Boutique Gallery Buys Commercial Condominium Unit



We initially represented a boutique rug and design gallery in finding a new space to lease in Philadelphia after its lease expired. The gallery ultimately found a new home for its business in available space in the heart of Old City, Philadelphia.

What made this space unique was that it was a commercial space in a condominium building, which meant the landlord owned only that unit in the condominium building and had to abide by the terms and conditions of the governing condominium documents.

First, we reviewed the governing condominium documents to make sure that the gallery could even operate under the governing condominium documents. After confirming, we also made sure the gallery could operate its business in the space, based upon the unit’s zoning classification under the Philadelphia Zoning Code. We confirmed the gallery could, indeed, legally operate its business as a matter of right under the Philadelphia Zoning Code by merely obtaining a Zoning Permit upon its occupancy of the space.

We then negotiated a provision in the written lease allowing the gallery’s principal owner to be able to purchase the condominium unit for an agreed-upon price if the gallery so elected during the term of the lease.

After the written lease was fully executed by the parties, we filed a Zoning Permit Application with the city of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) on behalf of the gallery. It was promptly approved, and the gallery received a Zoning Permit from L&I allowing it to legally conduct its business operations in the space.

A few years later, the gallery’s principal owner elected to exercise her option to purchase the condominium unit from the landlord based upon the provision we had negotiated into the written lease. We then formed a sole purpose corporate entity with the Pennsylvania Department of State to enter into the agreement of sale as buyer of the condominium unit on behalf of the gallery’s principal owner, per the terms and conditions of that written lease.

We represented the gallery’s owner in obtaining bank financing to purchase the condominium unit. In doing so, we reviewed and negotiated the terms and conditions of the loan documents prior to closing and represented the gallery’s principal owner at the closing table. We also prepared a written lease between the gallery and the corporate entity owned by the gallery’s principal owner as to the condominium unit which became effective after the closing took place.

Rather than paying rent to a landlord, the gallery’s owner now enjoys the benefits of her real estate investment in the space that her business operates.

Professional, accessible, personable and extremely knowledgeable. It was a pleasure dealing with Nochumson P.C., as my lawyers. I highly recommend them for any of your real estate needs. Not only were they experts in their advise given, but they were very responsive in the times I needed them!

- Parisa Abdollahi, Parisa Rugs & Décor

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