Real Estate Advisor Law Blog

Real Estate Advisor Law Blog

Category Archives: Leasing Issues

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It’s the Law

Posted in Leasing Issues
I have been told this is a Real Estate Law Blog and that it might be time to blog about real estate law for a change. I know wine and grilled cheese donuts may be more interesting, so bear with me while I transgress. I just attended and spoke at the International Council of Shopping… Continue Reading

Donuts Aren’t Just For Breakfast Anymore

Posted in Leasing Issues
I am attending the Tom + Chee franchisee convention to explain how we can help the franchisees in securing satisfactory leases for their new locations. Tom + Chee is a fast growing franchise with approximately 40 stores open. There should be one near you or coming to a location near you. Tom + Chee obviously… Continue Reading

Weakest Link in the Chain

Posted in Development, Development Issues, Leasing Issues, Retail Industry Issues
Leasing space to a restaurant chain is very desirable for a shopping center landlord. Name recognition attracts people to the center and a chain typically has better financial resources. So, the landlord starts out saying “I want a Cheesecake Factory, Cooper’s Hawk, Tom & Chee…fill in the blank, at my center.” Then during lease negotiations,… Continue Reading

What I Learned Today

Posted in Leasing Issues
I just attended the Advanced Commercial Lease Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. The Institute “brings together the brightest minds in the commercial leasing industry” to discuss “the most up-to-date and pressing subjects faced by commercial leasing attorneys.” Attendance is by invitation only and limited to those with at least 10 years of leasing experience.… Continue Reading

Not Just My Kids Who Need (Want) Larger Allowance

Posted in Leasing Issues, Uncategorized
The new IRS repair regulations can impact how tenant allowances are structured. Traditionally, landlord and tenants have relied on the Section 110 safe harbor so that provided the allowance is spent on leasehold improvements, the allowance is not taxable to the tenant and the landlord depreciates the leasehold improvements over 39 years. Under the repair… Continue Reading

Strip Mall Deja Vu !

Posted in Leasing Issues, Retail Industry Issues
 Fortune Magazine  recently published an article relating to a conversation with the CEO of Kimco Realty, Dave Henry.  Henry makes some very compelling arguments as to why strip malls and brick and mortar retail in general is here to stay for a while and why the population demographics will continue to provide ample support. Henry… Continue Reading

Need Allowance for Allowance

Posted in Leasing Issues
Landlords and their lenders need to rethink their position on payment of construction allowances. The rental structure of a lease is based in part on the amount of the allowance. If a tenant receives no allowance, the lease would undoubtedly provide for a lower rent payment. A portion of the rent is repayment of the allowance… Continue Reading

Five Points to Consider When Leasing Construction Equipment

Posted in Construction Related Issues, General Business Issues, General Legal Issues, Leasing Issues
    As the construction industry starts to rebound from a down market, rentals of project equipment are on the rise. Whether you are an owner, principal contractor, or specialty trade subcontractor, you may very well be renting equipment for use on an upcoming project. Here are five important points to bear in mind:  … Continue Reading

Change the Locks !!!!

Posted in Leasing Issues, Legislative Update
The Illinois General Assembly has recently amended the Landlord and Tenant Act   to add a new requirement for landlords:  when a unit changes over to a new tenant the locks must be changed or rekeyed.  This applies to dwelling units only.  The Act is not applicable for dwelling units in a building of 4 units… Continue Reading

The Best Real Estate Advice a Small Business Will Ever Receive

Posted in Leasing Issues
I may be over-selling this post a bit, but not by much. There’s no doubt for most small businesses and start-ups that the first, and perhaps only, real estate transaction the firm will enter into is a commercial lease. Whether it is for a retail store, manufacturing or studio space, or a restaurant, there are a few… Continue Reading

Green Leasing Unveiled – Part II

Posted in Environmental Issues, Green Energy Issues, Leasing Issues
In Part I of our series on the particulars of Green Leasing, we discussed Lease Term and Operating Expenses. Now we turn to a robust area for implementing sustainable processes between Landlords and Tenants: Interior Alterations and Repairs   A typical commercial lease will have two separate sections, one on maintenance and repairs, and one on… Continue Reading

Co-Working Office Space

Posted in Development Issues, General Business Issues, Leasing Issues, Office/Industrial Issues
As more workers and entrepreneurs are requiring space to hold meetings and appointments outside the company office, there is a growing need for locations away from homes in which to "plug in", make phone calls without the background music and noise of a Starbucks or other such cafe. The industry which addresses this need is referred… Continue Reading

Green Leasing Unveiled – Part 1

Posted in Environmental Issues, Leasing Issues
As the movement to increase energy efficiency and create sustainable operations has swept across the real estate industry, more and more commercial tenants and property owners are expressing interest in “green leasing.” What, exactly, is a “green lease?”    To be sure there is no form green lease; rather the term describes the evolution from… Continue Reading

Is There a Walmart in Your Future ?

Posted in Development Issues, Leasing Issues, Retail Industry Issues
 Walmart has opened its supercenters in many if not most urban and rural communities.  Where do they go next ?  With the over abundance of strip store space just about everywhere Walmart has many options.  Walmart is embracing the concept of ‘in-flll" with three concept store formats with which they are experimenting:   Walmart Express:… Continue Reading

Taking Advantage Can Be Disadvantage

Posted in Leasing Issues
A recent off hand statement by a Landlord’s attorney got me thinking. I was representing a national retailer in a lease negotiation. We got to an issue that sophisticated landlords typically ask for and most retailers typically concede.  Our client, however, does not typically concede the issue.  The issue has unique meaning for our client because… Continue Reading

Are We There Yet?

Posted in Development Issues, Leasing Issues
            The ubiquitous refrain at any gathering of commercial real estate professionals in the past 24 months can be summed up in a few short questions: Are you busy? Who is lending? No, seriously, who is lending? And — of course — when will this end?             As 2011 kicks into gear the refrain is the same but our… Continue Reading

Another Reason To Consider a Flat Tax

Posted in Leasing Issues, Retail Industry Issues, Tax Issues
Landlord’s have gone to fixed CAM to reduce administrative expenses and disputes with their tenants. The government could accomplish the same by going to a flat tax – no need for complicated tax regulations that create unintended consequences; no need for intrusive audits where the government is at odds with its constituents; in fact maybe… Continue Reading


Posted in Finance Issues, Leasing Issues, Real Estate Tools, Retail Industry Issues, Tax Issues
  Remember Enron and off-balance-sheet accounting scandals? The efforts to clean up these accounting practices are still in the works and are about to hit the world of commercial real estate—arguably at the worst possible time. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) (which is endowed with the power to decide U.S. generally accepted accounting principles) and its… Continue Reading

Some Good News About Empty Big Boxes

Posted in Leasing Issues, Mixed Use Development Issues, Retail Industry Issues
The current economic downturn and the corresponding contraction of the retail sector have resulted in a glut of vacant “big-box” retail stores in shopping centers across the country. Vacant big-box spaces pose special challenges for landlords and communities. While the number of vacant big-box spaces is daunting, there are glimmers of hope as landlords and… Continue Reading

Audit Those Leases

Posted in Finance Issues, Leasing Issues, Retail Industry Issues
The typical co-tenancy clause provides that if occupancy at a shopping center falls below a certain level and/or certain other key tenants close, the tenant gets rent relief and at some point the right to terminate its lease. In the current retail environment, all sophisticated tenants demand some sort of co-tenancy protection.  Landlords have generally… Continue Reading

Government as Tenant

Posted in Leasing Issues
I was recently in the offices of the FBI Cincinnati Division attending the FBI Citizens’ Academy program, and it made me think about a leasing opportunity (in addition to thinking about what an awesome job our FBI really does and how dedicated and effective are our FBI professionals).  The recent economy has resulted in higher vacancies… Continue Reading

Mixed Use Centers – How Do You Allocate CAM?

Posted in Leasing Issues, Mixed Use Development Issues, Retail Industry Issues
Almost all new build shopping centers are mixed use – they include some combination of office and residential in addition to the retail space. Elizabeth Hamilton, in house Real Estate Counsel at Office Depot, recently reminded me of the special problem this presents in allocating CAM, taxes and insurance. Some portion of each must be allocated to… Continue Reading