A very warm welcome to all our readers to the first issue of DLA Piper’s Real Estate Gazette of 2017.
In this issue, we focus on shopping centers and the myriad legal issues flowing from their construction and operation. Several articles highlight the surge in huge retail centers which offer more than a shopping experience, and have instead become commercial and entertainment hubs. Whilst this may be good news for consumers, various legal issues have arisen. In Zambia, which has experienced significant growth in its commercial real estate sector in the last two decades, issues are identified in relation to land ownership, impact on the environment, and leasing requirements, amongst others (page 54). Kenya too has seen a surge in the number of shopping centers being built recently, with a concomitant rise in foreign investment in the country’s real estate market. Our Kenyan article (page 26) identifies the tendency towards mixed-use centers but notes that whilst this “live-work-play” concept is attractive to many, nevertheless, issues relating to poor roads and infrastructure that have not kept pace with developments, the high cost of land, complex zoning regulations, and security concerns, remain challenging.
Other aspects of our focus topic include the regulations on Sunday trading and working in France (page 18) and Poland (page 34, which also looks at the termination of lease agreements and recent changes on VAT refunds for real estate transactions); the practical problems that can arise when a retail park has more than one owner (Romania, page 42); and a fascinating case study from the US describing a unique rescue from near-certain bankruptcy by retail landlords of their tenant, the iconic teen retailer, Aéropostale (page 50).
This 27th issue of the Real Estate Gazette also covers topics outside of retail. Read about opportunities for developers in Australia afforded by strata law reform (page 62); the acquisition of foreign property in Mauritius (page 76); and self-regulation in the Russian construction industry (page 84).
The breadth of topics discussed reflects the dynamic landscape of global real estate law. We continue to monitor and respond to these changes and look forward to keeping you abreast of developments in these pages.