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Articles Posted in Commercial Leasing

I am proud to be participating in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) University of Shopping Centers event, which will be taking place on the campus of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania on March 7-9, 2016.  This three-day educational program will enable attendees to gain a higher level of knowledge of the retail real estate industry by learning directly from experienced professionals.

A report in the latest issue of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ magazine Shopping Centers Today chronicles how major shopping mall operators across the country effectively filled what was an unusually large glut of empty store space in the first half of 2015.

A ruling filed on July 22 by the Second District Court of Appeal overturned the circuit court’s summary judgment in favor of a landlord for the eviction of its tenant that operated a restaurant and a separate nightclub from its two spaces at the property. The ruling adds clarity to the burdens that must be met for summary judgments granting commercial evictions.

A recent ruling by the First District Court of Appeal (Amelia Island Restaurant II, Inc. v. Omni Amelia Island, LLC) protected a commercial real estate tenant’s right to maintain its exclusivity provision through each of its lease extension options as stated in the terms of its lease.

A ruling last week by the Fourth District Court of Appeal serves as a telling reminder for commercial real estate tenants of the standards that must be met in order to justify their early termination of commercial leases based on the theory of constructive eviction.

For the last several years, the state legislature has considered the possibility of rolling back Florida’s tax on commercial real estate lease payments, and the issue is back on the legislative agenda for 2015 with the introduction of a bill last week in the Florida Senate. I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in last week’s International Council of Shopping Centers Florida Legislative Conference in Tallahassee, and our meetings with the lawmakers and their representatives proved to be very productive in persuading them to keep this measure in mind.

In a deal that was more than two years in the making, I recently represented the owner and developer of 220 Alhambra Circle in the sale of the office tower to Mercantil Commercebank for $75 million. Mercantil has been the largest tenant in the building for more than 15 years.

For the second consecutive year the Florida Legislature has failed to pass a bill to cut the state’s taxes on commercial real estate leases. Gov. Rick Scott included a reduction in the tax rate on commercial rent as part of his proposed budget to the lawmakers, but the bill to cut the tax from six to five percent failed to gain enough support in the Florida Senate.

Parties negotiating a retail lease will often discuss a kick out clause, which allows for termination of the lease before the expiration of the term if a specific sales threshold has not been met by the tenant. Typically the tenant requests the clause, since if it’s not reaching that threshold it may not be generating enough revenue to justify continuing operation of its business at that location. Because the lease may be structured to pay the landlord percentage rent, the landlord may want a termination right as well if it believes that a stronger tenant would lead to greater sales. As such, a kick out clause can be structured to give either side, or both, a right to terminate the lease.