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Gotcha! Issues to Watch for During Redevelopment Projects

Maybe it is because one or more anchor stores have closed or a new one has arrived. It could also be the result of the Mall being outdated and in significant need of substantial remodeling. Whatever the reason, and there are many possible reasons, it is no secret that Mall redevelopment has significantly increased in the last couple of years.

Landlords and Tenants that are involved in redevelopment situations must make sure that they keep a comprehensive list of issues to address during the process. Some of the issues that should be considered during the redevelopment process include:

  • Tenant Mix: which includes analyzing existing exclusive use provisions, co-tenancy obligations, and prohibited use restrictions.

  • Zoning Approvals: what do the local zoning ordinances require and what is the likely timing of the approval process, if any.

  • Reciprocal Easement Agreement restrictions: will often contain relevant restrictions on the redevelopment.

  • Construction issues including dust, asbestos removal, safety concerns, noise and access issues.

Most of the foregoing issues are well-known to the landlords and tenants involved in the redevelopment. However, there are many items that often are not as easily identified at the beginning of the redevelopment process but can have a significant effect on the details and timing of the project. As you will see, many of these items have a very distinct local flavor:

  • Neighborhood Associations: In many locations the Neighborhood Associations carry quasi-government authority and the Association's opinion of the project can carry significant weight. It is often important to meet early and often with the Neighborhood Association to identify and attempt to address their concerns.

  • Signage: Local ordinances and the Reciprocal Easement Agreement may contain restrictions on the location and amount of signage. Practical issues such as which tenants want space and the location of the signage must also be considered.

  • Tenant and Media Communication: What is the message and story that will be told to the current tenants and the local media? Will the story resonate with the current tenants, prospective tenants, and local officials and consumers?

  • Design Issues: Can vary widely by jurisdiction including parking, landscaping, trash enclosures, and general facade requirements.

It is important to have a comprehensive list of issues to address during a redevelopment project. In particular, it is important to make sure that the list includes items to be addressed based on local ordinances in order to avoid delays in the project.

©2020 von Briesen & Roper, s.c


About this Author

Chris A. Jenny, von Briesen Roper Law Firm, Madison, Corporate, Real Estate and Family Estate Law Attorney

Chris A. Jenny is a Shareholder in the Madison office of von Briesen & Roper, s.c. He focuses his practice on representing business owners in a wide variety of niche markets to become more profitable while minimizing their risk and expenses. Chris’s practice has a heavy concentration in the real estate, construction, and information technology industries. This practical experience is a tremendous benefit to the contractors, suppliers, landlords, tenants and real estate developers he represents. Chris’s construction...

William West, von Briesen Roper Law Firm, Milwaukee, Corporate and Real Estate Law Attorney

Bill West is a Shareholder. He Chairs the Firm’s Business Section and the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Section.

Bill is a trusted advisor to his clients and they rely on his ability to achieve desired outcomes in a practical, timely and cost-effective manner – in other words, he gets things done. He has over 30 years of experience in corporate and business related transactions including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Complex corporate and commercial transactions

  • Corporate governance and business counseling

  • Business formation, strategy and structure

  • Business succession planning

  • Commercial real estate

Bill’s clients are involved in a range of industries, and include public and privately held businesses engaged in a wide variety of domestic and international transactions including asset and equity acquisitions, mergers, reorganizations, divestitures and restructurings.

Bill is also co-chair of the firm’s Retail Real Estate section. He represents clients nationwide in the purchase and sale of commercial real estate. Bill has a national practice handling the retail real estate leasing needs of both tenants and landlords.

Bill is a member of the American Bar Association (member of the Business Law, Real Estate and Taxation sections), and the State Bar of Wisconsin. He is also a co-author of LLCs and LLPs: A Wisconsin Handbook, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Bill is recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as “Lawyer of the Year” for Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law in Milwaukee (2017). He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) (2015-2018) as well as Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law (2014-2018).

Bill served as Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Memorial High School.