• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

anti-competitive deed restrictions on dead big boxes -- seen any?

indigo

Cyburbian
Messages
73
Points
4
Rumor has it that Wal-mart and some other big box retailers have used anti-competitive deed restrictions to limit reuse of their properties once they close a store.

Has this happened in your community? Anyone have examples of the text that was used to accomplish that aim?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I have not heard of this being done through deed restrictions. I am aware of instances where a developer has agreed not to lease or sell other land in a development to a competitor, although there is often a time limitation on this clause.

There could be a couple scenarios that would keep a box from going to a competitor:

- the property could be owned by the company, and they may choose not to sell or lease to a competitor.

- the company could hold a lease with a remaining term, in which case they may continue to pay the lease or refuse to sublet to a competitor.

Still, I think most property owners would object to the stipulation in the form of a deed restriction. Would you define 'competitor' by company name? Or would you characterise it by the goods sold. I.e. Wal-mart sells food, general merchandise, pharmacy, lawn and garden, clothing, personal services, automotive accessories.... What is left?

I have heard of instances where a city has required a big box, moving to another part of the community, to have the old building leased or work with the community to lease the old location, as a part of the approval for a new building. If you are interested, I'll see if I can find a specific example.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
the Catholic Church has a policy not to sell closed churches to other religions. Closed ones here have all become housing (gets back on the tax rolls).
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I know of a covenant in a deed that said the property may not be used for a business that competes with or sells any other brand then ours, additionally it also limited the construction of a road across it to service businesses that may sell or compete with the company in question.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Seabishop said:
the Catholic Church has a policy not to sell closed churches to other religions. Closed ones here have all become housing (gets back on the tax rolls).
Housing? Here we've taken clased churches to their next logical use...Bars and nightclubs!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
donk said:
I know of a covenant in a deed that said the property may not be used for a business that competes with or sells any other brand then ours, additionally it also limited the construction of a road across it to service businesses that may sell or compete with the company in question.
I would think the road covenant would be pretty unenforceable in the light of eminent domain and assessment powers of the municipality.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
the covenant was enforceable, the city has ended up expropriating the land to clear the title and covenant for a road needed for a development.

From what i rememebr/have been told is that the covenant realted to the subdivison of land and was phrased to say thatno road could be created by teh subdivision of teh parcel. you have to love property law and lawyers and a company that typically does not sell land and when they do they are SOB's.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
It doesn't surprise me. I know of convenience store and fast food chains buying up prime sites, restricting them from competition, and offering them back for sale.
 

indigo

Cyburbian
Messages
73
Points
4
for Mike Gurnee. What mechanism did they use to restrict the properties from use by competitors?

for Michael Stumpf. Yes, thank you, to the offer of info on how those businesses closing big boxes (only to open bigger boxes elsewhere in the community) might be persuaded/required as part of the approval process to provide some cooperation around future positive reuse of the site. I imagine that it is complicated by the fact that so often the businesses don't actually own the properties (neither the one that is being vacated nor the one that is being constructed). I'd love to hear the particulars on any real life experience on the success of this, or even any strong-arm tactics that have been used to head off a potential dead big box. You are welcome to post info here or send it to me directly, as you like.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
biscuit said:


Housing? Here we've taken clased churches to their next logical use...Bars and nightclubs!
I saw an Al Roeker special on the Food Network where they converted an old Catholic Church in Pittsburgh into a brew-pub. It looked awesome.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
The last city I worked for had a grocer - we'll hypothetically call them Fleming / Sentry that built a larger store in the community. Since they owned the former building, they placed a deed restriction on the property prior to listing it for sale. It sat vacant for years because at its size, there was no market for that space. It eventually bacame a low-brow equipment rental store, with skidsters (bobcats) and cherry pickers parked in the lot.

*sigh. better than being vacant in the Plan Commissions eyes*

Sorry the text I dont have.

Edit: Damn that sounded like Yoda talking
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
jtfortin said:


I saw an Al Roeker special on the Food Network where they converted an old Catholic Church in Pittsburgh into a brew-pub. It looked awesome.

The Church Brewery, located in the Lower Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. I went there for the first time a couple of weekends ago. It really was a nice atmosphere with the old pews turned into booths, the beer vats and brewing equipment placed at the former alter and is framed by a large rose window, and the former confessionals are, where else, the bar.A great reuse for such a large space. The food wasn't anything to write home about but the micro-brew is 8.5% so we had a guaranteed good time.

Another old church in the Strip District called, what else, Sanctuary now houses a techno/dance club.

One re-use that doesn't involve drinking, as far as I know, is a large former Methodist church building on Mount Washington that has been turned into an assisted living/ senior day center. I haven't been inside but the exterior looks great.
 

ecofem

Cyburbian
Messages
206
Points
9
I've seen these types of restrictions back when I was practicing law. Many clients (especially the multi-national oil companies) would require anti-complete type deed restrictions in outparcel acquisitions which were part of a typical strip mall or PUD development. It was also not unusual for the big-box retailers to require this type of deed restriction. These types of restrictions were also included as lease clauses, which were easier to deal with in the event a particular business ceased to operate in the shopping center.
 
Top