Development and Permitting

In the early 1980s, in an effort to generate much-needed revenue for the City of Boston to offset federal and state budget cuts, the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation entitled, “An Act Establishing the City of Boston Funding Loan Act of Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Two and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority” (the “Act”). In addition to creating the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Act allowed the city to borrow up to $75 million and to issue and sell bonds and notes to try to bring the city out of a serious financial deficit, all of which was to be secured by the levy of several new taxes.

Continue Reading The Funding Loan Act of 1982 and the Origins of “Tregor Stamps”

A recent article I co-authored and published in the New York Law Journal recaps and highlights the key takeaways in the federal district court’s decision in Cohen v. G&M Realty L.P. (E.D.N.Y, Feb. 18, 2018), relating to the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) and the street art on a group of buildings known as “5Pointz” in Long Island City, New York.

Continue Reading 5Pointz and the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990

On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority announced, without specifying a replacement, that it would phase-out the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR) by the end of 2021. LIBOR, a rate measured by short-term borrowing among large banks, has for decades been the reference rate underlying trillions of dollars’ worth of global financial transactions. In real estate, LIBOR is common among floating rate loans, where interest on loan proceeds often accrues at LIBOR plus a spread. However, volatility during the 2007-08 financial crisis, manipulation scandals, and a scarcity of transactions on which LIBOR is based have hurt LIBOR’s relevance, hence the need for a replacement.

Continue Reading LIBOR Phase Out: Important Considerations for Negotiating Loan Documents

Blockchains, best known as the technology behind digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, are beginning to be implemented in a variety of commercial applications. The technology is attracting not only financial institutions and stock exchanges, but fields as disparate as the music, diamond, healthcare, insurance, and shipping industries. The possible benefits of an organized, structured, secure, and efficient data management system that blockchain technology may be able to provide has also led governments and private companies to begin to explore using blockchains as a replacement for the current land title record systems used around the world.

Continue Reading Blockchains and Land Title Records

On February 12, 2018, President Donald Trump released his fiscal year 2019 budget proposal entitled “An American Budget.” Though Congress will not implement the proposal in its entirety, it still demonstrates what the Trump Administration would like to see prioritized in the coming year, which does not include climate change research. President Trump’s proposal would cut the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate research by more than one third, which would include cutting research into sea level rise.

Continue Reading Cities and Developers Must Prepare for Climate Change Now

As a follow up to my colleague Allan Caggiano’s post here on the new 2016 ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards, the Planning & Zoning Resource Company (PZR) has recently circulated an important advisory on the practical effects of the new survey standards and the interaction between the surveyor and the zoning report that is typically provided by a third party like PZR. Continue Reading Important Changes Resulting from New ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey Standards

Mintz Levin was a sponsor of IMN‘s 13th Annual Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity & Private Fund Investing held at the Montage resort in Laguna Beach.  The IMN conference is the premier West Coast conference on real estate investing and is attended by the most influential voices in the real estate industry. Continue Reading Costs and Practicalities of Utilizing Alternative Sources of Capital for New Acquisitions, Refinancings & Development

On February 23, 2016, the 2016 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys will become effective (superseding the 2011 ALTA/ACSM standards).

An overview of the changes (courtesy of Chicago Title Insurance Company) can be found at this LINK, and include (among others): Continue Reading 2016 ALTA/NSPS (formerly ALTA/ACSM) Land Title Survey Standards

Earlier today our colleagues in the Energy Technology practice posted an article regarding this morning’s congressional agreement on a year-end spending and massive tax deal that will bring 5-year extensions to both the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit. If passed through Congress and signed into law by President Obama, these agreements have major implications for commercial and residential real estate.

Click here to access the full article and see what the buzz is all about!

Our colleague Steve Friedberg recently spoke at the ICSC Shopping Center Law Conference in Phoenix, Arizona on the topic of “Financeable Retail Leases: A Guide to the Perplexed”.  The seminar explored the requirements for creating financeable retail leases from the perspectives of landlords, tenants and leasehold and fee mortgage lenders. Five key takeaways from Steve’s presentation were:

  1. The users of these leases are generally national credit tenants who require control over the construction of their buildings through long-term ground leases (the term generally is at least 25 years, plus 4 or more 5 year renewal options—the term, including options, has to be at least 20-30 years longer than the term of a leasehold mortgage to satisfy rating agency requirements). Because of their credit standing, these tenants can build their improvements much less expensively than a landlord (and the landlord does not have the risk of construction and its cost). Continue Reading Financeable Retail Leases: A Guide to the Perplexed