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Cranes and Lanes: Transportation Infrastructure and CRE

Posted on September 22, 2017

By: Brian Landes

Transportation infrastructure can have dramatic effects on the value of commercial real estate.

Transportation infrastructure entails a vast number of systems and facilities that people interact with daily but rarely think about. This infrastructure takes people to work, school and play; it conveys freight across the country and around the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the presence — or absence — of suitable infrastructure can have a dramatic effect on the value of the commercial real estate that surrounds it.

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Tax Reform is Imminent: NAIOP Update

Posted on September 21, 2017

With 24/7 coverage of ongoing global events dominating the news cycle, it's easy to lose sight of what's happening with U.S. legislation critical to our industry.

Tax reform negotiations are imminent: House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised to release an outline of a tax reform plan the week of September 25, followed by negotiations between the House, Senate, and administration.

This is the first major tax reform in more than three decades, and the stakes for commercial real estate are high. We have been closely working with Congress to ensure legislative programs and incentives critical to our industry are carefully considered throughout the negotiation process, including:

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REBIC BBQ and Candidate Meet & Greet

Posted on September 21, 2017

Join REBIC to meet candidates for CMS Board of Education, Charlotte Mayor and City Council, and Mecklenburg, Iredell, and Cabarrus County Town Boards.

Thursday, October 19, 2017
11:30 am to 1:30 pm
SMS Catering Facility
1764 Norland Road, Charlotte

Tickets are $20 per person – all you can eat.


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Senate Approves Extension of National Flood Insurance Program

Posted on September 12, 2017

On Thursday, September 7, the United States Senate voted to pass a three-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The House of Representatives is expected to pass the legislation on Friday, September 8, 2017, and the President is expected to quickly sign the bill into law later in the day.

This legislation ensures that the NFIP will not lapse on September 30, 2017, and will be extended until December 8, 2017.

Source: National Association of Realtors® (NAR)

New Safety Standards for Driverless Cars

Posted on September 11, 2017

A group calling itself the Coalition for Future Mobility – representing automakers, suppliers, smart transportation leaders and people with disabilities – is asking Congress to tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it’s time to change auto safety standards so they reflect the coming of self-driving cars. The measure has passed a House of Representatives committee.

“Unfortunately, the rulemaking process is not a short one, not a cheap one and is nothing short of labor intensive,” Elliot Katz, a partner at the law firm McGuireWoods, tells Bloomberg. “The basic problem here is one we’ve seen in a lot of industries: the technology moves a lot quicker than the regulation.” The coalition wants Congress to act as soon as possible.

Bloomberg reports that more than 30 current regulations seem to require a human driver be at the wheel. Such regulations could pose a problem for autonomous vehicles, which are being developed by both tech companies such as Google and carmakers such as Volvo and Ford.

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JLL Predicts Where and How We'll Shop

Posted on September 8, 2017

Shoppers today have three main options when they’re looking to buy: Go to a brick-and-mortar store, shop online but pick up at a brick-and-mortar store, or purchase online and have the product delivered. In a report, “Bagged or Boxed,” JLL explains that “the way shoppers value time, touch and money drives on- or offline purchasing,” and predicts which businesses are well-positioned for future growth.

When it comes to physical stores, JLL writes that restaurants, off-price retailers, dollar stores and furniture stores should have the best opportunities to succeed. All provide either an experience or a price that online shopping can’t surpass.

JLL expects that several types of stores will maintain locations, but also step up their online presence. It points to grocery, apparel, sporting goods, and toy stores as examples of categories that are seeing a move toward more online shopping.

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Top Office Markets Solid in Second Quarter

Posted on September 7, 2017

In its latest “U.S. Top Office Metros Snapshot,” Colliers reports that “fundamentals in the 10 major office markets in the U.S. largely remained solid during the second quarter.”

The report finds that vacancy rates were unchanged in three markets, increased in four markets, and declined in three others. “Rents held firm in six of the markets tracked in this report. At the same time, two key factors point to upward pressure on vacancy rates: tenant downsizing and new supply,” the report states.

Some details from the report include:

  • “Three markets – Manhattan, the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle – have office vacancy rates well under 10% and saw no increases in the second quarter.”
  • In Houston, vacancy is back above 20 percent.
  • “Concerns over the impact of new supply in San Francisco and Seattle are receding, but two markets – Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. – remain exposed to construction risk.”
  • Boston and Dallas markets remain solid.

The Uncertain Future of Carried Interest Tax

Posted on September 6, 2017

The future of tax reform remains unclear as Labor Day approaches. However, the White House is indicating it plans to step back and allow lawmakers to take the lead this fall. “The White House does not plan to release its own version of a tax reform plan and will instead leave that to the congressional leadership and the major tax-writing committees,” Politico reports, citing an administration source.

One issue that may be on the table is the current tax treatment of carried interest as capital gains.

During an event in Louisville with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hinted the administration might be open to preserving the current status of carried interest for certain activities that result in long-term capital investment and assets. “We will close the loophole for hedge funds in carried interest. What we are focused on is there are many other types of funds that do create jobs and we want to make sure we don’t discourage investment,” he said.

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Early Voting Now Underway for Charlotte’s Primary Election!

Posted on September 6, 2017

Early Voting Now Underway for Charlotte’s Primary Election! Early Voting is now underway in the City of Charlotte’s September 12th Primary Election, with nine convenient polling sites around town. Click here to find out where and when you can vote. To see which candidates support the priorities of the real estate industry, click here. Completed candidate questionnaires are posted on the REBIC website.

Increase Your Competitive Edge in Infill Markets

Posted on September 1, 2017

The following resource is from NAIOP's I.CON: Trends and Forecasts, June 8-9 in Long Beach, California. More than 600 of industrial's top leaders gathered to connect, learn and make deals at CRE's hottest industrial event.

Click here to view all resources from I.CON

 

Potential Pitfalls with Letters of Intent

Posted on August 31, 2017

By: Renee Eshelman

What should landlords do when they discover that “nonbinding” really isn’t?

Gone are the days of handshakes and scribbled-napkin deals. Today, most commercial real estate transactions are memorialized with a letter of intent (LOI) to outline the main agreed-upon deal points for a proposed transaction. Although signed by each party, LOIs are typically stated to be “nonbinding” and therefore not legally enforceable, merely an agreement to agree.

The nonbinding nature of LOIs can be both a blessing and a curse. Busy landlords considering a new lease might review the main points of the deal that affect their bottom line — lease term, rental rate, tenant improvements, etc. — and, finding that everything seems correct, might consider themselves finished. Why not skim over or altogether avoid reviewing the rest? The details can be worked out in the lease; there seems to be no need to put themselves to sleep reviewing the fine points now. Why spend the time and expense of legal review? What harm can these provisions really do? The answer: quite a bit!

Click here to read more.

New Report: Demand for Industrial Space Will Remain Robust

Posted on August 30, 2017

By: Dr. Joshua Harris

Current Forecast: Third Quarter 2017 Report

The NAIOP Industrial Space Demand Forecast is based on a predictive model that forecasts demand for industrial space at the national level on a quarterly basis for eight consecutive quarters.

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Labor Shortages May Threaten Future CRE Development

Posted on August 29, 2017

The law of supply and demand hasn’t been repealed, and that’s causing commercial real estate construction prices to jump, especially in the mid-Atlantic, Texas and Louisiana.

The problem is there aren’t enough skilled laborers for all of the new construction builders would like to do. The scale of the problem increases for larger projects, which require more skill and teamwork. “There aren’t enough companies with the workforce required for such complex projects,” Perryman Construction CEO Angelo Perryman tells Forbes.

The article adds that: “Multifamily buildings from eight to 24 stories tall have increased in construction cost by $23.40 per SF from 2013 to 2016, according to a Fannie Mae study, and they are forecast to jump another $15 per SF in 2017.”

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JLL Reports on Office Market in Second Quarter

Posted on August 28, 2017

The office market absorbed 8.8 million square feet of space in the second quarter, according to a report from JLL. More than half of that growth came from two markets: Seattle-Bellevue and Dallas.

“There were 11.7 million square feet of new deliveries in Q2, which helped push vacancy up to 14.8 percent,” according to JLL’s latest outlook. “Even as demand stabilizes, asking rents for new product have risen 3.2 percent over the year and by 4.9 percent for CBD Class A space.”

“Moving into the second half of 2017 and into 2018, we expect the wave of new supply to deliver over the next six quarters will markedly alter the office landscape, increasing competition among landlords for tenants and stabilizing rents in the process,” the report states.

Funding Transit to Industrial Properties

Posted on August 25, 2017

Written by Cinda Kelley

Employers in Plainfield, Indiana, are helping fund connector bus service that brings employees to local industrial parks.

It's been more than 25 years since the central Indiana town of Plainfield embraced the transportation, warehouse and distribution industries with an aggressive, innovative business attraction effort. The town’s work paid off handsomely, and Plainfield is now one of North America’s key logistics hubs, with more than 40 million square feet of facilities at the end of 2016.

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Crewless Cargo Ship to Set Sail in 2018

Posted on August 24, 2017

Written by Brielle Scott

You’ve heard of sailing a ship with a “skeleton crew,” but what about no crew at all?

The ghost ships from tall tales of pirates and buried treasure are no longer the stuff of fiction: A Norwegian company is developing a fully autonomous container ship that will eventually troll the high seas with no crew aboard.

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Executive Order Seeks to Eliminate Red Tape for Infrastructure Projects

Posted on August 23, 2017

In a press conference last Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced his latest executive order, which addressed infrastructure permitting. Though the event ultimately devolved into a controversial discussion about the tragic events in Charlottesville, the order offers some insight into the administration’s strategy on infrastructure policy.

The executive order, entitled “Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure,” is aimed at expediting permitting for infrastructure projects. It broadly tasks federal agencies with proposing ways to reduce average permitting time from the current average of seven years down to two years, and assigns an agency to each future project, placing them in charge of navigating the bureaucratic process.  To demonstrate its inherent complexity, Trump unveiled a six-foot long graphic depicting the permitting process at the press conference.

Trump has often spoken of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, though none has materialized as of yet. His budget request proposed a mix of $200 billion in tax credits and direct funds, but it remains unclear whether this could spur enough private investment to reach $1 trillion. To complicate things further, the president recently announced that he would scrap plans to create an infrastructure advisory panel, which would have allowed the private sector to share input. 

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CoreNet Carolinas 2017 Mega Event is September 13

Posted on August 23, 2017

Join CoreNet Global Carolinas for their 2017 Mega Event on September 13 at 1:30pm at The Ritz Carlton.

Agenda
12:45-1:30 PM – Event Registration
1:30-3:15 PM – Plenary Session/ Keynote Speaker (Paul Depodesta)
3:30-4:25 PM – Breakout Session 1
4:30-5:25 PM – Breakout Session 2
5:30-7:00 PM – Networking and Cocktail Reception

Click here for more information and to register.

Exploring Urban Food Halls

Posted on August 22, 2017

By: Amanda Tran

Food halls offer small-scale opportunities for landlords, operators, chefs, and diners.

AMID A CHALLENGING retail landscape dominated by news of brick-and-mortar store closings, the food hall has emerged as a promising opportunity for the commercial real estate industry and food entrepreneurs. Although food halls vary greatly in size and focus — ranging from “mega” halls, such as Mario Batali’s Eataly in Boston, Chicago and New York, to much smaller venues in aging strip malls, such as The Block in Annandale, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. — they all feature a mix of vendors offering high-quality artisanal food in a communal atmosphere.

Garrick Brown, vice president and head of retail research at Cushman & Wakefield, credits food halls’ explosive growth to the rise of “foodie culture” over the past 20 years and to the influence of millennial consumers. Brown explains, “For millennials, the emphasis is on authenticity. Processed foods are out; authentic and locally sourced foods are in.”

Click here to read the full article.

The STEM Gender Gap by State

Posted on August 21, 2017

By: Hazel Garcia

STEM careers, also known as careers involving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, are some of the best paying jobs available. Requiring only a Bachelor’s degree for most for most of them, they are one of the better education bargains as well. The high pay that comes with these jobs combined with the smaller amount of education required helps minimize student loan debt as well, which leads to a better quality of life.

In the past couple of decades, more women are entering STEM programs to get the education required for these high-paying positions. While the number of women entering STEM programs has grown considerably, it’s still a male-dominated industry. Depending on which state you live in, there might as many as 4.5 times more men working in STEM than women.

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