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Aging Malls Present Challenges And Opportunities

Online shopping is often blamed for the demise of the American mall. And while the shift away from traditional retail environments in favor of laptop browsing has indeed thrown the mall model into crisis, some argue that part of the problem lies with developers who have failed to change with the times, building new malls and letting the old ones go to rot.

Greenspoint Mall

Will Hurricane Harvey Change The Rules Of Development In Houston?

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the booming Houston real estate market has some reckoning to do. Damaged properties must be demolished or rebuilt, which will, at least temporarily, tax the availability of construction workers for new builds. The subsequent demand for and rising cost of construction materials may also be a barrier to construction. And then there is the question of how things will be done differently in the future, if at all.

Some see changes to zoning laws in and around Houston as an unlikely solution to the city's persistent flooding problem, which has been exacerbated in part by aggressive building in areas that were once prairie lands and watershed areas that would absorb and redirect water.

Contract disputes and compulsory arbitration, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the use of compulsory arbitration to resolve contract disputes. Last time, we briefly looked at a dispute in the oil and gas telecommunications sector in which the parties will be making use of arbitration at the end of next month.

It remains to be seen how the dispute will fare in arbitration, but one of the details that comes through in looking at some of the facts of the case is that contract disputes can get complicated very quickly. Because of this, it is important for parties to work with an arbitration who understands the principles of contract interpretation, and ideally an arbitration who understands the industry out of which the dispute arises.

The commercial real estate industry joins the digital marketplace

The ever-changing technological revolution is changing the face of the commercial real estate industry worldwide, nationwide and in Texas. Online marketing will continue to grow exponentially, but this is not expected to detract from the all-important need to retain personal relationships in order to conduct commercial real estate transactions. The globalization of the industry will go hand-in-hand with the increase of technological resources.

Globalization is expected to increase the pool of ready buyers and to make such transactions easier to accomplish and more comfortable to carry out. Turning to online tools, commercial real estate professionals will be able to conduct and transact real estate transactions more efficiently. The need to conduct due diligence on a property before buying it will be accomplished, in many respects, through the increased variety of information that can be digitally transferred to potential buyers.

Do you appreciate the value of 'work made for hire'?

The nuance of copyright law is something that might be lost on many in Texas. Most readers might appreciate that the creator of a piece of art, whether it's a painting, movie or some form of original writing is understood to enjoy copyright protection.

Did you know, though, that the protection provided under copyright law doesn't require any formal registration with an official office? All it takes is for the creator to fix his or her product in a "tangible medium." If you write it, draw it, record it or store it as a file on your computer, copyright protection is in force. Protecting the intellectual property, however, is a more delicate matter requiring a full understanding of the law.

Contract disputes and compulsory arbitration, P.1

Contract disputes are quite common in every industry, since because contracts are used in nearly every business transaction. When contract disputes arise, parties need to have an effective way of resolving the disagreement and compensating one another for losses. 

One potentially effective way to resolve contract disputes is through contractually-mandated arbitration. Compulsory arbitration is a feature of many business contracts. A recent example of engaging the arbitration process over a contract disputes involves two companies in the oil and gas telecommunications sector. 

Shareholders: work with experienced legal counsel to exercise rights around mergers, P.2

Previously, we began discussing shareholders’ rights of dissent and appraisal in connection with merger transactions. As we noted last time, shareholders with voting rights don’t always have dissent and appraisal rights in every case, and in cases where they otherwise do, they can forfeit them if they fail to properly exercise them.

When the rights of dissent and appraisal do apply, specific procedures must be followed to properly exercise these rights. When these procedures are followed, the rights of dissent and appraisal are “perfected.” Working with an experienced attorney helps ensure a shareholder has guidance in perfecting his or her rights, and that their rights are protected in any disputes around this issue.

Shareholders: work with experienced legal counsel to exercise rights around mergers

In our last post, we wrote about a lawsuit a Whole Foods shareholder is filing against the company in an effort to block the proposed merger of Whole Foods and Amazon. As we noted, shareholders will be voting later this month on whether to approve the transaction. It will be interesting to see what becomes of the vote.

Under Texas law, shareholder approval of merger transactions is required in some circumstances, though not in others. Whether or not shareholder approval is necessary for a merger to move forward depends not only on state statute, but also on the requirements of a corporation’s certificate of incorporation. The latter must, of course, be in line with the requirements of state law, but they can include additional protections and requirements. 

Shareholder files suit to block Amazon-Whole Foods merger

As a leader in online retail, Amazon.com is one of the largest corporations in the world, and CEO Jeff Bezos has become one of the wealthiest men in the world because of Amazon’s successful business model. Amazon’s success depends, of course, on its ability to work with vendors who provide high quality products.

Readers may have heard that Amazon recently announced plans to acquire Austin-based Whole Foods Market. The deal would allow Amazon to further expand its ability to offer the types of products for which Whole Foods is known, but the proposal is facing significant opposition. 

Are Empty Bank Branches A Goldmine For Developers?

Today, more and more people are doing their banking online or at ATMs. What does this mean for the nation's approximately 90,000 bank branches?

According to an article from National Real Estate Investor, it might mean a 20 percent reduction in the number of branches over the course of the next five years. Wells Fargo alone is set to drop 450 branches in just the next two years.

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