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Mall Anchors Are Clinging To This Agreement To Keep Landlords From Updating Properties

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One of the few sectors to suffer as badly is in 2008 and 2009 is retail.

Some anchors are clinging to agreements signed years ago to make it hard for mall owners to revamp aging malls.

Known as reciprocal easement agreements, the contracts aim to protect the rights of both anchors and owners by making it hard for either party to reconfigure space without the consent of the other, the Wall Street Journal reports. Today, as e-commerce tears down retailer after retailer, anchors and mall owners don’t always have the same interests, and anchor tenants are using these contracts to prevent adaptations that could help the mall but hurt their store.

Sears and Lord & Taylor, among others, are caught up in litigation against some of their landlords, fighting over issues ranging from subleasing space to demolishing the entire mall for redevelopment. While these legal battles could rage for years, one thing is certain — they will drastically slow down much-needed upgrades for older malls.