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.
Data centers are the twenty-first century nexus between the commercial real estate and telecommunication business sectors. Owners, operators and developers of data centers face the difficult task of continually adapting to the rapidly evolving priorities of their ever expanding clientele in order to remain competitive and appealing to the largest number of actual and potential consumers. Cryptocurrencies based on Blockchain-secured transactions have been thrust into the public eye and have become the face of next generation investment opportunities with the spectacular rise and fall of the value of Bitcoin and Ethereum (among others). This post provides a glimpse into how data center owners, operators and developers can optimize their facilities by dedicating data centers with low overhead (achieved primarily by reducing cooling, redundancy and security expenses) to the exponentially growing cryptocurrency mining industry. A full length article will follow this post in the next few months with a more detailed analysis of the vastly contrasting needs of digital vaults or wallets storing coins of cryptocurrency.
Enacted by Congress in 1930 and revised in 1984, the Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act (PACA) protects sellers of perishable agricultural commodities, defined as “fresh fruits and fresh vegetables of every kind and character whether or not frozen or packed in ice, and cherries in brine as defined by the Secretary of Agriculture” by subjecting a “merchant, dealer or broker” of perishable produce to a trust on the proceeds on the sale of perishable produce, and products derived from that produce, for the benefit of all unpaid suppliers and sellers (a “PACA Lien”).
Previously on this blog, my colleagues posed the question to commercial landlords, “Do you know who’s working in your building?” In this post, I look at a different aspect of the sharing economy—residential short-term rentals (STRs, for short)—and ask, “Do you know who’s living in your apartment?”
Drone use in the real estate industry has exploded in recent months. The utility of drones in sales, marketing, construction, surveying, and inspection of real property is undeniable. There is vast potential for commercial use of drones in the real estate industry. Their use has become very important in marketing strategies for brokers and developers, for inspection teams on construction projects and even for construction of high-rise cable structures. For example, drones can assist with moving dirt on a construction site using autonomous dump trucks, bulldozers, and excavators with real time mapping of the movement of soil and cement. Drones have also been extremely useful to surveyors in preparation of property reports and for owners who use drones for property security.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is expected to finalize new lease accounting standards (“Standards”) within the coming months which will have very real consequences for owners and lessees alike. Under current accounting standards, a lease is classified as a “Capital Lease” or an “Operating Lease.” A capital lease is treated similarly to a loan; the asset is treated as being owned by the lessee and must be recorded as an asset on the lessee’s balance sheet. By contrast, an operating lease gives the lessee a right to use the owner’s asset without the requirement of including the lease on its balance sheet. The lessee never owns the asset and must return it to the owner after the lease ends. Most office building, retail, or other standard commercial leases are operating leases under the current standards.
The new Standards will, among other things, eliminate the above classification and instead classify most capital leases –including existing capital leases –as a “Type A Lease”, which will be accounted for in substantially the same manner as capital leases are accounted for under existing generally accepted accounting principals (GAAP), and most operating leases – including existing operating leases –as a “Type B Lease”, which will be accounted for in a manner similar to operating leases under existing GAAP, except that lessees will now be required to include lease obligations on their balance sheets increasing assets and liabilities. Shorter term leases, leases of 12 months or less, must also be included on balance sheet if, considering all relevant economic factors, the lessee is “reasonably certain” to exercise an option to extend the lease beyond 12 months. Continue Reading FASB Lease Accounting Changes
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:
- 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
We are seeing more and more of our clients branching out into international markets. My partner, Dawn Saunders, wrote an interesting article about navigating international leasing transactions and the importance of having experienced international leasing counsel review these transactions. For example, experienced U.S. based attorneys have vetted and worked with local counsel. Additionally, they understanding key differences like how local contracts differ from contracts in the U.S. and how risk is assessed.