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Condemnation Concerns 

For retail tenants, location is perhaps the most important factor for success. However, even the best location quickly can turn bad in the wake of condemnation or modification of access to the property. Despite the upfront investment made in securing

Copy Right 

In a time of high costs, credit uncertainty, and a desire by some developers to either reuse past architectural plans or use other developers&rsquo designs to save money, a question arises about whether builders can utilize plans created by architects

Hidden Hazards 

Rising gas prices and a highly competitive market have closed more than 3,000 of the nation&rsquo s 164,292 gas stations in the last year, the biggest drop in five years, according to National Petroleum News. In June, ExxonMobil announced it

Duty Bound 

What kind of duty does a real estate broker owe his client? Honesty ? and full disclosure ? is the best policy it is better to err on the side of caution than for brokers to potentially breach their duty

Interpreting the Rules 

Since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Kelo v. City of New London, which permitted a local government to use the power of eminent domain to take private property for economic development, at least 47 states have revisited their eminent

Prevention Plan 

Asbestos litigation poses legitimate challenges and potential economic hardship for commercial real estate property owners. Overall, both prospective and current property owners need to be aware of and guard themselves against asbestos related risks associated with acquiring or owning a

Safety Net 

As all commercial real estate professionals know, effectively managing property is not without its challenges. Property owners and managers must be prepared for anything since no one can predict when unexpected events such as fires, floods, contamination, and other catastrophes

No Uncertain Terms 

What does it mean to vacate the premises in commercial leases? The denotation can be critical, particularly in cases where vacating the premises triggers a default. Last August, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals was called on to

What's it Worth? 

Eminent domain gives government the power to condemn or take away privately owned property for public purposes. In recent years this has come to include selling or transferring land to private entities for economic development purposes. Eminent domain power exists

Litigation Alternatives 

As business litigation costs and length increase, more commercial real estate companies are turning to alternative dispute resolution to solve disagreements with partners, suppliers, customers, and other professionals with whom they have contractual relationships. ADR offers parties the ability to

Reviewing the Rule 

In a series of cases culminating in two recent decisions, the Maryland Court of Appeals clarified the scope and application of the rule against perpetuities in a broad range of real estate transactions. While the rule’s enforceability varies from

Changing the Code 

On April 20, 2005, President Bush signed into law the Bankruptcy Abuse, Prevention, and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. While the act primarily reforms the bankruptcy laws affecting consumer cases, it also contains a number of amendments applicable to business

Clear the Air 

From asbestos to lead based paint, environmental problems and their associated risks always have been a concern in the commercial real estate industry. Today, property owners and investors can add vapor intrusion to that list of worries. An indoor air

Designation Rights 

When retail tenants are unable to honor rent payments due to bankruptcy, selling the property's designation rights may provide an alternative option for realizing the leases' value. A designation rights sale involves debtors transferring their right to decide which leases

Closing Counsel 

Today&rsquo s demand for new product in most real estate sectors has convinced a number of commercial real estate professionals to try developing properties either out of the ground or through the renovation of existing buildings. While development and redevelopment

Preserving Property 

Transfer of development rights programs allow property owners to buy and sell development rights without actually exchanging any land. The basic TDR concept is to compensate landowners who give up potential development rights in environmentally sensitive areas or preservation districts

Retirement Plan 

Today companies clean up and sell contaminated property more easily than in the past thanks to new technology and a clear understanding of contaminated property remediation. Many developers and local governments now are comfortable acquiring

A Good Clause 

With almost daily reports of either blizzards in the Midwest, tornadoes in the mid Atlantic states, fires in California, or hurricanes in Florida, it's no surprise that the once benign and sometimes ignored clauses addressing "acts of God" are now

Write Lease Exclusivity Provisions Carefully to Avoid Conflicts With Tenants 

Exclusivity provisions in commercial real estate leases are quite common, especially for retail properties. They give particular tenants exclusive rights to operate certain businesses in shopping centers. However, in order to avoid legal action, provisions should be drafted carefully so

What's the Use? 

Shopping center landlords heavily negotiate use provisions in their leases because they are critical to retail centers' tenant mixes. In a recent case, Congress Financial Corp. (Center) v. West Town Center LLC (In re Trak Auto), the Fourth Circuit Court

Contamination Examination 

Real estate recessions create terrific investment opportunities &mdash the trick is figuring out which ones are right for you. With banks and loan servicers increasingly swamped by foreclosure properties, environmentally contaminated properties can offer particularly good deals. A fair amount

Click With Caution 

The statute of frauds, which dates back to 17th century England and continues in some form in every state, requires that contracts for the transfer of real estate interests and for the sale of goods above a certain dollar amount

Conversion Conundrum 

As the housing market continues to suffer through its worst decline in recent history and demand for unsold units within recently developed condominium projects evaporates, the repositioning of condo projects into apartments may be a successful strategy for owners or

Courts Examine Brokers' Fiduciary Duties 

Once an owner hires a broker to sell or lease a property, a fiduciary relationship is established. The term fiduciary describes a position of trust The broker owes the seller loyalty and a duty to act in good faith during

Court's ADA Ruling Reminds Property Owners and Managers About Access Requirements 

Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act as a comprehensive law designed to remedy discrimination — whether it is intentional or not — against those with disabilities in public and commercial facilities. The ADA requires continued efforts over time to