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For the last year, commercial tenants — including some big-name tenants like Hugo Boss, Christian Louboutin and Gap — have been arguing that their rent obligations should be eliminated or reduced during the pandemic under the frustration-of-purpose doctrine. While most courts have rejected these arguments, some recent decisions have come out in tenants’ favor on this point. Some have applauded these latter decisions as providing much needed rent relief to struggling tenants, but these decisions and the use of the frustration-of-purpose doctrine to absolve commercial tenants of their obligation to pay rent could signal headwinds for the commercial real estate market — and the economy more generally — as demonstrated by some COVID-related New York cases.
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By Marisa L. Byram and Garrett L. Kinkelaar
Keystone Specialty Services Co. v. Ebaugh
Practitioners should take note that depending on the jurisdiction, a well-drafted exculpatory clause may afford additional protections to a commercial landlord, even from its own negligent acts.
By Jessie Yount
Real estate executives say the construction of the office of the future is well underway within the legal industry, despite a dip in leasing activity at the beginning of the year. However, there is a shift toward “densification,” as firms take advantage of favorable market conditions and make longer-term commitments.
By Steven M. Silverberg
In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court applied strict scrutiny to a sign regulation as it related to directional signs placed by a local congregation that held services at different locations each week. The Court took another look at the issue of strict scrutiny relating to “off-premises” signs in the case of City of Austin, Texas v. Reagan National Advertising , in which the majority concluded that strict scrutiny should not apply to determining whether the off-premises sign regulations at issue violated the First Amendment.
By Paul Bergeron
The commercial real estate industry is having little trouble shrugging off today’s challenging economic situations and its optimism is brewing with recent pandemic restrictions being lifted, according to a state of the market survey from DLA Piper.