Real Estate

In response to the continued disruption to the economy and the commercial real estate market resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, we are advising clients concerning the impact on existing leasing relationships, pending contracts and ongoing transactions.  While many of the earliest questions were similar in nature (e.g., force majeure, business interruption, quiet enjoyment) recent questions have become more varied as businesses face complex decisions as they make plans to return to work. 

We are still emphasizing the need to exercise caution as our clients plan for a partially reopened economy and the prospects of a potential resurgence of the coronavirus.  The response of our local, state and federal governments to the pandemic and its economic impact is ongoing and we are mindful that future government actions could influence loss mitigation strategies. 

We are mostly experiencing cooperation and understanding in our ongoing negotiations on behalf of clients.  Landlords and tenants are working together to restructure short and medium term rent obligations based on the new economic realities.  In the majority of cases, both landlords and tenants accept the need to find mutually acceptable compromises that both respect existing obligations and permit businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic to recover. 

When the pandemic hit US markets, economic uncertainty caused commercial real estate acquisition activity to slow.  Generally speaking, transactions that are proceeding include extended timetables for due diligence, approvals and the closing of title.  With plans for restarting the economy at the forefront of everyone’s minds, transactional and banking activity has seen an uptick.  New leasing activity tracks this trend, however, modifications continue to be a focus for landlords and tenants bound by existing leases.

At Wilentz, we emphasize the need for a measured reaction to the coronavirus pandemic that factors in our current reality and strategic planning for the future.  Regardless of where our clients fit into the commercial real estate community, thoughtful planning and preparation is essential and we will continue to work one-on-one with our clients to anticipate and plan for the future.

Since the coronavirus impact extends beyond real estate holdings and contractual relationships, our multi-disciplinary approach has enabled us to provide important guidance to our real estate clients on other impacts to their business such as employment, insurance and banking.  Outside of the box thinking has never been needed more, and our lawyers are helping our clients to withstand and plan for a rapidly evolving and unprecedented environment.

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