Real Estate Contract Implications Amid COVID-19

May 20, 2020


McGuireWoods partners Scott Adams and Rick Holzheimer joined the NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, and industry leaders to discuss real estate contract implications arising from COVID-19.

Attendees included major Washington, D.C., real estate property owners, developers and general contractors. Adams moderated the panel and led panelists through the issues rising from the pandemic. Holzheimer discussed current issues related to construction contracts, leasing and premises liability. On the construction front, panelists noted that disruptions in the D.C. market had been manageable, with owners and contractors finding reasonable paths forward. In the retail context, the panelists were seeing a range of responses from tenants and landlords. However, in most cases parties were working to find reasonable solutions on rent abatement and deferrals. For office users, the panelists had not seen a significant drop in rent collections or requests for rent abatement outside of particularly hard hit sectors such as co-working for example. For the most part issues with office properties revolve around allocation of additional common area costs and the mechanics of reopening. In the reopening context, there were concerns about how to limit liability and difficulties for landlords enforcing social distancing policies.

The program built upon McGuireWoods’ reputation as a thought leader in the D.C. real estate field. Adams serves on the NAIOP Northern Virginia Board of Directors and the Board of the Virginia Association of Commercial Real Estate. Holzheimer is a frequent panelist in NAIOP and other real estate-focused webinars and client updates.