By Robert M. Steeg
Every week, we are bombarded with stories about the death – or at least the deterioration and restriction – of retail real estate. Shoppers are staying home and doing their shopping online. Major retailers are going out of business. Shopping centers are going to be reduced to parking lots for food trucks.
All is not bleak, however. Creative property owners with resources and vision are adapting their retail properties in ways that allow the properties to grow and thrive in the “digital age.”
Below is a link to a fascinating article by Roger Showley that was recently published in The San Diego-Union Tribune, “Malls heading toward food, services and AI.” It highlights some of the ways in which property owners can take advantage of the new trends, rather than resisting them.
At Steeg Law, we stay in touch with these trends, and we make sure that we are prepared to handle the new legal issues presented by them, so that we can help keep our clients ahead of the curve. For example:
- Increased food uses require additional provisions in leases concerning trash removal, delivery times, and other “neighbor-to-neighbor” provisions.
- Office uses require attention to reciprocal easements, provisions concerning access and hours of operation, and different allocations of operating expenses.
- Pop-up stores require documentation other than a traditional lease, such as a license or a permit, and require particular attention to insurance and liability provisions.
- Stores-within-stores require detailed attention to legal structure (sublease, license, or permit?) and clear identification of the parties and their respective duties and obligations.