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Recent Blog Posts

Permits and Approvals in Real Estate Development

 Posted on February 14, 2024 in Commercial Real Estate

Naperville real estate development lawyerWhen undertaking a real estate development project, there are a number of permits and approvals that may be required in order to proceed. Developers will need to address zoning laws in a county or municipality, and they may need to take steps to receive approval for certain types of projects. Some common issues that may need to be addressed include rezoning, planned unit development (PUD), and special use permits (SUPs). For legal assistance in these matters, contact a skilled attorney for essential assistance.

Rezoning

The first step in many development projects is to seek a change in zoning for the property in question. This is typically necessary when the proposed use for the property falls outside of the allowable uses under the current zoning designation. For example, a developer looking to develop a commercial retail space on a parcel of land currently zoned for residential use would need to have the property rezoned.

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Development and Annexation Agreements in Illinois

 Posted on January 10, 2024 in Residential Real Estate

Oak Brook real estate development lawyerReal estate developers in Illinois need to be aware of the potential implications of entering into development and annexation agreements with local municipalities. These agreements can significantly impact the financial viability of a project, as well as the potential risks and rewards. Understanding these agreements' essential terms and conditions is critical for ensuring a successful project. Without a development or annexation agreement, a developer risks having their project halted or modified, leading to significant delays and increased costs. To navigate this process, contact an experienced lawyer for essential guidance.

What Is a Development Agreement?

A development agreement is a contract between a developer and a municipality that sets forth the terms and conditions under which the developer may proceed with their project. The agreement will specify the type of development that is allowed, the number of units that can be built, the density of the development, the height of the buildings, the setbacks from property lines, and other zoning regulations. The agreement will also identify any particular conditions that apply to the project, such as environmental restrictions. 

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Common Pitfalls That Can Affect Commercial Leases

 Posted on August 26, 2022 in Commercial Lease Agreements

Naperville commercial lease agreementMost businesses need space where they can operate, requiring them to lease property from a landlord. Commercial lease agreements can be complicated, and tenants will need to be aware of how the terms of a lease will affect their ability to conduct business, the expenses they will be required to pay, and other unexpected issues that may arise. By understanding some of the lease-related pitfalls that commercial tenants commonly encounter, a business owner can avoid these problems and ensure that they will be able to conduct business successfully.

Commercial Leasing Issues That May Affect Tenants

Business owners will need to fully understand the terms of a commercial lease. Some issues that should be addressed when negotiating a lease agreement include:

  • Common area maintenance (CAM) - A lease may require tenants to contribute toward operating expenses or other costs related to common areas on a property. This may result in additional rent being charged on top of standard rent payments. Tenants should be aware of the types of CAM expenses they may be required to pay, including capital improvements or expenses related to other tenant suites that are not exclusively common areas. In some cases, a lease may place a cap on operating expenses, or it may limit the types of expenses a tenant will be required to pay.

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What Forms of Due Diligence Need to Be Performed in the Purchase of Commercial Real Estate?

 Posted on June 29, 2022 in Commercial Real Estate

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.

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Commercial Lease Modifications for Tenants Affected by COVID-19

 Posted on May 29, 2022 in Commercial Lease Agreements

dupage county real estate lawyerSince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, businesses in Illinois and throughout the United States have encountered financial difficulties. As the country is beginning to return to normalcy, some businesses have been able to resume their regular activities and continue operating successfully. However, many businesses are still struggling as they determine how to respond to the loss of revenue that occurred due to the pandemic. These issues have affected many commercial leases, and both landlords and tenants may need to determine how to address situations where a business has been unable to pay rent on a short-term or long-term basis. 

Negotiating Lease Modifications for Commercial Landlords and Tenants

As commercial tenants have encountered financial struggles, this has put many landlords in a difficult position. While some landlords many have pursued lease enforcement actions, others may have been hesitant to do so due to the difficulty of finding new tenants in the current marketplace. Rather than pursue evictions or take steps to terminate a lease, it may be beneficial for both parties to negotiate lease modifications that will allow a tenant to continue occupying a space as they attempt to address their ongoing financial issues.

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 How to Successfully Navigate Through the Zoning and Development Process For Existing or New Commercial Real Estate Development Projects

 Posted on March 11, 2022 in Zoning and Land Use

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_540240925.jpgReal estate developers and investors will typically have multiple opportunities to pursue projects involving commercial real estate which may include retail, industrial, office and various mixed-use developments. A development project will typically involve the construction of on-site and off-site improvements, the construction of new buildings or structures, and a variety of other changes that will allow a property owner to generate revenue by leasing space to commercial tenants. However, when planning to purchase commercial property or begin a development project, owners and investors will need to understand how zoning laws will apply to them and their options for addressing any issues that may affect their ability to carry out their plans.  Any mistakes with this process can be very costly and fatal to a project.  The zoning and land use attorneys at Lindell & Tessitore P.C. have extensive experience in helping buyers and owners navigate through the zoning and development process, including, but not limited to, due diligence matters and in seeking to obtain all zoning and development entitlements needed for the zoning or development project. 

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Wealthy Investors Take the Lead in Housing Market Recovery

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Naperville Real Estate Attorney

Sales of investment and vacation homes surged last year, the latest evidence that investors and higher-income households are taking advantage of low home prices to scoop up bargains.

In its annual survey of investment- and vacation-home sales, the National Association of Realtors found that the number of homes purchased by investors rose 65% during 2011 to 1.2 million, accounting for 27% of all home sales. In 2010, investment properties accounted for 17% of all sales.

The number of homes purchased as second or vacation homes jumped 7% last year to 502,000—accounting for 11% of all transactions, up from 10% of all sales in 2010.

While the majority of homes sold last year went to traditional buyers who plan to use the home as a primary residence, their presence in the market declined to 61% from 73% in 2010.

During the housing boom, speculators were blamed for helping to inflate the bubble by snapping up homes, especially new homes, and then quickly reselling them as prices rose higher. That led to overbuilding. Some economists now believe that investors are helping to stabilize the market by buying up excess inventory.

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Supreme Court Sides with Real Estate Fees

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Naperville Real Estate Attorney

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Quicken Loans in the case brought against them by three families from Louisiana. The result may make it ultimately more expensive for families to purchase new homes. Many families have proposed in the past that administrative fees were unfairly levied against them by mortgage companies when services were not provided.

The families from Louisiana have all claimed that the company Quicken Loans had improperly charged them up to $1,100. These fees were from three separate residential mortgage closures back in 2007. It was supposed that the fees were paid in order to receive an interest rate reduction that was never given. The Detroit-based company maintained throughout the litigation that these families did receive the reductions.

The crux of the legal argument was a real estate law meant to be a provision for consumer protection back in 1974. These rights are afforded to any homebuyer under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This act is designed to protect homebuyers from excessive fees and kickbacks while financing their home. It also requires the full disclosure of fees, interest rates, and any additional costs associated with the financing process.

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Holding Title to Illinois Real Estate

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Naperville Real Estate Attorney

When you take legal title to real estate as an individual, there is no question as to how title to the real estate is held. However, when one or more persons take legal title of real estate, Illinois law allows title to be held in three different ways. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer can help you determine which type of ownership best suits you.

The first option for multiple owners is that parties can hold real estate as “tenants in common.” This is the most typical and basic type of joint ownership. If no other type of joint ownership is specified, then it is presumed that the property is held as tenants in common. The joint owners can hold the property in equal or unequal shares, but they both or all have the legal right to utilize all of the property.

Another option for when more than one owner is involved is that joint owners can hold title to property as “joint tenants with right of survivorship.” In this situation, the owners must take title to the property at the same time, by the same document or deed, in equal shares and having equal rights to possession. If one of the owners dies, then the remaining owners are entitled to the shares of the deceased owner. In Illinois, the Joint Tenancy Act governs joint tenancies.

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Governor Quinn Extends Enterprise Zone Tax Breaks

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Illinois Enterprise Zone

Illinois has maintained a tax incentive program for businesses in enterprise zones since 1982. The law authorizing this program had been set to expire next year. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Governor Pat Quinn signed a law, effective immediately, which extends the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program for another 25 years.

Illinois currently has 97 enterprise zones in which businesses can obtain tax breaks pursuant to the Illinois Enterprise Zone Program. Essentially, the enterprise zone tax break program gives businesses that locate or expand within certain designated areas tax breaks. These tax breaks include the following:

  • exemption on the retailers’ occupation tax paid on building materials
  • investment tax credit of 0.5 percent of qualified property
  • tax credit for any jobs that the businesses create

According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and & Economic Opportunity, businesses locating or expanding in enterprises zones that meet certain requirements, such as creating or retaining a certain amount of jobs, also may be entitled to additional tax breaks, such as:

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