Jeffrey Margolis

Dirt Dictionary

F is for Force Majeure

Sandy taught us a dramatic lesson as to nature’s vagaries and the sanctity of our commercial “home.” The force majeure clause stands high in the pantheon of mostly overlooked boilerplate provisions, but that –as many have found out to their chagrin—is a big mistake.

First off a definition: force majeur(e), French—a “superior force,” in lease-lingo Read More

Dirt Law

Dirt Dictionary: F Is for Franchise Leasing

The franchise has become ubiquitous throughout the country and the world and, yes, even in cosmopolitan New York. Some recent statistics may be worth citing: There are an estimated 1,500 different franchisors (franchise business companies) operating in the U.S., employing more than 8 million people and generating some $782 billion in revenue. The franchise industry Read More

Dirt Law

M is for Medical/Dental Office Leasing

With Obamacare dominating the headlines, doctors (yes, and dentists, too) have gotten more than their fair share of publicity lately. For those of us in commercial leasing, that also brings to mind the business of running a medical or dental practice and the need for suitable office space—a lease that properly addresses the med/dent professional’s Read More

Dirt Law

Dirt Dictionary: C Is for Co-Tenancy

There is a special symbiotic relationship between shopping center landlords and tenants, with each looking to the other to promote the “product.” The same holds true for the tenant and other tenants of the shopping center. Let’s look at one unique-to-retail hot-button benchmark: co-tenancy clauses.

Co-tenancy: Tenant’s obligations (especially rent) are subject to the opening/operating Read More

Dirt Law

E is for EB-5 Green Card, Part II

O.K., before the International Council of Shopping Centers came to town, we were talking about a myriad of deals—nowadays, mostly office buildings and hotels (and yes, shopping centers too) are being financed at very low rates using EB-5 immigration visa program funding.

Again, the basics: Invest $1 million (typical individual investment) in a U.S. business, Read More

Dirt Law

The Dirt Dictionary—E is for Exclusives

There is a special symbiotic relationship between shopping center landlords and tenants, with each looking to the other to promote the “product.” But negotiations of lease terms are often contentious. With NY’s National ICSC in full swing, let’s look at one unique-to-retail hot-button benchmark: exclusives.

Now, how do you define “exclusive?” It’s when the tenant Read More

Dirt Law

The Dirt Dictionary: E is for EB-5 Green Card

What do real estate and green cards have in common?

The Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Sky Hotel outside Seattle, Steiner Studios in Queens, Jay Peak Resort in Vermont and Gary Barnett’s Diamond Building on 47th Street all have something in common: EB-5 visa program funding.

With conventional financing unavailable or very expensive, this program gives access Read More

Dirt Law

The Dirt Dictionary: N Is For Notices

From the mundane notice concerning window cleaning to a notice of default for nonpayment, the boilerplate notice clause in the lease has to be strictly followed to make the notice effective.

Two of the biggest challenges leasing lawyers face is determining when to give an effective notice under a lease and determining when that notice Read More

Dirt Law

E Is for Estoppel Certificate

With props to Rodney Dangerfield, some legal documents just don’t get no respect—or at least are not regarded with the importance deserved.

That innocuous looking two-page form that the landlord just sent to you, saying that in connection with a refinancing its lender has requested you sign an estoppel certificate certifying various facts about the Read More

Dirt Law

Surprise! Your Letter of Intent is a Lease

The Letter of Intent, or LOI, has become ubiquitous in New York leasing, especially in larger transactions where the document itself will be of substantial complexity.

It’s used to initiate transactions and is designed to set forth in some cogent way the terms and conditions of the proposed deal. Usually drafted by the broker, it’s Read More