers and managers. Being volunter organizations, House Bill 371 has the potential to deter active participation by owners in condomiminium associations by requiring new record keeping and procedural requirements on associations. While lawyers generally love more regualtion and procedural requirements, I am not sure that the issues House Bill 371 is intended to address are so purvasive that additional legislation is necessary. If you live in, manage, develop or finance condominiums you are advised to follow House Bill 371 and speak with your state representatives.
After many years of serving the hospitality industry in various capacities, we have brought all of our skills and experiences under one roof as we have formalized our Hospitality Industry practice to serve the growing needs of our hospitality industry clients. The hospitality industry defines “client service.” We work with our hospitality clients – hotel, restaurant, entertainment and gaming, among others in all aspects of their businesses. Visit our website for more information or look for one of our Hospitality lawyers at any of the many industry conferences we attend, including The Lodging Conference and the ALIS Conference.
- We are the Mother of Presidents. More of our country’s presidents come from Ohio than any other state. William Henry Harrison, Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren Harding – eight in all.
- We make great beer. Great Lakes Brewing Company, Mad Tree Brewing Company, Rhinegeist Brewery, Christian Moerlein, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company, Hoppin Frog Brewery and Jackie-O’s are some great Ohio-brewed beers I have tasted (ok, I know, I never just taste beer). We also are home to Hudy Light and Little Kings, and no other state can say that!
- An inordinate number of great businesses are headquartered here. Macy’s, Procter & Gamble, Kahn’s, Kroger, IMG, Wendy’s, the Limited, Nationwide Insurance, Jo-Ann Stores, Goodyear, Owens Corning, among others. All important multi-national business. All headquartered in Ohio.
- We have the greatest coaches. Urban Meyer, Bobby Knight, Chuck Noll, the Harbaugh brothers (even if one of them now coaches at that school up north), Don Shula, Jon Gruden, Ara Parseghian, Don Zimmer, Branch Rickey – just to name a few – all from Ohio. Clearly, if you want to be a great coach someday, you better move to Ohio quick.
- We have truly great restaurants. Boca in Cincinnati may be as good a restaurant as any you will find anywhere in America. And any one of Cameron Mitchell’s restaurants in Columbus will be awesome. (The Pearl may be my favorite – besides incredible food they serve little Miller High Lifes with their Bloody Mary.) In Cleveland, I like Lola and Fahrenheit, but there are obviously a number of other world-class restaurants. And don’t forget the world famous Pine Club in Dayton. On a per capita basis, we have more great restaurants in Ohio than anywhere else.
- Professional sports is practically centered in Ohio. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Ohio, the first professional night baseball game was played in Ohio, the Big Red Machine was the best pro baseball team in history, and of course Paul Brown, the father of professional football, and Lebron James, the greatest basketball player ever, are from Ohio.
- We have the largest mound. The Miamisburg Indian Mound, is a perfect cone shaped mound. At 65 feet high, it is the largest in the United States. So we got that going for us.
- We are home base for Ulmer & Berne. One of the greatest law firms in the entire world has headquarters in Cleveland with offices in Cincinnati and Columbus (and Chicago, Illinois –our Ohio qualities must have rubbed off there because our Chicago office is really good too).
I know there are a number of other things great about Ohio. But you had to be proud of Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Incredible performance and incredible achievement.
Thank you to Integra Realty Resources, Inc. for the above analysis relating to 2014 Cap Rates in the major U. S. metropolitan areas. As you will see the secondary markets like (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton) remain strong performers and attractive for investment. We believe that 2015 will be a banner year for investment in these markets by both domestic and foreign investors looking for well performing assets in stable markets. We hope to see you soon!
By now you have heard of Kickstarter or Indiegogo as tools for the creative class with little available capital to fund their ideas and dreams. But have you heard of Fundrise, Realty Mogul, RealtyShares or CrowdStreet ? Think of these and other real estate crowdfunding websites as the marketplace where small investors can tap into real estate investments made by the professional teams of real estate investors who operate the websites. Real estate crowdfunding differs from REITS in that a REIT is a pool of properties with little transparency to each individual property and its performance and often invest in very large projects. The crowdfunding investments are specific to a particular property and each investor can monitor the performance of the property and the management of the investment and the properties tend to be smaller.
While you might want to be investor, we think that many of our readers may be interested in the opportunities presented by this alternative sources of capital. Add these websites and similar websites to your lender/investor lists for your next project. The rates are going to be on the higher side (10-14%) but the cost is offset by the immediacy of the funding and ability to move your project ahead.
Either as an investor or as a borrower, read the fine print, do your due diligence and ask lots of questions. Some websites only accept accredited investors and all of the investments are setup as exempt offerings. So, while this may be a new channel for reaching out to investors and borrowers, the actual investment and loan may look just like we have seen for many years.
The link to the videos below are not an endorsement of these particular websites, but presented only as an examples of the concept of real estate crowdfunding. Be careful and consult your professional advisors.
It’s not often that I receive a standing ovation when I drive over a bridge. In fact, I don’t think that’s ever happened and that’s probably true for most people. Today, though, I received one.
At 10:00 a.m. this morning, the Columbus Avenue Bridge which links Ohio City and the Flats in downtown Cleveland reopened after a 19-month replacement project. Shortly after it opened, I crossed the bridge on my way to the Canal Road entrance of our Tower City offices.
Several people – presumably local residents and business owners most affected by the closure – lined the bridge applauding cars as the passed over the new span. Workers from Sainato’s Restaurant stood outside the restaurant and provided the heartiest applause. Sainato’s, which is located at the northern end of the bridge, likely suffered the most impact resulting from the lengthy rerouting of traffic off Columbus Road and away from the restaurant.
In a blog post dated May 29, 2013, I described that day’s commencement of the removal of the old bridge. Trusting official sources, I reported an expected reopening of the bridge in June 2014. After six months’ of delays due, in large part, to the need to recalibrate in place the heavy counterweights which raise and lower the bridge deck, the new, brightly painted structure is now in place. Hooray for Columbus Road and its businesses.
It is no surprise to most real estate professionals that the industry is cyclical. 2008/2009 was rock bottom for the real estate industry. Slowly the industry has made a steady rebound thanks to the private investment. As in many recoveries, the primary major metropolitan areas mostly situated along the East and West Coasts have seen much of the activity in office, industrial, multi-family residential and hospitality. As cap rates in the primary markets have decreased along with investment opportunities, the secondary markets are looking like a very smart investment.
When you think of secondary markets think of metropolitan areas like Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Minneapolis and Denver. Cap rates are strong, the local economies are robust and less affected by global volatility. While the activity in the secondary markets has increased, there remain many opportunities to invest in assets which look like a smart move compared to the familiar primary markets.
Another little secret is that transaction costs are typically less. Hence, you can pick up a higher yielding performing asset and not have to spend an arm and a leg to do so. Don’t just fly over us, stop and take a look around, we are sure you will not be disapointed.
The push in recent years for open container entertainment districts in Ohio, which would allow people to openly drink alcoholic beverages in designated outdoor public areas, took another step forward this past week. The Ohio Senate passed a bill permitting cities and townships with populations greater than 35,000 to create entertainment districts that are exempt from Ohio’s open container law. The designated entertainment districts could be as large as a half mile square. A similar bill was introduced to the House of Representatives but is not likely to be voted upon until the next session of the General Assembly.
The motivation behind such legislation is to provide a boost in tourism and entertainment spending in Ohio communities a la New Orleans’ Bourbon Street or Beale Street in Memphis. An influx of more visitors, proponents say, would lead to an increased demand for additional residences and retail establishments.
The concept would seem to work well with areas that are strictly restaurants and bars. However, an entertainment district in mixed-used neighborhoods would be faced with some practical challenges. Residents and businesses in an open container environment could be concerned about an increase in disorderly conduct and other criminal behaviors as well as creating rowdy evening crowds. Furthermore, containing the flow of alcohol within the entertainment district would likely necessitate closing streets to vehicular traffic and could result in disruptions to nearby communities and an additional burden on public resources.
There is some precedent for amicable co-existence though. The Banks entertainment district in Cincinnati is home to hundreds of residential units which are situated between two sports venues and above dozens of bars and restaurants. There have been frequent festival closures which have permitted partiers to carry open containers in the streets at the Banks with little disruption to neighborhood residents and businesses.
One thing is for certain, the proposed legislation will leave it up to the individual communities to decide if and where such open container districts are located, thereby giving a voice to all concerned parties. And thoughtful and inclusive planning that gathers input from all concerned parties will be necessary to ensure a successful outcome. Below is an example of the benefits to businesses and the community which entertainment districts can create.
In January 2009 we launched the RealEstateAdvisorLaw Blog. Our approach was to bring trends and legal developments related to the real estate industry in a fresh hit and run format. From the re-purposing of under used real estate assets to leasing trends, hospitality industry updates and from fast track construction to environmental regulations, the blog has published over 250 posts which have received in excess of 40,000 unique page views. This leads one to conclude that someone is finding what we have to say useful
Today, we are proud to announce the RealEstateAdvisorLaw Blog 2.0! We have moved the blog to a WordPress format and freshened up the look and feel. We hope to publish more video content in the future as we continue to dish up fresh, lite and easily digestible business and legal information and trends affecting the real estate industry.
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Brad Kaplan, Editor
I just attended the ICSC Law conference in Orlando where I led, along with Maggie Sitko of Sitko Bruno in Pittsburgh, a seminar on letters of intent. Leasing attorneys all appear to be busy and the numbers reflect that as the conference attracted an all-time high attendance. This is what I learned at the conference:
- Consequential damages may not include lost profits in some jurisdictions.
- A party to a letter of intent may have an estoppel claim even though the letter of intent provides it is not binding.
- The marketing gift of choice is a portable phone charger embossed with the firm logo.
- If you provide open bar at night and on-site Starbucks in the morning, every leasing attorney in America will show up to the seminar.
- The leasing law conference includes sessions on ethics. Who would have guessed?
- The restaurant sector is driving development.
- A “license” can really be a lease but it may be a psychological advantage for the landlord/licensor to call it a license anyway.
- A retailer needs liquidated damages for any important lease provision other than maintenance.
- People (not I) actually pay for and eat blood marrow at a restaurant.
The ICSC law conference is always great for content and networking. Already looking forward to next year in Phoenix.