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Retail Law Advisor

Category Archives: Development

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Vitamin D and Retail: But Not Without Due Diligence First

Posted in Development, Landlords, Leasing, Retail, Tenant

We’ve all read about the question marks floating around the fate of brick and mortar retail in America. Factors like the strength of e-commerce and shifting consumer preferences (such as the popularity of urban centers over suburbia and consumers’ yearn for experiences over traditional shopping trips) are challenging landlords around the country to change the… Continue Reading

A Case of Caution: the Effect of Redevelopment on Existing Mall Leases

Posted in Development, Landlords, Leasing, Real Estate, Retail, Tenant

In a follow up to our other posts regarding the White Flint Mall redevelopment, the jury has reached a verdict. Until recently, White Flint Mall in Bethesda, Maryland was a prime example of retail mall success. However, as the mall began to lose tenants and customers, its owner decided to redevelop the mall into a… Continue Reading

Adaptive Reuse: Boom or Bust?

Posted in Development, Environmental, Green, Real Estate, Retail

Adaptive reuse of older, unused, or under-used buildings is considered by many to be an important component of sustainable and environmentally-friendly development. Also, adaptive reuse is a concept that governmental officials, many developers, and some communities have embraced to revitalize older neighborhoods suffering from abandonment or general decline. Adaptive reuse may be the draw for… Continue Reading

A Study of Suburban Mall Redevelopment: the White Flint Mall

Posted in Development, Real Estate, Retail

A year ago we reported on the planned redevelopment of the 37-year old, 850,000 square foot, indoor shopping mall in White Flint, Maryland. The mall’s planned redevelopment into a 5.2 million square foot, walkable, mixed-use destination with access to an existing station stop on the Metro’s Red Line appeared to be part of a trend… Continue Reading

Sharing The Art and Science of Updating REAs

Posted in Development, Real Estate, Retail

Thirty to fifty years ago, regional mall development was a new frontier in retail real estate. Developers were often individual entrepreneurs who started in the business by developing small strip centers and then moving up to more complicated retail developments, such as enclosed malls, typically anchored by department stores. Reciprocal Easement Agreements (REAs) were developed… Continue Reading

What The Height Act Amendment Means for DC Rooftop Development

Posted in Development, Landlords, Permitting, Real Estate, Retail, Tenant, Zoning

Last week, President Obama signed an amendment into federal law allowing human occupancy in rooftop penthouses on top of DC buildings. This is an exciting update for DC real estate owners and developers because it presents a budding opportunity to build penthouses for more value and usability beyond what is currently permitted. Currently, DC law… Continue Reading

The Walkable Community: A Good Development for All

Posted in Development, Retail

In an earlier blog post on The Walkable Community, we provided an overview of evidence supporting the bottom-line case for creating (or transforming) walkable communities and highlighted the ever- expanding body of literature and statistics that show a significant connection between increased retail revenues and environments that prioritize the pedestrian over the automobile. On the… Continue Reading

The Death of D.C.’s Living Wage Bill

Posted in Development, Retail

On July 22nd of this year we reported on the passage of the Large Retailer Accountability Act by the DC Council and awaited a possible veto of the bill from Mayor Vincent Gray. The bill targeted Wal-Mart (and other large retailers) by requiring new retailers without unionized workers that have more than 75,000 SF of… Continue Reading

D.C.’s Living Wage Bill Puts Big Box Retail Development At Risk

Posted in Development, Retail

In 2010 Wal-Mart entered into negotiations with the District of Columbia to bring its first Wal-Mart into the city of Washington DC. By the end of 2011, Wal-Mart made plans to open up 6 new stores in locations all across the city, hoping to execute on their national strategy of expanding beyond rural and suburban… Continue Reading

Landmark Repositioning of a Suburban Mall Runs into Anchor Tenant Roadblock

Posted in Development, Real Estate, Retail

A lawsuit recently filed by Lord & Taylor against the owners of the Montgomery County, Maryland’s White Flint Mall is a blunt reminder of the challenges of repositioning aging suburban shopping malls. The White Flint Mall’s redevelopment plans, widely viewed as a promising model for revitalizing aging suburban shopping centers, are threatened by its biggest… Continue Reading

Changing Massachusetts Brownfields Regulations: Retailers Should Take Note of Upcoming May 17th Deadline to Comment

Posted in Development, Environmental, Green, Retail

A NAIOP event held at Goulston & Storrs recently focused on big changes coming to the Massachusetts Brownfields regulations, also known as the MCP. Retailers should take note of these regulations. They are directly relevant if you own or lease real estate in Massachusetts at which environmental contamination issues are (or were previously) present because… Continue Reading

Restaurant Paradox: Encouraging and Discouraging New Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Posted in Development, Landlords, Restaurants, Retail, Zoning

Research has suggested that zoning can have both anti-competitive and pro-competitive effects on retail establishments. The anti-competitive effects may be caused by limiting the number of certain types of retail establishments, by prohibiting some types of retailers, or by encouraging certain types of retailers over others. Other research has shown that zoning can increase competition… Continue Reading

The Bottom-Line Case for a Walkable Retail Future

Posted in Development, Retail, Retail Sales

A recent Washington Post article by Jonathan O’Connell poses the question, “Can city life be exported to the suburbs?” In it, the author examines the contemporary design phenomenon manifested by the proliferation of “town centers” (or “lifestyle centers”) nationwide, and particularly in the Washington, DC region. He observes: “In the past two decades builders increasingly… Continue Reading

Boston’s Emergent Restaurant Row: A Model for the Nation’s New Linear Parks and Boulevards?

Posted in Development

Casey Ross of the Boston Globe recently reported that the Palm restaurant, an Italian steakhouse with New York roots, will open a new 8,300-square-foot location in Boston’s International Place office complex, adding to “the steady development of the [Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy] Greenway, which has attracted many restaurants and outdoor dining options in recent years.” Indeed,… Continue Reading

Sustainability in the Retail and Restaurant Industry: An Imperative and an Opportunity

Posted in Development, Green, Leasing

Once motivated purely by altruism, sustainable retail development and building operation are increasingly encouraged by both governments and market conditions, if not explicitly required by law. Sustainability presents attractive opportunities to the retail and restaurant industry despite its unique challenges, such as significant interior and exterior demands, management of substantial refrigeration loads associated with food… Continue Reading

Suburban Retailers Moving Into Urban Spaces, an ICSC Discussion

Posted in Development

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) kicked off its recent 2012 Mid-Atlantic Conference & Deal-Making with a panel discussion on the growing trend of suburban, large-format retailers, such as Wal-Mart, moving into urban markets that were once viewed as impenetrable and undesirable. Grant Ehat of JBG Rosenfeld Retail Properties moderated the panel, which included… Continue Reading