Real Estate Developer Favored in Court

Shopping centers are often subject to restrictive covenants which limit the potential use of the property and benefit owners by keeping direct competition to a minimum. Restrictive covenants can be voided by a court if they no longer serve the purpose for which they were originally intended. In a recent case, Fairfield and Woods represented a local real estate developer in Lakewood, Colorado, where covenants established in the 1970s were called into question. Our client was sued to have the restrictive covenants declared null and void because the plaintiff wanted to develop and use its portion of the shopping center in a manner which would violate the current restrictions. Fairfield and Woods was able to argue successfully that the original purpose of the covenants had not ceased to exist as they were meant to “run with the land” and constituted a direct benefit to its client. The court agreed and rejected the Plaintiff’s argument that the original purpose of the restrictive covenants no longer existed. Additionally, the court upheld the building restrictions, favoring our client on all counts.