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As we say goodbye to 2020, we wanted to share our top five most-read articles of 2020 from Gravel2Gavel. The most-read blog posts covered real estate and construction industry trends ranging from proptech trends like blockchain tokenization to COVID-specific rent carveouts and management disclosures to trends and market updates. Our posts provided deep industry insight and summarized hot topics that addressed the legal implications and disruptions that affected the market.  Our 2020 roundup:

  1. Blockchain-Based Tokenization of Commercial Real Estate by Josh Morton and Matt Olhausen. Josh and Matt discuss the increasing interest in technology applications for real estate assets, or “Proptech,” and tokenization’s potential.
  2. Real Estate Trends: Looking Ahead to 2021 by Adam Weaver. Adam discussed the pandemic’s influence and future trends for the real estate market.
  3. Management’s Duties and Responsibilities to Disclose COVID-19 Cases to Commercial and Residential Tenants While Also Protecting Privacy by Rebecca Carr Rizzo. Rebecca discussed how timely and accurate disclosures of positive COVID-19 results could reduce liability.
  4. Real Estate Market Update. Bob Grados and Joel Simon discuss the current real estate market, the types of lenders active in the market, and popular transaction types that thrived in 2020.
  5. The Looming Housing Crisis and Limited Government Relief—An Examination of the CDC Eviction Moratorium Two Months In by Zachary Kessler.  Zach discussed the federal eviction moratorium.

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We’ve been busy podcasting! Here are some of our recent episodes focused on real estate and hospitality (and hosted by Joel Simon).

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Episode #22: Real Estate Market Update (Bob Grados): Listen in for an update on the current real estate market, which types of lenders are active in the market and the popular transaction types that are thriving in today’s environment.

Episode #17: Hotels & Hospitality: Opportunities, New Strategies and Future Transformation (Christian Salaman): Joel and Christian discuss the status of the hospitality industry, and provide an update on distressed projects, recovery forecasting and financing sources.

Episode #7: Real Estate and Financial Strategies during COVID-19 (Caroline Harcourt): Caroline and Joel discuss the impact of COVID-19 across the real estate sector, including forbearance requests to lenders, the impact on leasing and the opportunities and challenges down the road.

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Illinois Governor’s Executive Order prohibited sale of food or beverages for on-premises consumption held to partially excuse restaurant tenant’s rent payment obligations. In “Court Holds COVID-19 Executive Order Triggers Lease’s Force Majeure Clause, Excusing Some Rent Obligations,” colleagues David L. MillerPatrick J. PotterJessica H. Lee, and Katherine Sauter examine the order in the sixth article in a series of alerts on insolvency topics affecting real estate.

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As COVID-19 reverberates through the real estate and construction industries, impacted companies should revisit their employee compensation programs to preserve cash and drive performance while maintaining legal compliance. This is particularly true for companies normally dependent on high rents in cities, where commercial tenants are trading brick-and-mortar office space for work-from-home arrangements, and freeing up employees—unshackled by any commuting concerns—to relocate in pursuit of lower housing costs.

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On June 15, 2020, the California Legislature passed Governor Newsom’s proposed tax legislation to raise additional income tax revenue to assist in balancing the California budget. (AB 85). The Senate and Assembly each achieved the two-thirds majority vote required for California tax increases (27-11 in the Senate and 56-20 in the Assembly), with Gov. Newsom expected to sign the legislation later this week. In “California Legislature Passes Governor Newsom’s Proposal to Suspend California Net Operating Loss Deductions and Limit Tax Credits during 2020 – 2022,” colleagues Jeffrey M. VeselyCraig A. Becker, Carley Roberts and Breann E. Robowski discuss the tax legislation’s two principal components.

 

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New Small Business Administration (SBA) guidance implementing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) confirms that a somewhat narrower set of affiliation principles now applies to SBA loan programs, including the PPP. In “COVID-19 Relief: SBA Issues Regulations & Guidance on the Payroll Protection Program,” colleagues Alexander B. GinsbergDavid B. DixonJohn E. JensenShaalu Mehra and Steven A. Kaplan discuss how the SBA issued interim regulations and guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program, including confirmation of “affiliation” rules that may leave many companies affiliated with their investors and other businesses.

 

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The CARES Act provides $350 billion for small business Paycheck Protection Loans and an additional $10 billion for the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Colleagues David Miller and Zachary Bailey describe the new Paycheck Protection Loan Program and the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program below. These are complex programs, with regulations still being developed by the Small Business Administration.

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Due to the spread of COVID-19, companies are facing unique challenges to their businesses, including supply chain interruptions, employee and customer safety concerns and government regulations, restrictions and shutdowns. In “COVID-19: Understanding Business Interruption Insurance and Wide-Impact Catastrophes,” colleagues Joseph D. JeanEric M. GoldMatthew F. PutortiJanine StaniszTamara D. Bruno and Brendan Hogan discuss how policyholders can expect insurers to put forth strong objections to many of their claims in an effort to reduce the liability exposure.

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The SEC has provided conditional regulatory relief regarding filing deadlines and has issued guidance regarding annual meetings to assist public companies impacted by COVID-19. In “COVID-19: Q&A for Public Companies,” colleagues Davina K. KaileGabriella A. LombardiChristina F. Pearson and Stanton D. Wong addresses some of the most frequently asked questions of public companies on how to navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19.

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As we kick off the new decade, we wanted to share the top five most-read articles of 2019 from Gravel2Gavel. The most-read blog posts covered 2019 real estate and construction industry trends ranging from affordable housing to the new State Bill 35 (SB 35) to sustainability in modern real estate. Our posts provided deep insight and detailed case studies, and summarized hot topics that addressed the legal implications and exciting disruptions that are affecting the industry. We hope you enjoy the roundup:

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