Welcome to the Real Estate Law weblog. Here you'll find items pertaining to real estate from a lawyer's perspective.
Tue Jul 25, 2006
Commercial Rent Prices Up - Square Footage Down?A recent article in Business Week suggests that the open space model of the dot com era may, actually be a paradigm to enable businesses to reduce one of their largest expenses, namely, commercial office rent.
Yet, the position of the author is hardly universally shared, eliciting a number of rejections and criticisms in the posted comments following the article.
From my own experience, there is no doubt that, technologically, more and more things can be done in more and more places. The real question concerns what happens when people do come in to the office to work? If they don't have a private space, my own anecdotal experience is that productivity declines simply due to distractions.
True, people in offices that don't close their doors and look up every time someone passes by suffer the same problem. But you can't close the door on a cubicle.
Read more and draw your own insights from the pros and cons at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_27/b3991073.htm?campaign_id=search
Mon Jan 17, 2005
Optimism Returns to WTC Area Real Estate MarketAfter 9/11, all anyone wanted to do was escape the World Trade Center area. Businesses and families fled, if they could. Now, normalcy is coming back to the area, and there are signs of return, partly fueled by low rentals there compared to sharply rising prices in midtown.
Morgan Stanley is coming back, law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft decided to remain, and Goldman Sachs is building their headquarters there. In some ways, it's being reported, things are better than before, with an increased interest in office space that has been converted into residential buildings for rentals and condos. The lure? Cheap rents.
The residential population in the Wall St. area is now larger than it was before 9/11. The vacancy rate downtown is higher than in midtown, and rental rates are still falling. In midtown, space for businesses now leases for $75 a square foot. Downtown, it's as low as $33.50 a square foot.
Growth also reflects the recovered NYC economy, which now boasts the lowest unemployment rate since 2001.
Wed Jul 28, 2004
Walking While You WorkSprint and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have something in common -- they both believe in designing or renovating their headquarters to encourage their employees to walk.
Sprint, for example, designed its buildings and grounds around pedestrians, not cars, by such tricks as not putting parking lots right next to buildings, creating covered walkways connecting all 21 buildings, spreading conference rooms and cafeterias across the campus, creating lovely jogging trails, a three-story fitness center, a gym, and recreation fields.
It's a new trend in architecture. Design for health. The idea is twofold: happier and healthier employees are more productive; and they will reduce health care costs for their companies.
Tue Jun 08, 2004
If You Are a Landlord, Think WiFi When Writing that LeaseWi-Fi is no passing fad, and landlords need to think about clauses to insert in their leases, particularly commercial leases, to handle the new technology. The Anchorage Daily News presents a list of things landlords should think about, such as confining the tenant's installation of a Wi-Fi network to the tenant's space, so it doesn't interfere with other tenants' networks or turn the lobby into a hangout for anyone wanting to connect to the Internet for free.
Essentially, the installation of a Wi-Fi network, they point out, should be subject to all the provisions of the lease. The standard indemnification of the landlord, for example, should apply to Wi-Fi also, so that any damage to the building is the tenant's responsibility, not the landlord's, and when the tenant leaves, he should be required to remove the network. There are issues unique to Wi-Fi too. Frequency interference is a biggie. If other tenants find their radio or other telecommunications equipment's reception is affected by a tenant's WiFi network, there might be claims regarding frustration of reasonable expectations of the space.
Going forward, Landlord should consider modifying leases so that such an offending tenant should be contractually obligated to immediately fix any interference it causes.
There are other issues as well. For example, does the tenant want to sell access beyond its space? If the landlord plans on doing the same, he will want to prevent tenants from having that right. These are things no one used to have to think about, but that today's landlords need to understand and plan for more and more.
Mon Dec 01, 2003
A study in contrastsI couldn't help but notice the stark contrast in perceptions of the NY housing market reflected in two different recent articles. While a NY Times article found at http://tinyurl.com/x9re
quotes real estate brokers and tenants lauding the "bargains" to be found on the upper east side, the Daily News tells what it's like for the City's immigrant population who couldn't hope to afford these "bargain rents
Food for thought, isn't it?
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