Sharing The Art and Science of Updating REAs

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 to govern parties’ activities and protect their investments in this new shopping regime.

Much has changed since those early days of mall development. Confronted with the reality that many of these original REAs will be expiring in the near future, Developers and anchor REA parties are considering the benefits of updating their original REAs with a simpler form of REA that contemplates and addresses periodic redevelopment, a potential mix of uses of the shopping center, and updated technology and codes.

Goulston & Storrs Director and retail lawyer David J. Rabinowitz worked with Kathleen Dempsey Boyle of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks and Brad Syverson of JC Penney to publish an article for the American Bar Association’s Probate & Property. This publication covers the broad topics that must be addressed in today’s REAs, and strategies for building agreements that meet the strategic business interests of all parties to the development. We share this article directly with our Retail Law Advisor readership, as it is a topic we consider to be timely and helpful to the industry.

Related topics: Development, Real Estate, Retail