Retailers Keep Your Business Viable

Property Lease Managers Become More Outspoken

As a result of store reductions and bankruptcies over the past few years, retailers and non-retail commercial businesses alike should be asking their lease administration managers to become more outspoken in all aspects of lease administration. Property lease requirements for stronger co-tenancy language, early termination rights, and more restrictive exclusives to protect their core business are some of the critical components that can keep a business viable – or break it, if they’re not in place and enforced.

Paul Kinney, Executive Director of the National Retail Tenants Association (NRTA) said that retailers, more than ever, need their Lease Administration departments to assure that all clauses in their leases are followed.

The reality is that there is a significant amount of vacant major retail boxes that need to be leased. Kinney said, as retailers continue to see closing notices in their respective shopping areas, they should be calling upon their own property lease administrators to protect their interests and sales positions at a time that landlords are aggressively trying to find other “non-traditional” tenants to fill vacancies. Commercial lease administration professionals find themselves in the middle of the tug-of-war between keeping shopping centers vibrant and protecting their company’s individual bottom line results.

Most of these unoccupied boxes are now stirring a tremendous upsurge in new usage concepts within traditional mall and shopping center locations. One very active retail alternative category is the health fitness club. Another hot category is walk-in medical and dental clinics, and entertainment venues including restaurants and movie theaters.

The NRTA has been the principle training resource for retail tenants for over 20 years. It offers an annual series of webinars covering topical best practices as well as hosting its annual Expanding Knowledge conference, which typically attracts about 500 lease administration professionals. Not surprisingly, the NRTA’s curriculum continues to expand its education offerings beyond the realm of retail properties. Kinney noted the association continues to see an important increase in the number of commercial and office tenant visitors to its website and conferences.

He concluded, “The lesson for us in the lease administration profession is that while the shopping world around us continues to evolve, the work and challenge of maintaining prudent and strategic lease administration best practices for commercial tenants remains a very critical part of doing business today.”