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Fort Walton Beach Legal Blog

Shopping mall looks to revitalize through new tenants

In Florida and across the country, traditional shopping malls are facing difficulties, while other kinds of retail real estate projects are booming. However, the owners of classic malls like the Santa Rosa Mall are looking towards new options to revitalize their storefronts. In addition, by constructing a large apartment complex on the site, mall owners are changing the face of the project toward the walkable, live-work concepts that are propelling large-scale residential construction across the country.

Reflecting these changes, the new tenants at the mall in the Florida Panhandle reflect a wide range of services that move beyond clothing and toy sales. Among the companies coming to the mall include a video and audio production studio, a dance studio and a hair salon. These new tenants are planned as part of the integration into the mixed-use development in progress, which will include housing, restaurants, retail and a wide range of services. These types of developments replicate the classic appeal of a downtown space, even while also including mall-style attributes.

Fort Walton Beach real estate legal services

Bringing even straightforward real estate transactions to a successful close can be challenging in Florida, and stricter underwriting standards introduced in the wake of the mortgage crisis have added an additional layer of complexity to an already difficult process. Attorneys with experience in this area will be aware of this, and they may help property buyers and sellers, contractors, suppliers, developers, architects and property managers to anticipate potential snags and pitfalls and keep deals on track.

Real estate transactions often involve several parties who all have interests to protect, and being able to understand their positions could help attorneys to ensure that negotiations do not become sidetracked by disputes or misunderstandings. These issues may be especially concerning to property developers and investors as project timetables are often strict and even minor delays can be extremely costly.

Florida law emphasizes need for written construction contracts

Courts recognize written agreements between parties involved in a construction project. Although some limited circumstances might legally allow two parties to forgo a written agreement, verbal agreements provide courts with nothing to base decisions on if a dispute arises. In the majority of business deals, the law requires contractors and their business associates to develop written contracts. Value and term length play an important role in the requirement to make an agreement in writing.

Legal remedies in breach of contract cases

Litigation can be a time consuming and expensive process, and businesses in Florida and around the country often choose to settle these matters at the negotiating table to avoid protracted legal battles. However, traditional negotiations and alternative approaches such as mediation do not always lead to an amicable resolution.

Monetary damages, which are known as remedies in law, are usually awarded to parties who prevail in court, but there are rare situations where judges may order the losing party to honor their commitments instead. 

Florida landing project to revitalize boardwalk

In Fort Walton Beach, development has been approved on the Florida city's waterfront, meant to promote tourism, entertainment and a range of other activities. The Fort Walton Landing received a grant of $1.6 million from the state environmental protection department to pursue upgrades to the park.

Among other changes, the redevelopment will include the renewal of 875 feet of boardwalk that borders the Santa Rosa Sound as well as benches and trash receptacles for the walk. The renovation will also include lighting and sidewalks that comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Using convertible notes

Entrepreneurs in Florida who are interested in different ways to fund startups may consider using convertible notes. These notes are debts that change into equity when fundraising rounds take place.

One of the primary advantages of convertible notes is the simple way in which they are structured. It can take substantial money and time to execute startup financing rounds, and they can easily become complicated. In contrast, the financing for convertible notes are less expensive, less complex and take less time. Ownership stakes in the startup enterprise are sold in a priced round while the issuance of common stock or the creation of second-class shares are not necessary for convertible notes.

Dissolving a business partnership: a guide

Business partnerships are often an asset and can be mutually beneficial. However, sometimes these partnerships can fade and stop working. In this case, it may work better for the partnership to dissolve.

There are a few elements the partners will need to review and complete in order to properly dissolve a partnership.

Start up companies need to budget and prepare for debt

Entrepreneurs in Florida focus on their goals, but, realistically, debts will pave the path to their success. New businesses generally do not make a profit for three to five years. Until then, bank loans, credit cards and investors will supply the money to launch and operate a business. From day one, entrepreneurs must budget carefully and accept the inevitability of carrying debt for a time.

A startup budget involves the identification of all operating expenses, such as leases, wages, utilities, equipment and advertising. Amounts assigned to all categories should be well researched and as accurate as possible so that a business owner can establish spending limits and discover ways to control costs.

Sales and revenue more important than perfect business launch

The demands of starting up a new business in Florida can easily pull a founder in many directions. Entrepreneurs often strive for perfection when launching a business. Time invested on designing a logo or crafting a marketing message matters, but nothing replaces the benefits of signing clients as soon as possible and generating revenue. Even if a business remains a work in progress, sales revenue will keep an operation alive and potentially attract new investors.

People with good business ideas sometimes get derailed by insisting on getting every detail just right before trying to market the products or services. More value could be gained in the early days by attracting customers while in a beta mode. Even if early customers do not represent the ideal customer for the business plan, a customer who pays an invoice creates more success than fine-tuning a slogan or picking out stationery.

Construction contracts can provide a solid basis for building

When Florida businesses get involved with a new construction, there are a number of critical documents that can help to lay the groundwork for a successful project. By paying close attention to contracting even before the project begins, companies can help to avoid later construction disputes that are contentious and expensive. By building a firm, well-constructed contract, the parties involved in a project can be well on their way toward a successful development.

While a construction contract will typically begin with the chief agreements and contracts, the necessary documents are not limited to this main reference point. In particular, a scope of work statement can be helpful in understanding the agreed-upon steps of the process of building and construction. By being clear in the statement of work, both parties can provide more accurate assessments of the time and cost involved in completing the project. Another important extension of the contract lays out general conditions; this document makes clear both party's rights and obligations under the agreement.

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