A land lease isn’t a standard home purchase—there are some pros and cons you need to weigh before signing on the dotted line. Find out more about 100% financing, subordinated vs. unsubordinated ground leases, key provisions of a financeable ground lease, use of ground leases with student housing projects and airports, and provision considerations in leasehold valuation.
NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.
Ground Lease Definition
A long-term lease of land in which the tenant will erect improvements at its own expense. Not a desirable arrangement from the tenant's point of view, but sometimes the only way to gain access to extremely valuable real estate in an excellent location. The owner may be willing to sell, or the owner may have received the property by gift or deed (such as a church or university) and be prohibited from selling for some period of time. At the end of the lease term, the improvements become the property of the landowner.
Source: The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia (McGraw-Hill, 2007)
Ground Lease Basics
iStar’s Jay Sugarman is All About the Ground Lease (Commercial Observer, Apr. 9, 2019)
Reinventing the Ground Lease Concept (Nareit, Sep. 13, 2018)
Land Owners are Using Ground Leases More and More (GlobeSt.com, Aug. 20, 2018)
Ground Leases: Some Basics, Some Specifics and How to Make Them Financeable (Financial Services Blog, Jun. 29, 2018)
What is a Ground Lease? (The Massimo Group)
Ground Lease News
Alexander & Baldwin Acquires Ground Lease Interest in Industrial Park in Hawaii for $41M (RE Business Online, May 3, 2019)
EXCLUSIVE: Renderings of 18-Story Rutgers-Newark Redevelopment Released (Jersey Digs, Apr. 29, 2019)
Newport Aquatic Center Found in Default of Its Ground Lease with City (The Orange County Register, Apr. 19, 2019)
Sheet Metal Worker a Million Dollar Winner in Bronx Land Lease (Real Estate Weekly, Feb. 27, 2019)
Skanska to Develop 1700 M Through Ground Lease with JBG Smith (Bisnow, Jan. 29, 2019)
Valuing & Financing Ground Leases
Walker & Dunlop Arranges $25 Million in Financing for Unique Ground Lease Portfolio in Southern California (PR Newswire, Apr. 4, 2019) E
How Ground Leases Became “Ticking Time Bombs for Iconic Properties (The Real Deal, Jan. 22, 2019)
On Financing an Unsubordinated Ground Lease in the Twenty-First Century (Probate & Property Magazine, 2019)
Why Safety, Income & Growth Has Chosen to Focus on the Ground Lease (GlobeSt.com, Oct. 29, 2018)
When Choosing a Property Investment Style, Consider More Than Risk Plus Effort (Forbes, Jun. 28, 2018)
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Good Commercial Sense (eBook)
Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals for Dummies (Kindle, eBook)
Wealth Opportunities in Commercial Real Estate (Kindle, eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports
Commercial Lease Law Answer Book (New York, NY: Vendome Group, 2008) KF 593 C6
Lease Guide: Guide to Writing a Commercial Real Estate Lease Including Green Lease Language (Washington, D.C.: BOMA International, 2008) HD 1384 T23
The Leasing Process: Landlord and Tenant Perspectives (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Management, 2008) HD 1394 M89
Managing and Leasing Commercial Properties (New York, NY: Wiley, 2007) HD 1394 AL2ma
Negotiating Commercial Real Estate Leases (Chicago, IL: Dearborn, 2001) HD 1384 R22
Negotiate Your Commercial Lease (Bellingham, WA: Self-Counsel Press, 1998) HD 1384 W66
Have an idea for a real estate topic? Send us your suggestions.
The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.