We all know that good fences make good neighbors. Do you know what else makes good neighbors? A detailed agreement that outlines their respective rights and responsibilities. That's where reciprocal easement agreements come in.
Sometimes referred to as REAs (or construction, operations, and reciprocal easement agreements, or declarations of covenants, conditions, and restrictions), these documents have been a favored tool of shopping center and other developers for decades. As old and new shopping centers morph into different kinds of developments, however, REAs must evolve with them. The REA that your grandpa drafted for this new-fangled thing called a shopping mall does not work for today's mixed-use development featuring office, hotel, residential, and retail uses. This article provides some background about REAs and includes tips for drafting new REAs and amending old ones to include sufficient protection for all owners and operators in a development, while also allowing them to develop the next big thing on all parcels of a development.
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