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Talks Continue on Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Originally published on June 22, 2021, for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

In the wake of failed infrastructure discussions between the White House and Senate Republican leadership, represented by Senator Shelley Moore-Capito (R-WV), the focus of attention has turned to the second group of Senators attempting to forge a bipartisan deal. The effort, led by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rob Portman (R-OH), gained momentum last week with the endorsement of 21 senators, including 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats. A draft framework of the plan leaked to the press last week, but the particulars of the plan remain in flux, subject to changes based on a review by President Joe Biden and the White House staff.

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Key Takeaways from the Q2 2021 Office Space Demand Forecast

Originally published on May 2021 by Hany Guirguis, Ph.D., Manhattan College and Michael J. Seiler, DBA, William & Mary and the University of Cambridge.

Office Space Absorption Projected to Stabilize by Mid-2022

The U.S. economy is experiencing a strong rebound from the COVID-19-induced recession, resulting in job growth in office-using sectors. However, tenant-safety concerns remain a drag on office leasing. The U.S. office market posted continued declines in net absorption in the fourth quarter of 2020 (-26.7 million square feet) and the first quarter of 2021 (-34.8 million square feet). Nonetheless, as coronavirus safety concerns abate and the economy continues to expand, negative net absorption is forecast to moderate over the next two quarters, with a return to positive absorption in the fourth quarter of this year (Figure 1). Quarterly net absorption in 2022 is expected to average 11.7 million square feet, in line with the 2015-2019 quarterly average of 11.6 million square feet.

At the time of this writing, more than half of eligible Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, and more than one-third are fully vaccinated. As vaccination rates increase and new coronavirus cases decline, more employers are re-opening their offices. However, a widespread return to the office will likely depend on the return of K-12 schools to in-person instruction. Many schools currently rely on a full- or part-time remote schedule, requiring parents of young children to either stay home or seek alternative childcare arrangements. With vaccination rates on the rise, most schools are now planning to resume full in-person instruction in the fall. As safety concerns about returning to the office recede and schools reopen, office absorption should begin to respond to the current upswing in economic growth.

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Covid-19 Rent Breaks for Retailers Are Becoming the New Norm

Originally published on June 15, 2021, by Esther Fung for the Wall Street Journal.

During the worst of the pandemic, many landlords offered deals where ailing retailers paid a percentage of their monthly sales in rent—rather than a fixed amount—to help them survive. Now, this once temporary way of charging tenants looks poised to outlast Covid-19.

More shopping-center owners are signing new leases where rent is tied directly to a portion of sales, at least for a period. These percentage-rent leases are especially attractive to newer retailers, offering some flexibility so that they aren’t saddled with large losses as they are starting out.

While most landlords tend to prefer the reliability of a fixed monthly rent payment, the wider use of percentage leases reflects how much retail has become a renters’ market.

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Mixed-Use at the Core of Mall Reinvention

Originally published on June 15, 2021, by Katie Sloan for Rebusiness Online.

When it comes to mall redevelopment, one of the biggest hurdles is changing the business community’s perception that enclosed malls are only for retail use, says Sean Garrett, president of acquisitions and director of community relations for East Peoria, Illinois-based Cullinan Properties Ltd. 

“There is no reason an insurance office can’t be right next to a retailer and a neighbor of a dentist,” states Garrett. “Downtowns and Main Streets have been developed this way for generations.” 

Cullinan recently followed this approach when it rebranded its Quincy Mall in Quincy, Illinois, to Quincy Town Center. One of the anchor tenants is now Quincy Medical Group, which backfilled a former Bergner’s department store. For Garrett, merging retail and medical uses today is a “natural fit.”

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A Few Spots Remain! Breakfast with Principals is Next Week

Breakfast with Principals
June 29 & 30 | 8:00am – 9:00am ET 

A few spots are still available to attend next week’s Breakfast with Principals. This event provides an opportunity to meet with fellow members, make connections, and discuss what is going on with NAIOP and Charlotte’s commercial real estate industry while enjoying breakfast from two of Charlotte’s local hot spots Community Matters Café and Nick’s Cafe.

Table hosts are Pete Kidwell, Beacon Partners, Pat Pierce, Selwyn Property Group, Sagar Rathie, Crescent Communities, and Chris Thomas, Childress Klein.

Space is limited to 6 people per table, with a maximum of 2 tables per location. This is a NAIOP member-only event.

There is no charge to sign up for this event. Breakfast will be on own – make sure to come hungry and help support local businesses! 

Register for Nick's Cafe on June 29
Register for Community Matters Cafe on June 30

Questions

If you have questions, please contact the NAIOP Charlotte office at [email protected]

Summer Networking Social on July 14 | Register Now!

Summer Social
July 14 | 4:30pm – 6:00pm | Charlotte Beer Garden

 

Network with NAIOP members and guests at the Charlotte Beer Garden! Make new connections, catch up with friends, and enjoy the Charlotte summertime!

Registration

Registration for this event is $15 for NAIOP members and $20 for non-members through July 9. Rates increase to $20 for NAIOP members and $25 for non-members on July 10.

Location

This event will be held at the Charlotte Beer Garden, 1300 S Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28203. 


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CREW Charlotte June Luncheon (HYBRID): The 2040 Plan with Taiwo Jaiyeoba

CREW Charlotte is excited to host its first in-person luncheon in over a year! Space is limited so do not delay.

Learn more about the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan from Assistant City Manager, Taiwo Jaiyeoba.

Charlotte has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country in recent years. This growth has established Charlotte as a vibrant and desirable city. However, this rapid development has also contributed to and highlighted, many challenges that have faced our community for decades. The Charlotte Future 2040 comprehensive plan outlines how we address these challenges and guide our growth and development over the next 20 years. This plan is a living document that provides a policy framework that will guide our city’s decision-making and investment in both the near- and long-term. The community-driven planning process has been guided by a focus on equitable growth and Charlotte's residents coming together to prioritize what is most important to us (housing, jobs, environment, livability, etc. The plan seeks to address the inequities of the past and unite the city around a shared set of goals for our future.

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The Death and Life of the Central Business District

Originally published by Richard Florida for Bloomberg CityLab on May 14, 2021.

Just last spring, a chorus of pundits loudly proclaimed a sweeping urban exodus and the impending death of cities. Now, just slightly more than a year later, our cities are springing back to life. Sidewalks are starting to bustle; restaurants, which have spilled onto the streets, are teeming with patrons; museums and galleries are reopening; and fans are heading back to baseball parks, basketball arenas and even outdoor concert venues.

But one area of urban life where the pandemic is poised to leave a far bigger mark is on the places where we do business. The ongoing shift to remote work challenges the historic role of the Central Business Districts — neighborhoods like New York’s Midtown and Wall Street, Chicago’s Loop, or San Francisco’s Financial District — as the dominant centers for urban work. 

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Next Week! DL Discussion with David Furman

DL Lunch & Learn with David Furman
June 3 | 12:00pm ET

Next week, join the conversation with Charlotte native and distinguished architect, David Furman, as he talks about how he got started in the industry and what opportunities, successes, and challenges have shaped his 40+ year career.

Take advantage of this opportunity to meet and learn from a leader in the Charlotte community!

This is a free event, available only for NAIOP Charlotte Developing Leaders. Prior registration is required. Zoom information will be sent on June 2.

Speaker

David Furman is a Charlotte native, architect, and developer, who has specialized in creating the urban experience through unique residential and mixed-use developments over a 40-year career. His Centro CityWorks, company has designed and/or developed over 40 projects in downtown Charlotte and SouthEnd, including Charlotte’s first downtown high-rise condo, Courtside, as well as the 28 story TradeMark building where he lives and works. He is currently on the board of Charlotte Center City Partners as well as an active participant in many initiatives to advance Charlotte’s urban presence as a premier place to live, work, and play. 


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COVID-19 Creates a Downshift in Parking Demand

Originally published in the Spring 2021 Issue by Jennifer LeFurgy, Ph.D. for Development Magazine.

Large revenue shortfalls will accelerate technological advances, conversions and design innovations. 

Quarantines and business shutdowns fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a dramatic decrease in parking demand. Subsequently, many sectors of the economy that depend on parking revenue are facing budget shortfalls this year.

Spothero.com reported in 2020 that the parking industry saw parking volumes in many areas fall by up to 97%, resulting in job losses and furloughs for 50% of the industry’s workforce. Commuter lots had a 50% to 70% reduction in use, while visitor lots saw up to a 95% drop from the same time the previous year, according to a survey by Smarking, a parking software company. 

Municipalities are scrambling to recover not only lost parking income but also a dramatic reduction in revenue from fees and fines. A 2019 CarRentals.com survey of parking data for 16 major U.S. cities found that they collected a total of $1.4 billion in annual parking ticket revenue. In 2019, Chicago issued 2.06 million parking tickets. Through June 30 of 2020, the city gave out less than 500,000. New York City projected that it would lose $600 million in parking revenues in 2020.

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Construction employment stalls in April

Originally published on May 7, 2021, for the Building  Design and Construction Network.

Construction employment was unchanged from March to April as nonresidential contractors and home builders alike struggled to obtain materials and find enough workers, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today. Association officials said the industry’s recovery was being hampered by problems getting stable prices and reliable deliveries of key materials, while the pandemic and federal policies were making it harder for firms to find workers to hire.

“Contractors are experiencing unprecedented intensity and range of cost increases, supply-chain disruptions, and worker shortages that have kept firms from increasing their workforces,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These challenges will make it difficult for contractors to rebound as the pandemic appears to wane.”

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NEW 2040 Comp Plan Draft Released

The recommended draft of the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan is now available online at cltfuture2040.com. The City of Charlotte is hosting a virtual Planning Community Conversation about the recommended draft on Thursday, May 27, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in participating must complete the community conversation sign-up form to speak during the meeting and submit questions or comments through the WebEx virtual meeting platform. The meeting will also be live on the City of Charlotte’s YouTube and Facebook pages, and staff will take questions submitted through the video comments.

The City will be hosting a press conference at 3:30 today to discuss the new draft.

Our analysis will be released in the coming days, once we have had adequate time to review the changes.

Read the New Draft Here

Charlotte City Council Special Meeting at 5:00pm

This past week, we launched our campaign "Get It Right, Charlotte" to educate the public about the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Today at 5 pm, the Charlotte City Council will have a meeting to straw vote on the plan. Unfortunately, all of these meetings are still closed to in-person attendance by the public and the press. Our team has discovered numerous points of concern about the plan, including the possibility of increased taxes, increased housing costs, and added restrictions to business owners.

The latest poll states only 10% of Charlotte
citizens have heard about the plan.

Since nobody is allowed in person for these meetings still, we can’t pack the room with concerned citizens like we usually would, so we need your help to "virtually pack the room" today anytime from 5:00-6:30 pm and 8:30 pm until?

You can watch the meeting on the City's YouTube or Facebook page.

How you can help:
  1. Post on social media. You can copy and paste any of these messages, or tag council members with your own messages and concerns about the 2040 Comp Plan.

      • Still, no public or press allowed inside council meetings when the Governor has lifted restrictions? That’s crazy! Just like how the city council rolled out this plan amid the chaos of the pandemic, when citizens were more worried about their health and safety, rather than public policy. The continued lack of transparency surrounding the #2040CompPlan is unacceptable and is preventing community input. #GetItRightCLT #cltcc

      • Today at 5 pm, Charlotte City Council will be having a meeting to straw vote on the plan. Since tonight’s meeting is still being held online only, we need to virtually “pack the room.” Let’s flood social media and tag, local officials, placing our concerns front and center before policy leaders. Visit https://getitrightclt.com/ to sign the petition, contact local officials, and join the conversation. #GetItRightCLT #2040CompPlan #cltcc

      • Members of the ‘Let’s Get it Right, Charlotte’ group share a concern that many Charlotte residents are not aware of the #2040CompPlan - primarily because it was released just before pandemic shut-downs. Residents are mostly unfamiliar with the scope of the plan - which will add regulations and costs to housing across all income levels. Charlotte needs a plan - just not this one. Contact your local officials and ask them to reconsider, and rework this costly plan. Visit https://getitrightclt.com/ to get involved, and join the conversation. #GetItRightCLT #cltcc

      • ‘Let’s Get it Right, Charlotte’ believes that local residents deserve to fully understand what this plan will mean for their lives - as business owners, taxpayers, and homeowners. Local leaders owe Charlotte residents that level of transparency. Visit https://getitrightclt.com/ to get involved, and join the conversation. #GetItRightCLT #2040CompPlan #cltcc

      • ‘Let’s Get it Right, Charlotte’ is a public education campaign requesting the Charlotte City Council to slow down the process of the #2040CompPlan, address key concerns, consider the costliness and the economic impact on Charlotte residents, and be fully transparent with the public. The continued lack of transparency surrounding the #2040CompPlan is unacceptable and is preventing community input. Do better, Charlotte; and let’s get this right. Visit https://getitrightclt.com/ to get involved, and join the conversation. #GetItRightCLT #cltcc

      • Use the hashtags #GetItRightCLT #2040CompPlan #cltcc and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @GetItRightClt
  2. Sign the petition
  3. Contact local officials
  4. Share this email with other industry leaders, so we can all work together to Get It Right.

City Manager’s Response to the Draft 2040 Comp Plan

On May 6, 2021, Marcus Jones, Charlotte City Manager, released a memo providing an update on the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.  Included is a link to the 650+ comments from the community and the next steps.  The timeline continues to move toward a release of the second draft of the plan on May 19 with a potential vote by the City Council on June 21.  To access more information:

Take This CLT Development Center Survey

The CLT Development Center would like your opinion about their services and processes. Please click the link below to provide your input:

Share your perceptions of City services; please DO NOT evaluate Mecklenburg County as a part of this research.

Charlotte-based Customer Service Solutions, Inc. (CSS) is conducting this survey on behalf of the City of Charlotte. If you encounter any problems in completing this survey, please contact CSS at [email protected].

Thank you for your time in taking this survey and helping the City of Charlotte to continuously improve its programs and services!

Sparking an Eco-district Neighborhood

Originally published by Alice Devine for the NAIOP Spring 2021 Issue.

The South Landing project in Spokane, Washington, demonstrates how properties can benefit from shared energy infrastructure.

In Spokane’s University District, education meets industry in a 1.2-square-mile area adjacent to the city’s downtown. In this urban laboratory of sorts — populated by five of Washington state’s major universities, two medical schools and community colleges — students and nearby businesses enjoy a cluster of mutual benefits.

University District developer Emerald Initiative, an independently owned affiliate of Seattle-based mechanical contractor and engineering firm McKinstry, embraced a goal: a smart neighborhood. The South Landing project includes an ”eco-district,“ a shared heating, cooling and electrical system that serves the energy needs of what eventually will be four commercial buildings totaling approximately 500,000 square feet. So far, the $50 million Catalyst Building (159,000 square feet) and the Scott Morris Center for Energy Innovation (41,000 square feet) have been constructed.

 

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Construction employment stalls in April

Originally published on May 7, 2021, by the Building Design + Construction Network

Construction employment was unchanged from March to April as nonresidential contractors and home builders alike struggled to obtain materials and find enough workers, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today. Association officials said the industry’s recovery was being hampered by problems getting stable prices and reliable deliveries of key materials, while the pandemic and federal policies were making it harder for firms to find workers to hire.

“Contractors are experiencing unprecedented intensity and range of cost increases, supply-chain disruptions, and worker shortages that have kept firms from increasing their workforces,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These challenges will make it difficult for contractors to rebound as the pandemic appears to wane.”

Construction employment in April totaled 7,452,000, matching the March total but amounting to 196,000 employees or 2.6% below the most recent peak in February 2020. The number of former construction workers who were unemployed in April, 768,000, dropped by half from a year ago and the sector’s unemployment rate fell from 16.6% in April 2020 to 7.7% last month.

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Call to Action. Let's Get it Right, Charlotte

Let’s Get it Right, Charlotte

Charlotte is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, built amid diverse areas and unique neighborhoods, with families and people who recognize the qualities of a dynamic city. This growth, however, presents both challenges and opportunities alike. Due to this, the city is considering a plan that will guide this growth over the next several decades. This plan will directly affect every Charlotte citizen, both current and future, making it important you pay attention to this critical policy guide.

Over the past few months, you may have heard mentions of a “Charlotte 2040 Comprehensive Plan,” yet, the majority of Charlotte’s citizens have no idea what this is, much less what it means for our city.

Learn More About the 2040 Comp Plan

Elected leaders rolled the current draft of the plan out for input amid the chaos of the pandemic and are still actively considering it. This conspicuous launch date raises cause for concern, as citizens were more concerned about their current safety and health during its launch, rather than city policy changes, and rightly so.

As an industry leader, it is crucial that you weigh in. That’s why we launched the “Let’s Get it Right, Charlotte” public awareness campaign. The current plan, that will decide how Charlotte grows over the next 20 years, has proposed policies that stand to negatively affect every current and future Queen City citizen.

It’s up to us to make sure that this critical document reflects our values, protects current and future citizens, and preserves the uniqueness of Charlotte.

Join the ‘Let’s Get it Right, Charlotte’ movement and take action today by 

Share Your Concerns
Contact Local Officials

Join the conversation on social media.
#GetItRightCLT #2040CompPlan #Charlotte #CLT






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Digital Tools Increasingly Vital to Success of Construction Projects

Originally published on April 26, 2021 by Linda Strowbridge for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

Despite its traditional roots, construction has started to transform into a digital industry. Building information modeling, geospatial technologies, prefabrication and modular construction, drone services, augmented-reality wearables and other technologies are increasingly becoming a larger and more crucial part of successful, efficient, profitable construction projects.

“An Overview of Emerging Construction Technologies,” a NAIOP Research Foundation report, details the recent advances and new horizons in construction technology. Authors Andrew McCoy, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Building Construction at Virginia Tech, and Armin Yeganeh, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech, talked to NAIOP about what these technology advances mean for construction firms and commercial real estate companies.

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2021 Developing Leaders Award

On April 26, we will open nominations for the 2021 NAIOP Developing Leaders Award. Please encourage Developing Leaders in your chapter to apply for this annual honor. It is an excellent resumé booster. The deadline for applications is Friday, June 25.

Applications will be submitted online (link coming soon). Each applicant must submit a form completed by either the chapter executive director or a board member supporting the DL’s nomination (Chapter Support Form) as well as a Supervisor Consent and Recommendation form. Both forms will be available for download from the application website. Chapter executives will be notified of their chapter’s applicants once nominations are closed.

Recipients of NAIOP’s 2021 Developing Leaders Awards will be recognized at CRE.Converge, which will be held Sept. 26-29 in Miami Beach, Florida. Each award winner and his/her immediate supervisor will receive complimentary registration to attend the conference – a combined $2,290 value.

Submit Today!