Airport Concession Leasing is very diffent than traditional commercial leasing. Michelle Grenier is a Business Lawyer with experience with Airport Concession Leasing. Services include preparing package to respond to Request for Proposal (RFP), negotiating terms with government agencies and airport authorities, and assisting in winning bids for airport concession leases. Michelle has successfully represented clients in negotiation of leases and concessions agreements for combined retail-service businesses, at several major international airports.
Here are some helpful tips related to Airport Concessions Leasing:
DBE, ACDBE; Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. If you qualify and if time permits, consider obtaining Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certification prior to pursuing an airport concessions lease. Typically, airports and management companies for aiport space, have a quota they must reach with regard to the number of leased spaces that must be granted to DBE certified businesses. This makes DBE’s a more attractive choice in the lease bid selection process.
RFP’s, Requests for Proposals for Airport Concession Space. Some airports avoid having to engage directly in the RFP process for each shop within an airport, by publishing a Request for Proposals for a Management Company which would then sublease all of the individual shops. The prevailing Management Company is typically responsible for the lease management of the shops.
OBTAIN LEGAL ADVICE. Airport concession leasing is an entirely different “animal” than typical retail or service shop leasing. Where most commercial leases are reasonable in depth and length, the airport concession lease is typically more than one hundred pages long, regardless whether you have a 500 square foot space or a 5,000 square foot space. This is because there are typically several layers of interested parties, e.g., the Federal, State and Local Governments, Airport Authorities and the Management Company. Each interested party requires certain terms to be included in the lease. Thus, by the time the lease reaches your desk, it covers everyone’s interest . . . except your interests. That is why it is imperative that you have an experienced business attorney review the lease with your best interest in mind, before you sign it.
UNDERSTANDING THE LEASE. The lease you will receive will likely be a Management Company Sublease which will contain, by reference, the terms of the Master Lease (in which the Airport Authority should have granted the Management Company authority to sublease the space that you are looking to lease). Thus, in addition to the terms of the Sublease, you will be bound to the terms of the Master Lease. Management Companies rarely provide the language of the master lease unless specifically requested by the shop owner/operator or the shop’s attorney.
REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF LEASE. After full review of the Master Lease and Sublease, Michelle typically provides an analysis, and makes suggestions and recommendations for modifications, explaining the reasoning behind the same. In addition, Michelle will highlight and explain the important matters within the lease, in terms that you can understand, to assure that you understand your commitments, responsibilities and duties set forth in the lease.
GATHER TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS. Again, the airport concessions lease is different than most commercial leases. Bring together a team of experienceed professionals, e.g., legal, tax, construction and engineers (for build-out), marketing, etc. Comprehensive legal advice and representation is an important part of any successful business plan.