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Job Training, Higher Wages Needed to Spur US Economic Growth

Posted on March 8, 2018

An analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute summarized in the Harvard Business Review concluded increasing consumer demand for goods and services is key to restarting growth across advanced economies. U.S. economic growth has averaged only 2 percent per year since 2010, while productivity growth, a key to increasing living standards, has been “languishing near historic lows since the financial crisis.” The report cites slowing population growth, flat wages and weak corporate investment as contributing to lower demand. This trend can be potentially reversed by “focusing on productive investment as a fiscal priority, growing the purchasing power of low-income consumers with the highest propensity to consume, unlocking private business and residential investment, and supporting worker training and transition programs to ensure that periods of transition do not disrupt incomes.”

Charlotte Water Lengthening Sanitary Sewer Capacity Reservations

Posted on March 7, 2018

With capacity challenges mounting in numerous basins across the City, Charlotte Water is taking steps to assure developers they’ll have the sewer taps for their projects when the need arises.

Charlotte Water announced this week that it will now be extending its capacity reservations from 12 to 24 months, effective for all connection applications approved on or after January 1st, 2017.  As a result, there will be no expiring capacity reservations for 2018.

The Capacity Assurance Program (CAP) started in 2017, as a way for developers to reserve sanitary sewer capacity after a capacity review is completed and a connection is approved. The program reviews the capacity of the system from the point of connection through the local gravity system, through trunk lines and eventually to the wastewater treatment plants. It ensures that new connections to wastewater treatment system won’t overwhelming existing pipes and plants. 

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2018 Workplace Trends: Healthier and Homier

Posted on March 7, 2018

Architect and Work Design magazine publisher Bob Fox has identified seven major trends that he predicts will make an impact on the workplace in 2018. To attract and retain top talent, he believes businesses will create health-oriented workplaces that offer a sense of community through wellness programs and collaborative projects with other building tenants. Fox also sees the rise of “resimercial” office designs that bring the comforts of home into work and can accommodate a broader range of functions. Other trends Fox predicts include office designs that reflect the companies’ missions, the prioritization of overall value rather than cost reduction when redesigning space, the use of virtual assistants, and women leading change to create healthier, higher-performing workplaces.

Legal Agreements for Mixed-use Projects

Posted on March 6, 2018

By: Paul N. Dubrasich

Anyone considering developing a mixed-use project should be aware of these key legal, design and management considerations.

Mixed-use development projects of all types – including urban infill projects, transit-oriented developments and walkable lifestyle communities – have taken hold in urban centers and suburban areas across North America. Millennial consumers, as well as downsizing retirees, increasingly favor living within walking distance of stores, their favorite cycling and barre classes, restaurants and cultural venues, rather than having to drive to homes at the distant reaches of urban sprawl.

Local governments love mixed-use development for a variety of reasons. They put less pressure on infrastructure cost than more sprawling development, create accessible job opportunities, reduce traffic and help stimulate local commerce. Developers are responding to the evolving demographics and environmental forces driving these types of developments, not just in the urban core, but also in outlying areas, especially on sites close to public transportation.

Charlotte Hosting Unified Development Ordinance Summit on March 24th

Posted on March 6, 2018

The City of Charlotte is a little more than a year into a multi-year effort to draft a comprehensive Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which will update the policies and regulations that guide land use and development in Charlotte. When finished, the UDO will combine zoning districts and development ordinances in a single document that should allow for more a streamlined regulatory process.

The two major components of the UDO will include:

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City Releases TOD Ordinance Draft, Seeks Feedback from Development Industry

Posted on March 5, 2018

The City of Charlotte has released a draft of its Transit-Oriented Development A (TOD-A) ordinance, which would allow higher-density, mixed-used development within a quarter-mile of transit stations like the CATS Blue Line.

TOD-A is the first of at least 4 transit-oriented zoning districts that the Planning Department plans to unveil in the next few months, and is intended to accommodate the highest-intensity development along the transit corridor, with allowable building heights as tall as 250′.

After setting base densities and building standards, the ordinance uses a voluntary points system to incentivize developers to meet aesthetic design, open space and affordable housing objectives through allowances for greater building heights.

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California Considering Change that Threatens CRE

Posted on March 5, 2018

Interest groups in California are collecting signatures in order to place an initiative on the November ballot that could change the way property taxes are calculated.

If passed, the move (known as “split roll”) would place a heavier property tax burden on commercial real estate and hinder economic growth. Any NAIOP member doing business in commercial real estate in California would be impacted by the ballot initiative.

Since the passage 40 years ago of Proposition 13, the tax rate on residential and commercial property has been treated the same way. Prop 13 controlled the growth of property tax rates by limiting annual increases of property assessments to no greater than 2 percent each year. NAIOP members participated in discussions during the California Business Properties Association winter board meeting last week on ways to preserve Proposition 13 and its economic benefits.

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Energy Code Exemption for Industrial Buildings Took Effect March 1

Posted on March 2, 2018

An Energy Code exemption championed by REBIC and NAIOP will finally take effect this week, after the Rules Review Commission set an effective date of March 1, 2018, for N.C. Session Law 2017-10, formerly known as SB131.

Language in the bill, which was signed into law during the 2017 session of the General Assembly,  excludes from state Energy Efficiency Code requirements any buildings with the following use classifications:

  • Factory Group F
  • Storage Group S
  • Utility & Miscellaneous Group U

Furthermore, language in the legislation introduced by Representative Bill Brawley ensures that the energy code exclusion ‘shall apply to the entire floor area of any structure’ included in the provision. This language was intended to prevent the office or showroom portion of a warehouse, industrial or manufacturing building from having to meet energy efficiency code requirements, when the majority of the structure does not.

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The Rise of Smart Buildings As-a-Service

Posted on February 28, 2018

A recent Memoori report, Occupancy Analytics & In-Building Location Based Services 2017 to 2022, finds “value-added services such as space utilization, indoor positioning, connected lighting and asset tracking are helping to drive the adoption of As-a-Service business models.”

Smart Building As-a-Service refers to third-party companies working with building owners to deploy technology to maximize efficiency and use data-driven analytics to understand better how people operate within the building. For example, if building owners and managers subscribed to a sensing-as-a-service firm, the firm would be responsible for not only installing the equipment but also managing, analyzing and reporting the data the sensors collect.

Industrial Sector Strong in Q4 2017 and into 2018

Posted on February 27, 2018

According to a REIS, Inc. analysis, the industrial sector experienced robust growth at the end of last year and will continue to expand during 2018. Warehouse and distribution space vacancy is at a historic low and flex/R&D space vacancy rates fell in the fourth quarter. Both subcategories had strong rent growth due to “improved trade and robust e-commerce sales.” Additionally, market indicators such as increasing e-commerce sales, manufacturing sector expansion, growing aggregate trade and added industrial-related jobs all indicate the sector is poised for further growth in 2018.

Congress Takes Action to Slow "Drive-by" Lawsuits

Posted on February 26, 2018

Last week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 620, a bill to improve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by reducing opportunities for people to file nuisance lawsuits under the law. The legislation, which allows property owners to fix any alleged violations while keeping penalties in place for businesses that remain in noncompliance, passed 225-192 and will now move to the Senate.

The measure is aimed at eliminating so-called “drive-by lawsuits,” a tactic used by some “unscrupulous trial lawyers,” as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) called them, whose lawsuits, he said, “[divert] money from accessibility where it belongs.” As documented in a 60 Minutes report last year, some lawyers cruise around local communities in an attempt to spot minor ADA infractions at offices, gas stations, malls and other locations. In some cases, these lawyers don’t even bother to leave their homes, and instead use aerial images from Google Maps to target alleged violators.

H.R. 620 requires that anyone making a complaint against a business must file a written complaint. It gives the business owner 60 days to fix any violation, and up to an additional 60 days if the owner is acting in good faith and can demonstrate substantial progress toward making the changes. Owners who refuse to address violations could be sued.

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City Releases TOD Ordinance Draft, Seeks Feedback from Development Industry

Posted on February 26, 2018

The City of Charlotte has released a draft of its Transit-Oriented Development A (TOD-A) ordinance, which would allow higher-density, mixed-used development within a quarter-mile of transit stations like the CATS Blue Line.

TOD-A is the first of at least 4 transit-oriented zoning districts that the Planning Department plans to unveil in the next few months, and is intended to accommodate the highest-intensity development along the transit corridor, with allowable building heights as tall as 250′.

After setting base densities and building standards, the ordinance uses a voluntary points system to incentivize developers to meet aesthetic design, open space and affordable housing objectives through allowances for greater building heights.

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Artful Landscape Design for Stormwater Management

Posted on February 23, 2018

By: Brian L. Reetz, and Emilie C. Carter, PLA, ASLA

Jennifer Hughes PhotographyTHE METROPOLITAN Downtown Columbia, one element in the master plan for Downtown Columbia, Maryland, is the first new mixed-use, multifamily project to be developed in the area, which eventually will incorporate a vibrant, walkable downtown that will complement what was formerly an inward-focused mall. Developed by Kettler, the six-story, 375-unit apartment building features ground-floor retail space that faces a 0.82-acre promenade.

While the primary goal for the landscape architects designing this promenade was to create an appealing open space, they faced several additional requirements and challenges, including the need to integrate a public art component, fulfill county requirements for a playground area and comply with state stormwater regulations. The design for the promenade, which was completed in summer 2015, incorporated an integrated micro-bioretention system, educational and interpretive signage, and abstract play sculptures. The result is an iconic open space lined by shops and restaurants that connects Downtown Columbia, the mall and the surrounding community. The roughly $1 million promenade also offers some valuable lessons for landscape architects and developers.

Click here to read more.

What Can UDO

Posted on February 23, 2018

As you know, the Charlotte Planning Department has been working hard on the Charlotte Place Types and Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), a citywide effort aimed at updating the policies and regulation that guide growth and development in our community.

As part of this project, they are hosting a Coffee Talk on Friday, March 23rd, from 8am – 9:30am at the Charlotte Powerhouse Studio.  The Coffee Talk will feature Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department and Mitchell Silver, FAICP.  Mitch Silver served as Chief Planning and Development Officer and Planning Director for Raleigh, NC and is the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He currently serves as the New York City Parks Commissioner and is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues.

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The Hidden Costs of Open Ceilings

Posted on February 22, 2018

By: Clay Edwards

Open ceilings, with their exposed ductwork and industrial vibe have become popular – but trendy rarely equals inexpensive. For many years, omitting the traditional drop ceiling was assumed to be not just cooler but also to cost less. Common sense seemed to be that by choosing open ceilings, the cost of the drop ceiling was simply avoided, saving on labor, materials and time.

2008 study of retail and office interior construction in five cities seemed to back up that assumption. Sponsored by the Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA), the study found that initial construction costs for suspended ceilings were 15-22 percent higher than for open plenums in offices, and 4-11 percent higher in retail spaces.

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CREW's Casino and Gaming Night is on March 21

Posted on February 22, 2018

Join CREW Charlotte for a fun-filled night of networking with the most influential real estate professionals in the Charlotte area! Come play your favorite games at CREW's 12th Annual Casino and Gaming Night.  We will still have casino games but have added interactive games such as skee ball, pop-a-shot, air hockey, giant Jenga and more!  Interested in sponsoring a game for $350?  Please contact Patty Drummond.

Raffle tickets are available for a Pigeon Forge Mountain Cabin ($10 per ticket, 5 for $40). For more information on the cabin, please click here. 

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Deadline for NAIOP NC Awards Nominations Extended to Friday

Posted on February 22, 2018

Deadline for Nominations Extended to Friday
You asked and we delivered! New Deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018

Awards are given to acknowledge achievements in NAIOP participation, development, and other special categories to include:

  • Developer of the Year
  • Project of the Year
  • Developing Leader of the Year

Award Submissions are accepted online or by email to [email protected]
Click here for more information.
Submission deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018.

Apply Online

Examining New Types of Tenant Amenities

Posted on February 21, 2018

By: Richard B. Peiser, Ph.D. and Raymond G. Torto, Ph.D.

Office building owners have found that to remain competitive in today’s marketplace, they must enliven their buildings by offering more amenities and adding vibrancy to the common areas. Some have introduced a range of new amenities, including outdoor workspaces and food trucks, and they have also programmed areas with happy hours, featured speakers and other activities. The common element in these amenities is that they all “activate” the common space by creating opportunities for socialization among tenants and the opportunity to work in areas beyond the tenant’s suite.

The study examines the following:

  • New and different types of amenities that owners are including in buildings, their locations within the building, what they cost and how they are funded.
  • Programming or social gatherings in building common areas, the types of activities offered, their frequency, what they cost and how they are funded.
  • Whether coworking space is becoming an amenity that owners must offer in their buildings so that tenants can have access to space for occasional overflow situations.
Click here to download.

N.C. Session Law 2017-10/SB131 Effective March 1, 2018

Posted on February 21, 2018

Thursday's Rules Review Commission meeting in Raleigh yielded an effective date of March 1, 2018, for N.C. Session Law 2017-10, formerly known as SB131. There’s a portion of this law that exempts buildings with primary occupancies of F (factory), S (storage) or U (utility/misc.) from certain energy efficiency standards. 

So, customers who plan to apply for permits to be issued on or after March 1 have the option of utilizing N.C. Session Law 2017-10. Again, this applies only to buildings with a primary occupancy of F, S or U.

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Congressional Budget Deal Contains Big Policy Wins for Real Estate

Posted on February 20, 2018

The federal budget deal signed by President Trump contains a number of wins for real estate, including a temporary extension of federal flood insurance and extension of tax provisions that include relief from debt forgiveness, the deductibility of mortgage insurance premiums, and several energy-efficiency related provisions.

Flood Insurance

Extends the National Flood Insurance Program until March 23, giving lawmakers time to work on longer term reauthorization and reform legislation. It also adds $27 billion in mitigation and resiliency funds to address issues arising from last year's hurricanes. The extension makes $12 billion available under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to fund U.S. Army Corp of Engineers flood mitigation projects.

Click here to read more.