The National Review recently published an article about the wide ranging economic and social impacts of the death of traditional mid-market shopping malls. The article is not overtly political and at time waxes nostalgic about the prototypical 1980’s shopping mall. However, the article highlights real problems facing the owners of these malls and other traditional shopping centers.
As expected, the economic issues have spurred legal and litigation issues for landlords. One of the issues I have been dealing with is what are a big box tenant’s obligations after a lease expires. Many of the big box tenants that are now vacating malls and shopping centers have been long term tenants. Sometimes, their leases go back decades. In the meantime, the mall may have changed hands. The original lease signed with a second or third removed owner and no doubt amended several times might be long forgotten.