Commercial Real Estate Investment/Commercial Land Lease


I live in south Texas off a major highway where the Eagle Ford Shale has land prices booming. I have noticed a lot of companies leasing land and building their shops and offices on this land. Most signs for land say "$600 per acre per month", the lessee is responsible for development and maintenance of the land. I think my land is very well suited for a lease, and I do not wish to deal with a realtor. What is your advice on how to lease my land, how to develop a contract, and what to stay away from. Thank you for your help.


My advice is not to attempt doing a land lease transaction without an experienced broker assisting you.  Every land lease, similar to a land sale, is usually a mine field filled with significant risks to a inexperienced property owner.

Commercial real estate, like many industries, is a complex business.  It is filled with predators that sense "blood in the water" when a well intentioned, fair minded, novice property owner decides to peddle their property without professional assistance. Once you have completed several land lease transactions with professional advisors you may be in a much better position to attempt a land lease solo.

I am sure you know that doing a land lease involves much more than negotiating a reasonable rental for you property and that the economic terms of the lease are only a tiny portion of the critical issues that must be addressed.  The "building their shops and offices on the land" as you state in your 2nd sentence demands multiple pages in the lease of myriad provisions that are highly specialized.   Further, your request in the last sentence of your question for "advice on how to lease my (your) land, how to develop a contract, and what to stay away from" requires material that has been written about for decades and filled entire books.   In these matters,  a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous.

Please seek out an experienced broker with solid experience in land leases - you should find that they deliver many valuable benefits to your undertaking.  At a minimum, put an attorney with specialized knowledge in COMMERCIAL land leases and sales on retainer to steer you away from hidden problems and liabilities.

I encourage you to proceed with creating as much income as possible from leasing your property, but don't attempt it without good professional help.  

Good luck.


Commercial Real Estate Investment

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Jim Avancena, CPM


Best qualified to answer questions that involve commercial leases, that is, basic issues as well as the often unexpected effects of the complexities and inter-relationships of the provisions a lease may contain, explain how seemingly innocuous text in your lease can have a major impact on a Tenant or Landlord and their business operations, and the common practices utilized in the industry. I can untangle most matters that may come up from the time a tenant begins searching for a office or store space and the lease acquisition process, concerns related to remodeling/improving the leased premises, moving-in, subletting or assigning the leased space, and a long list of problems that may come up during the lease term and even after a tenant moves out. I have practical experience with most property management issues and resolving landlord and tenant disputes - especially those involving what may appear to be overcharges assessed for additional lease charges like CAM costs, operating expense reimbursement, real estate taxes, utilities, construction improvements etc. Note that I am not an attorney and cannot provide legal advice.


Thirty years active experience in the commercial real estate industry as a licensed real estate broker in the Washington DC Metro area (DC, Northern Virginia & Maryland). I have been admitted (approved) by the Maryland and DC courts to testify as an expert witness on the subjects of Commercial Leasing and Property Management in the area of standard industry practices. I have had a business for the last 14 years advising virtually every form of business entity from large national corporations to the smallest ma & pa new businesses regarding a wide range of commercial real estate matters in addition to property management and commercial leasing.

Currently my three children keep me so busy that it is difficult to participate in organizations with continuing and specific time requirements.

I publish a local commercial real estate newsletter titled: "Tenants First". My firm was the subject of a high profile Washington Post business section cover page (2.25 full pages) feature story on January 13, 1993; titled "Overcharging Overhead".

BA in Political Science from Memphis University, and five years of study in the real estate development summer program at MIT. I was certified as a commercial property manager (CPM-IREM), and currently hold a brokers license in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Awards and Honors
The same plaques and honors that most others in my industry have earned. I have none that I consider especially meaningful.

Past/Present Clients
Past clients include: The World Bank, George Washington University, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, US Department of Commerce, The American Benefits Council, K-Mart Development, many law firms, a national union, other major organizations, and many, many small business firms and retail operators that I am most honored to serve. I estimate more than 1,500 firms/organizations.

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