Can I sell a Ground lease?

4 Replies

I own a commercial property that I still have a note on. My question is can I do a long term(20 yrs) ground lease; built to suit and then sell that contract to another party? And if so who would pay the taxes of the new building or how will that work? Any advise would help. Thanks

@Manuel Martinez Yes presuming ground leases are legal in your state.  Generally the building owner would pay all costs. This may be determined by either state law or the lease itself. 

There may possibly restrictions in the note you owe. 

To your basic question can you sell a ground lease? yes of course.  All the other details need to be confirmed with an attorney.

Most ground leases the tenant pays you for the land and you do nothing. Now if it is raw land even with a ground lease the tenant wants to utilities stubbed to the site and the site ready to build on so you have some costs involved.

In a ground lease you are getting ground rent so per the lease the tenant should be paying all the taxes,etc. You need a good commercial attorney to set up the lease.

One I have used in the past and did a good job.  http://www.vblawoffice.com/staff/andy-van-buskirk/

Keep in mind too, a 20 year ground lease is not considered long term.  Buyers will find it very difficult to finance.  Shoot for 50 years or longer for more flexibility now and in the future.

For retail many ground leases are 20 year primary term or lower with options thereafter. If a regional or national tenant they tend to trade at 4 to 5 caps so where interest rates are today they almost have to be all cash purchases.

An advantage to a ground lease is being able to buy in an area you might not could afford. For example a brand new Chick-fil-a NNN for land and building could be 3 to 4 million all cash. Conversely a Chick-fil-a on a ground lease in the same area could be 1.5 to 2 million.