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The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018(FIRRMA) now specifically brings real estate transactions directly under the jurisdiction and review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS is an interagency committee created to review the national security impacts of foreign investments in the United States. CFIUS is empowered to block or impose measures to reduce any threats to U.S. national security. Covered transactions include the purchase, lease, or concession by or to a foreign person of developed or undeveloped land in close proximity to critical infrastructure. The expansion to undeveloped land is a significant change, as purely “greenfield” investments will now be subject to CFIUS review.  Read More On FIRRMA Impact Here >
In a recent case out of Indianapolis, the Indiana Court of Appeals held that building code violations constituted a material breach by the general contractor of its contract with the property owner. As a result, the court determined that the general contractor could not enforce provisions of the contract against the homeowner or assert lien rights, because the general contractor committed the first material breach of the contract.  The ruling in A House Mechanics Inc. v. Massey, 124 NE3d 1257 (2019), has several potential implications. Most importantly, the court’s determination that a building code violation constitutes a material breach of contract could expose general contractors to significant liability where a building code violation may be de minimis. More on Building Code Violation Litigation Here >
In Sacramentans for Fair Planning v. City of Sacramento, published on July 18, 2019, the California Court of Appeal rejected challenges to a project based on the principle of zoning uniformity, limiting its application to general law cities and to its statutory foundation. In doing so, the court rejected claims that the zoning uniformity rule was similarly based on constitutional or implied contract principles. This case is also the first published appellate decision to address environmental review under California Senate Bill 375's Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessment (SCEA) process. More on California Zoning Uniformity Claims Here>
We have previously discussed how leveraging private-sector expertise and financing through a P3 can bring many benefits to the public, including faster delivery of new infrastructure, higher-quality maintenance and operations, and lower lifecycle costs.  However, in order to take full advantage of the P3 model, a government must ensure that it has the right internal resources to design and manage the project.  A P3 is not a substitute for poor planning, and the best P3s are the product of thoughtful and thorough preparation with the right combination of subject-matter experts.  More on Insourcing for P3s Here>
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