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During this long economic downturn, we all have been looking for signs of recovery.   Although we have no clear vision as to what the future will hold, every bank loan, every purchase and sale contract, every new lease brings some sense of optimism that the real estate economy may be improving.  We certainly hope so.  And, although we cannot predict what the rest of 2010 has in store, we can say with certainty that we look forward to continuing to work with each and every one of you, our valued friends and clients. 

You can't always get what you want: 

Chicago prohibits negative use restrictions relating to grocery and drug stores.


Large grocery and drug retail chains often attempt to quash their competition by negotiating negative use restrictions in leases and deeds.  These negative use restrictions prohibit the use of the land for a grocery or drug store after the grocery or drug store tenant has terminated its operations at the site.  Such restrictions can make development of the site and surrounding area more difficult.


The Chicago City Council has determined that the continued presence of a grocery or drug store in Chicago neighborhoods "serves as a catalyst to other development and advances the general health, safety and welfare of the residents of Chicago", and the Chicago Municipal Code was amended to provide that such negative use restrictions are not enforceable.


The amendment to the Code, which applies retroactively to May 11, 2005, provides that private agreements prohibiting the use of real property as a grocery or drug store for more than one year after the existing large grocery or drug store operator has terminated its operations at the site are unenforceable.  An exception is made for grocery or drug stores terminating operations for the purpose of relocating its operations to a comparable or larger store in Chicago, within a one-half mile radius, so long as the new store is opened within 2 years and the term of the negative use restriction does not exceed 3 years.  In certain situations, the City has discretion to extend the radius restriction to 1 mile and the time to re-open to 3 years.


Large grocery and drug store operators will be disappointed by Chicago's aggressive stance in protecting City neighborhoods.  We'll do our best to make sure our clients are aware of restrictions like these which may affect their development plans.  If you want to learn more, please email us or give us a call.


The Bottom Line
Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married.  The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent!

MARCH 2010




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Highland Park, Illinois


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Becker Gurian | 513 Central Avenue | Suite 400 | Highland Park | IL | 60035-3264