I attended the recent ICSC Regional Law Conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was a great conference where I reconnected with many great colleagues – including my son Kendall who is only in his second year practicing law, but recently took advantage of his Dad in a lease negotiation where he represented an escape room tenant and his Dad represented the landlord.

Richard Tranter’s presentation on the need for retail to be experiential was great. But Kendall explained it best when he said “a successful retail experience is one where people want to post an Instagram picture about the experience.” I am definitely stealing that.

The best presentation was actually about cannabis, which is a fast-growing retail industry with very interesting legal issues. As you can imagine, attendance for this presentation was high. (ha!)
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I have previously commented about the similarity in service between a restaurant and law firm (see prior blog). One area where restaurants differ from other businesses is the issues presented in a retail lease.

For Lease Sign in window

A restaurant lease involves unique issues which must/should be dealt with, some more monetarily significant than others. But don’t underestimate the annoyance factor. If any of these issues are not dealt with appropriately, you can bet someone will be more than a little annoyed.

  1. Impact Fees – Because restaurants are typically big water consumers, new build locations may charge a significant tap-in fee. In some cases, there may be various impact fees. Depending on leverage, a restaurant may be able to get the landlord to pay this as part of its development costs. But even if the landlord will not pay the fee, the restaurant needs to know the exact amount of the fee so that it can correctly prepare its budget.
  1. Trash Removal – There are many different ways a landlord can charge for trash removal. Does the restaurant have its own dedicated dumpster? Does the landlord mark up the bill? Is there a choice on who to use as the hauler? I have heard of landlords going to a weight-based system where a tenant gets billed for actual disposal, but have not actually seen one in place. In any event, these details need to be determined before the lease is signed.


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Lovett_43_background_RGBSo I don’t know about you, but every time I turn on NPR lately there is some discussion about President Trump’s conflict of interest because of his Washington D.C. Hotel built in the former U.S. Post Office with a ground lease from the GSA. For those of you who do not spend your days analyzing

It seems like lease issues come in cycles: seemingly out of nowhere, a particular issue that may have never been a concern on previous leases arises suddenly only to disappear once again. Is the rise to prominence of a certain issue indicative of something larger at play? Here are the issues I seem to be

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I just attended the Midwest Real Estate News Magazine Cincinnati Commercial Real Estate Summit. I heard a very interesting discussion about the Cincinnati real estate market, addressing retail, office, industrial, healthcare and investment properties.

Norm Khoury of Colliers International was the moderator.

John Thompson of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank discussed retail issues. John commented that

Its-the-law-cover-az1I 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

The Classic Grilled Cheese Donut

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

 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

It is now apparent that retail drives our economy. Instead of bashing indulgent consumption, it is time to embrace it. As we approach the holiday season then, it might be a good time to take note of the trends from 2013.

1.      Return to the City or Something Resembling Downtown. The new retail “centers” are