Dixie is Dealt a Dark Blow

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Dixie Phair, Any Municipality County’s Commercial Real Property Analyst, was involved in another big box hearing. MegaBox Corporation’s local counsel, Legal Eagle, was winding up a lengthy dissertation on how signage and facade design can impact a new, state-of-the-art property:

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EAGLE: And to recap, my client’s building is entirely unique in design and construction, having been built-to-suit for brand identification. Another user would need to expend significant funds to adapt the building to their use. This is significant inherent functional obsolescence, negatively impacting value in the marketplace.

PHAIR: So is this why the sales and leases you have presented are comprised entirely of discount stores that have gone dark? Because their tenants have moved on to better locations? Or because use is restricted in those buildings?

EAGLE: The comparable sales accurately reflect the market penalty for the need to adapt to other user’s branding or operations.

PHAIR: But the buyers and lessees of those buildings are local operators without brand identity, often employing alternative uses as the local retailing focus has moved to other areas. Sales that are still in competitive retail locations were deeded with severe use restrictions to prevent competition as the former tenant moved to change its store prototype.

EAGLE: There! You see? Those former locations are old prototypes… full of obsolescence!

PHAIR: Then why are they comparable in any way to the fully viable facility your client occupies today? It is highly similar in design to those of competing brands surrounding it. These properties reflect current design and the best local location.

EAGLE: Since the focus of my client is to provide family-sustaining jobs in this jurisdiction, they must position in the best location. It is a business decision made in a brutally competitive market. Punitive assessments only make their role here harder.

Dixie lost this case for the wrong reasons.