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2019 REBIC BBQ & Candidate Meet & Greet is on August 28

Posted on August 2, 2019

REBIC’s annual BBQ & Candidate Meet & Greet is fast approaching on August 28, 2019! Make sure to get your tickets early! This annual bi-partisan Political Pig Pickin’ brings state and local candidates together with hundreds of members of the Charlotte real estate, homebuilders and development industries for an afternoon of food and fun!

WHEN: August 28, 11:30-1:30 p.m.

WHERE:  SMS Catering, 1764 Norland Rd., Charlotte, NC 28205 | View Map

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Charlotte Modifies Proposed Sign Ordinance to Allow Real Estate Directional Signs

Posted on July 31, 2019

Revised amendments to the Charlotte Sign Ordinance now permit the use of weekend directional signs for new home construction and real estate open houses, after REBIC raised objections to their elimination.

The proposed regulations for Temporary Off-Premises Signs now read as follows:

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Governor Cooper Signs Law Clarifying Taxation of Property Management Contracts

Posted on July 30, 2019

Governor Roy Cooper last week signed into law a bill supported by REBIC, the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCR), NAIOP Charlotte, BOMA Greater Charlotte, and other industry trade groups, clarifying that residential and commercial Property Management agreements are largely not subject to the state’s Repair, Maintenance & Installation (RMI) sales tax.

SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, passed the General Assembly earlier this month with an amendment that requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:

  1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
  2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
  3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

The legislation also provides specific exclusions to RMI services, which help ensure much of the work done by property management companies is not subject to taxation. They are:

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Activating Public Spaces Can Attract Users, Create Community

Posted on July 26, 2019

By Angelo Carusi

A Nashville-area mixed-use development illustrates the uplifting potential of landscape architecture.

Mixed-use developers are devoting premium real estate to outdoor public spaces that invite the community to linger. These communal areas are continually being repurposed and reimagined through bold and creative design strategies.

The design for dynamic, open-air gathering spaces can be as important as the design for revenue-generating real estate products. Physical spaces that promote dwell time are increasingly appreciated by tenants and end users. Outdoor “rooms” where people pause to sit with a cup of coffee, watch their children play, respond to emails and texts or enjoy casual conversations are spaces where life, community, architecture and nature come together, allowing for meaningful experiences that encourage people to return to the property.

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Debt Ceiling Talks Continue as Senators Reintroduce Energy Bill

Posted on July 25, 2019

Republican Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire reintroduced a bipartisan bill in the Senate last week. S.2137 aims to improve energy efficiency in buildings, industrial facilities, and throughout the federal government.

NAIOP supports legislation that ensures that energy-efficiency building codes are developed subject to the federal rule-making process.

“This bill is a win-win, creating nearly 200,000 new jobs and protecting our environment—all without a single new tax or mandate,” Senator Portman said. Senator Shaheen added: “Our bipartisan legislation would create jobs in the private sector, save families and businesses money, and drastically reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way.”

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Charlotte Sign Ordinance Amendments Appear to Ban Real Estate Directional Signs

Posted July 24, 2019

Proposed amendments to the Charlotte Sign Ordinance appear to ban weekend directional signs for new home construction and real estate open houses — a change with potentially devastating impacts for home builders and Realtors®, and one which REBIC will strongly oppose.

Weekend directional signs are one of the most effective tools buyers use to find homes for sale. Particularly in Charlotte, where most new home communities are in hard-to-find, infill locations (and often not yet identified on GPS), a ban on temporary directional signs would severely impact home sales, which are already falling due a lack of inventory.

The proposed Sign Ordinance amendments were presented at a community informational meeting last week, but no mention was made of the ban on temporary signs. The ban, however, is included on page 40 of the draft text, under ‘Prohibited Signs’:

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General Assembly Passes Legislation to Clarify Taxation of Property Management Contracts

Posted on July 23, 2019

The North Carolina General Assembly last week passed legislation supported by REBIC, the North Carolina Association of Realtors® (NCR), NAIOP Charlotte, and other industry trade groups that would clarify that residential and commercial Property Management agreements are largely not subject to the state’s Repair, Maintenance & Installation (RMI) sales tax.

SB 523 — Revenue Laws Clarifying & Administrative Changes, passed the Senate on Thursday with an amendment that requires Property Management companies to charge and remit RMI sales tax only in the following circumstances:

  1. They provide repair, maintenance, installation services for an additional charge above what is stated in the management contract.
  2. They arrange for a third party to provide the repair, maintenance, and installation services and impose an additional charge for arranging these services.
  3. More than twenty-five percent (25%) of the time spent managing an individual real property during a billing or invoice period is attributable to taxable repair, maintenance, and installation services. The property manager can voluntarily provide a written affidavit to attest that no more than 25% of their services on a given property constitute taxable RMI services, which would clear them of liability for taxation on any portion of the contract amount.

The legislation also provides specific exclusions to RMI services, which help ensure much of the work done by property management companies is not subject to taxation. They are:

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Business NC Accepting Nominations for Annual Building NC Awards

Posted on July 22, 2019

Business North Carolina and Manning Fulton are seeking nominations for the annual Building North Carolina awards, which will be featured in the November issue. Submit your suggestions on the most important commercial real-estate projects completed in the state between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 and the developer who has had the biggest impact on the industry.

Building North Carolina winners will be selected based on design, innovation and community impact in such categories as best public project, commercial project, renovation and overall design.

Nominations close July 31 2019.

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Lawmakers Address Infrastructure and the Debt Ceiling as Recess Approaches

Posted on July 19, 2019

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing last week on the need for a multiyear reauthorization of highway transportation infrastructure programs. Expanded infrastructure investment, for surface transportation and for broader infrastructure needs, is one of NAIOP’s 2019 legislative priority issues.

While the issue is often described as an area where bipartisan cooperation is possible, Congress is divided on how to pay for any new programs, and the Trump administration has not submitted a detailed legislative proposal to Congress. 

The Senate committee hearing is a first step in moving legislation reauthorizing highway programs. “It is our shared goal to advance a bill out of committee this summer,” Republican committee chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said. “In our legislation, we must reduce the time it takes for federal permitting, we need to lower paperwork burdens on states, and we need to incorporate innovative construction approaches and other technologies.”

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Expanding Applications for Modular Construction

Posted on July 18, 2019

By Shawn Moura

Modular construction has come a long way since a 2010 issue of Development magazine profiled the building process in “First Look – The Skyscraper’s New Look.” Commercial real estate developers are adopting modular construction – in which building components are manufactured at a facility and then transported to a construction site for assembly – for a broader range of applications and for larger projects. The process is best suited to projects that primarily consist of repeated and uniform spaces. For these projects, modular construction can substantially reduce construction time and improve quality control.

The extent to which modular construction relies on prefabrication varies from project to project. Writing for the New England Real Estate Journal, architect Henry Wheeler explains that projects can range from incorporating prefabricated electrical and plumbing system kits to partial modular construction (where portions of a room are assembled as a pod that is placed into a building) to full modular construction, where entire rooms are manufactured offsite and installed on-site. In the case of hotel rooms that are assembled using full modular construction, “every room element is pre-fabricated and replicated including the walls, windows, carpet, fixtures, accessories, and even artwork.”

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City of Charlotte Progresses in Enhancing Development Services

Posted on July 17, 2019

On July 8, Charlotte City Council voted to approve construction of the first floor of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center for a collaborative, multidepartmental development permitting facility.

Known as the CLT Development Center, the space will provide developers and design teams access to city review staff in a single location for city development permitting services. This initiative brings together staff from all departments involved in permitting to create a more collaborative culture with new services to better meet customer needs.

“The CLT Development Center is the product of our efforts to have collaborative partnerships with the development community,” said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. “We are excited to bring new, innovative ways to work together to create great projects for Charlotte.”

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Blue Line Corridor Rezoning Informational Drop-In Meeting

You are invited to drop in (see hours below) to learn about the City of Charlotte’s plan to rezone land along the Blue Line light rail corridor, in order to align with the adopted recommended future land use and community vision. A presentation will be given at 15 minutes after the hour. City staff will be on hand to help with any questions.

Cabarrus County Commission Considers Fee Proposals at Next Meeting by REBIC

Posted on July 16, 2019

At the Cabarrus County work session on July 1, Planning & Development Director Kelly Sifford discussed the Proposed Fee Increases on planning, zoning and building inspection fees.

During the presentation, Kelly did provide an overview of the several meetings held with REBIC, the Cabarrus Chapter of the Greater Charlotte HBA and the building community. REBIC proposed at those meetings that the Planning Department and building community continue these conversations quarterly, which they have agreed to. The first of these quarterly meetings will be announced shortly.

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Huntersville Assumed Land Development Review & Permitting July 1

Posted on July 15, 2019

Beginning July 1, the Town of Huntersville is assuming review of all land development review and permitting, bringing in-house a variety of services previously provided by Mecklenburg County.

But because the Town failed to request delegated authority for Erosion & Sedimentation Control from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), all E&S review and inspections for projects in Huntersville will continue to be provided by Mecklenburg County LUESA until at least mid-August.

All development plans previously submitted to LUESA will continue to be reviewed by the County, which will also conduct inspections on those projects. Any new development projects submitting from today forward will go through the Town’s Engineering & Public Works Department. Huntersville last month adopted a new fee schedule that is similar to the 2018 LUESA fees for land development plan review, bond maintenance and other related services.

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Retailer Strategies for Meeting Omnichannel Demand

Posted July 12, 2019

By Kathryn Hamilton

Studies have shown that shoppers of all ages are buying more online than in stores than ever before. So how are retailers addressing these shopping and buying habits? David Hudson and Chris Sultemeier, two leaders from Duke Realty, tackled this topic at I.CON West 2019, NAIOP’s industrial conference held this week in Southern California.

Consumers today fully expect to have the ability to shop and engage with a retailer across multiple channels. Three experiences build the multichannel experience for the retailer: 1) giving consumers the ability to buy in a physical store; 2) enabling orders to be placed online; and 3) following and engaging on social media. Studies show that if a retailer can connect with a consumer through all three channels, the value of that consumer (who is typically younger and wealthier) is much greater for the retailer; in fact, the average value of a consumer who engages with a retailer across all three channels is four times the value of one who engages through just one channel. This loyalty – and repeat customer – is key to a retailer’s success.

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Commercial Real Estate and the Big-Data Deluge

Posted July 11, 2019

By Trey Barrineau

Awash in granular digital information, companies are diving headfirst into high-tech solutions so they can make more deeply informed business decisions.

The technological advances shaking up nearly every aspect of modern life are starting to have significant impacts on commercial real estate.

“The biggest trend we’re seeing is this whole digital disruption in our industry, from ubiquitous linked sensors to the technology that’s going into smart buildings,” said Dale Dekker, AIA, AICP, principal with Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, during a recent NAIOP event. “It’s truly driving commercial real estate in a whole new way.”

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Prefabricated Wood Construction Shows Promise

Posted July 10, 2019

By Tom Chung

This efficient, environmentally friendly way to build could increase quality while reducing labor costs.

The shortage of construction workers in America has continued to intensify and building material costs are rising, leaving architects with the difficult task of completing projects that can meet demanding budgets. To remain profitable and meet project deadlines, architects and the industry at large must find creative methods to improve processes, increase return on investment (ROI) and introduce more efficient ways to source construction materials.

The University of Arkansas, in partnership with Leers Weinzapfel Associates, found an innovative solution to these challenges. The university used prefabricated wood construction to build the nation’s first large-scale mass timber residence hall project and living/learning setting, the Stadium Drive Residence Halls. The 202,027-square-foot project — envisioned as a creative learning environment within a relaxed, informal, tree-lined landscape — is being built from prefabricated wood, which has reduced on-site construction time and labor.

Click here to read more.

US Office Market Continues to Expand Ahead of Forecast

Posted July 9, 2019

By Dr. Harry Guirguis and Dr. Joshua Harris

Office Leasing Activity Expected to Grow Amid Sustained U.S. Economic Strength

The U.S. office market continues to expand ahead of forecast, posting 18 million square feet of net absorption in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 11 million square feet in the first quarter of 2019. Continued economic growth and increases in job creation are likely the main forces behind these levels of new leasing.

With first-quarter U.S. GDP growth of 3.2% annualized and a current unemployment rate of 3.6%, U.S. office space demand should remain strong during 2019. Dr. Harry Guirguis, Manhattan College, and Dr. Joshua Harris, New York University expect demand to register an average of 13.5 million square feet of net absorption per quarter, which will moderate slightly to an average of 12.7 million square feet per quarter in 2020. This forecast is driven by continued expected strength in office-using employment, which has grown twice as fast as general employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s March 2019 jobs report, the primary office-using sector, Professional and Business Services, grew 1.22% year-over-year compared to just 0.6% for total nonfarm employment.

Click here to read more and download report.

Charlotte Holding Additional Meetings this Week on Housing Code Changes

Posted on July 9, 2019

The City of Charlotte is hosting a second pair of community meetings this week to discuss proposed changes to its Minimum Housing Code, which are scheduled to be considered by a City Council committee on July 17th.

REBIC and other industry groups have expressed concern that the proposed changes Ordinance could negatively impact housing affordability by raising the cost of property management and code compliance for landlords.

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The Workplace Makeover: From Office to Destination

Posted July 8, 2019

By Diane Hoskins and Andy Cohen

To lure top talent, employers must integrate technology and unique experiences into their spaces.

The future of cities is predicated on people. As engines of economic growth, urban areas are the life source of the built environment, with 80 percent of global GDP resulting from their output. The most vibrant cities are those that attract diverse talent with varied skills, perspectives and backgrounds. All of this is driving change and transformation in how people live, work and play.

Looking at the built environment, there is no place that is being more profoundly impacted than the workplace. To retain and inspire the best talent, the most successful organizations will be the ones that adapt their workplace strategies to focus on creating a destination with visceral experiences, an “always in beta approach” and purpose through space.

Click here to read more.