Tag Archives: Real Estate Development

Can Public Agencies and Private Developers Work Together to Help Fix Pennsylvania’s Transportation Infrastructure? The Promise of P3 Legislation

Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure needs far surpass the Commonwealth’s ability to fund them. According to a 2010 study by the State Transportation Advisory Committee, an additional $3.5 billion a year is needed to fully meet those needs. To close the funding gap and facilitate the development of new transportation facilities throughout the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania, on July … Continue Reading

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral, What is Marcellus Shale?

Title to Oil and Gas in PA Threatened In 1882, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania pronounced what would be known as the Rule in Dunham’s Case. In Dunham and Shortt v. Kirkpatrick, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a grant or reservation of "all minerals" does not include oil or gas, despite the fact that … Continue Reading

Marcellus Shale Uncertainty: Pennsylvania Municipal Zoning Ordinances Held to Trump Statewide Uniformity

On July 26, 2012, in a decision of major significance to the Marcellus Shale industry, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in the case of Robinson Township et al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission et al., No. 284 M.D. 2012 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2012), declared Section 3304 of Act 13 of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas … Continue Reading

New Lawsuit May Derail Fiber-Optics Installations in Western PA

A class-action complaint, filed this July in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, seeks millions of dollars in damages from four telecom companies, alleging a deliberate failure to obtain the permission of hundreds of Beaver County property owners before burying fiber-optic cables on their lands. According to the plaintiffs in Lake … Continue Reading

New Developments in Real Estate Construction Loans in Pennsylvania

This posting was also written by Curt Heffler. Construction Ahead: In a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case (Commerce Bank v. Kessler), the court held that an open-end mortgage recorded after commencement of construction on the mortgaged property does not have statutory priority over a subsequently recorded mechanic’s lien unless all of the proceeds of the loan … Continue Reading

Chicago Wins the Latest Round: In a Longstanding Battle, Court Upholds Chicago Landmarks Ordinance Against Constitutional-Vagueness Challenge by Property Owners

The City of Chicago has prevailed in the latest round of a "no holds barred" battle with local property owners over the constitutionality of The Chicago Landmarks Ordinance. In a decision dated May 2, 2012 by the Circuit Court of Cook County, the property owners' claims that the Landmarks Ordinance was unconstitutionally vague and violated due process were rejected, and the court upheld the Ordinance. Hanna and Mrowka v. City of Chicago. No. 06 CH 19422. The landowners had previously won a highly favorable ruling at the appellate court level (in 2009), which raised the prospect of the invalidation of the Ordinance (as reported in a previous Reed Smith Client Alert) - a result that would have sent shockwaves through the historic preservation community nationwide. With the case remanded to it for decision, the trial court considered the due process vagueness issue in detail, including as to the clarity of the Ordinance's criteria for landmark status; but it was not persuaded by the property owners' arguments, and found that they did not meet their burden of rebutting the presumption of the constitutionality of the legislation, thus upholding the Ordinance.… Continue Reading

Financing Contingencies and Earnest Money Deposits: If I Can’t Get My Loan, I Get My Deposit Back, Right?

Real estate purchasers whose contract permits the return of the earnest money deposit if financing cannot be obtained must be extremely careful in how this contingency is worded in the purchase contract, or a purchaser may get an unwelcome surprise, and be forced to forfeit the earnest money when financing cannot be obtained. Typically, when … Continue Reading

Chicago’s Vacant Building Ordinance Addresses Some Serious Problems – and Creates Some of Its Own, Too

Chicago's Vacant Building Ordinance, which imposes substantial and unprecedented duties on mortgagees of residential real estate located in the city of Chicago, continues to generate controversy - and lawsuits.… Continue Reading

The UK’s Construction Act gets a face-lift

Changes to construction legislation coming into force on 1 October 2011 (1 November 2011 in Scotland) will incorporate revisions to the fair payment and adjudication provisions required to be included in construction contracts. Unless developers are careful about updating their construction contracts, they may unwittingly find that the provisions they believe to be agreed are … Continue Reading

Common Land/Village Green Update

We have previously posted on the potential pitfalls for developers arising because of Commons legislation. No developer of land historically used for leisure activities by the public can afford to ignore the risks of commons registration, as the Courts are currently interpreting the legislation in favour of the users of the land (not the owners). A … Continue Reading

New Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations – what does this mean for you?

On 6 April 2010, the new Community Infrastructure Levy (‘CIL’) Regulations came into force, partially replacing the current system of Section 106 agreements. There won’t be an immediate change in the planning regime, but now is the time to think about the CIL and any potential impact on future developments and transactions.… Continue Reading

Competition Law Applies to Existing UK Property Deals

In our previous posting 'Land Agreements come under the Competition Law Spotlight' when government consultation was underway, we reported on the likely impact of Competition Law applying to property deals. Whilst the issue arose out of the Competition Commission's market investigation into the supply of groceries, the changes that will apply from 6 April 2010 can affect any property agreements and will affect pre-existing agreements as well as anything to be entered into after 6 April. The commercial property world needs a new competition law mindset.… Continue Reading
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