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oak brook real estate lawyerInvestments in commercial real estate can be very lucrative but can also be very costly if mistakes are made. There are a variety of concerns that will need to be addressed when purchasing commercial property. This article is brief summary of some of the main due diligence items but is not exhaustive.  If a buyer will be assuming ownership of property that tenants currently occupy, they will need to be prepared to assume existing leases and understand any other contracts that are in place that will survive the Closing such as service contracts, Declarations of Restrictions and Easements, and other agreements. To ensure that the Due Diligence Process is done correctly and critical items are not missed by the Purchaser, it is crucial to work with an attorney who can help perform due diligence or guide the client in what matters of due diligence are most important during the due diligence period under the subject Purchase Contract in a transaction.

Major Issues to Address When Performing Due Diligence

An investor can protect their financial interests by gathering all information needed to ensure that they fully understand the risks and benefits of a commercial real estate transaction. In many cases, a person will have 60 days or less to perform due diligence, so it is essential to act quickly to uncover any issues that may affect a transaction or impact an owner’s ability to receive the proper return on their investment.

While the forms of due diligence that may be performed will vary depending on the type of property and transaction, an investor will likely need to address issues such as:


Which Type of Commercial Lease Is Right For My Business?

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DuPage County commercial real estate lawyer for landlords and tenantsWhether you are the owner of a commercial real estate property, or you are looking to rent a space for your business, reaching an agreement on a commercial lease is a crucial part of your operation. There are a variety of lease structures available depending on the property's use and the preferences of both the landlord and tenant. The complexities of these different kinds of commercial leases can be challenging to interpret, but an experienced real estate attorney can help you determine the best options and negotiate a lease that addresses your needs.

Types of Commercial Leases in Illinois

Commercial leases vary based on the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant. Some of the most common types of commercial leases include:

  • Gross lease: In a gross or full service lease, the tenant pays rent while the landlord handles all expenses related to the property, including property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Rents are typically higher with a gross lease, but the tenant benefits from the convenience of the services the landlord provides.
  • Triple net lease: In a triple net lease, the tenant pays rent and also takes responsibility for the three net costs associated with a commercial property, which are insurance, property taxes, and common area maintenance. This arrangement removes work and some expenses from the property owner, but it usually also means that rent is lower.
  • Master lease: A master lease allows the tenant to sublease the property and collect income from rent. As a tenant, you might attempt to negotiate for a master lease if you are considering purchasing the property outright in the future.
  • Ground lease: A ground lease allows the tenant to rent and develop a plot of land, and it is commonly used for franchise businesses. Tenants are able to save money up-front because they do not have to purchase the property, and landlords are able to receive rental income throughout the term of the lease.
  • Sale-leaseback: A commercial property owner may arrange to sell the property and then lease it from the buyer. This can be a good option for owners who need an immediate source of income but wish to continue using a property for business purposes.

Contact a DuPage County Commercial Lease Attorney

At Lindell & Tessitore, P.C., we have worked with owners and tenants on all manner of commercial leases throughout our years of real estate law experience. We can help you understand the various lease options and make sure they are executed properly in your lease agreement. Contact a Naperville commercial real estate lawyer today at 630-778-3818.


How Can Zoning Affect an Illinois Renovation or Redevelopment?

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DuPage County Real Estate attorney for zoning lawsIn the business of commercial real estate, it can often be beneficial to purchase a property that has already been developed, rather than starting a new development project from scratch. Perhaps a developed property is located in the perfect place for your purposes, and you may even find that you can adapt existing structures to your needs. However, chances are that you will need to make some changes, either through a renovation or a complete redevelopment, and if so, you should be aware of zoning regulations that may impact your project.

Zoning Regulations in an Illinois Commercial Real Estate Renovation

You may find that you can adapt a new property to meet your needs by renovating structures that have already been built. A renovation may help you save time that you would need to spend on demolition, construction, and rezoning, but in most cases, you will still need to pay attention to zoning regulations in the local municipality that affect the development. For example, you may need to ensure that your renovation complies with local health, safety, and energy efficiency standards. You will also likely need to ensure that the property is authorized for use as the kind of business that will be operated there.

Planning for Zoning Regulations in Your Redevelopment

Unlike a renovation, a redevelopment often requires you to demolish existing structures and initiate a new construction project. Because you are planning to implement more drastic changes, you may be more likely to encounter zoning challenges. You will need to look into the zoning regulations at the time the property was originally developed, as well as any changes in the subsequent years.


Due Diligence Facts Every CRE Investor Should Know

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Illinois CRE lawyersDue diligence is a critical step in the acquisition of a property, especially for those dealing in commercial real estate. Done effectively, the process can protect you from lengthy project delays, zoning issues, and other negative consequences. In contrast, failures in your due diligence process may lead to extreme financial loss and an overall poor return on investment. Learn how to avoid mistakes and oversights in your due diligence with these crucial facts.

You Need to Spend Time at the Property 

Far too often, investors rely on the “experts” to handle the due diligence process. They hire an inspector but do not attend the inspection, contact someone to value the property but are not present during the valuation process, and rely on reports to tell them whether the building is up to code. Sadly, this is a massive mistake.


Naperville commercial real estate attorneysSavvy investors know the best protection against extreme financial loss is a diverse investment portfolio. Yet, many overlook the commercial real estate (CRE) sector. Perhaps it is because they fear the large, upfront investment, big risk, and long-term return on their investment. More likely, however, an investor may hesitate or even avoid the CRE market because they do not fully understand the benefits or the necessary steps for breaking in to this type of market.

Why Commercial Real Estate?

The first issue to address is the “why” behind commercial real estate. Certainly, there are other types of investments with lower risks. Yet, it is the high risk and large investment amount that make CRE properties so appealing. They offer a steady and stable return. Real estate is also considered a tangible asset, which investors can use as collateral on other investments.

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