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A Busy Day for the Charlotte City Council

On Monday, November 7th, the Charlotte City Council held a marathon day of meetings.  Two of the committees held discussions on topics of significant interest to the real estate industry.  To catch up on anything you may have missed, please click on the information links below:

Transportation, Planning, and Development CommitteeAgendaVideo

(Presentations)

Housing, Safety, and Community Committee - AgendaVideo

(Presentations)

Vacancies on Charlotte Boards and Commissions

Numerous vacancies remain on several Charlotte City Council-appointed Boards and Commissions.  

  • The recent vacancy notice lists positions for which the City Council will make nominations and appointments in 2022.  Please take note of application deadlines and dates projected for nominations and appointments.
  • Any additional positions will be added to this list as they arise.  Please subscribe to NotifyMe to receive notices of new vacancies.
  • Applications are available online at charlottenc.gov/clerk or by clicking here.
  • Applications remain active for one year from the submission date.
  • Applicants will be notified when appointed.
  • Please visit the Boards & Commissions webpage to view more details about each board and commission and their meeting times and locations.  Please review the necessary qualifications for each board, as well as attendance and code of ethics requirements.
  • All applicants must be residents of Mecklenburg County.
  • Appointees serve voluntarily without compensation.
Questions? Contact Boards & Commissions at 704-336-7494 or [email protected].

Key CLT Committees Meet the 1st Monday of the Month

Charlotte's newly seated City Council is off and running and has determined to make the start of every month highly productive (or just have a lot of meetings).  Three key committees tasked with a focus on growth, transportation, housing, and economic development meet on that day which culminates with a gathering of the full City Council in the evening.  Here are some links with important details for the upcoming November events:


Monday, November 7th

6:00pm - 8:00pm - Council Committee Discussions

November Bonds Ahead for Charlotte, Gastonia; CLT Groups Form From 2040 Plan

Bonds on November Ballot For Charlotte, Gastonia

On Nov. 8, Gastonia residents will vote on a $75 million Transportation General Obligation Bond Referendum. The City Council approved the bond referendum at its Aug. 2 meeting.  

Proposed projects include:

  • Street and road repairs
  • Pedestrian walkways (sidewalks)
  • Street resurfacing
  • Utility relocations
  • Street intersection improvements
  • Street light improvements

For more information, visit this link.       

Charlotte voters will also have the opportunity to vote on a $226 million bond package that will upgrade and enhance streets, build housing for low-to moderate-income individuals and families, and improve infrastructure in the city's older neighborhoods and emerging high-growth areas. 

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CommercialEdge: Charlotte Office, National Sales and Vacancy Rates Up in Midyear 2022

By Eliza Theiss 

Two and a half years after the pandemic began, the short-term future for the office sector remains uncertain, with record vacancy rates adding to the industry’s woes, according to a recent office report from CommericalEdge. And as hybrid and work-from-home business models continue to take hold — and rising inflation rates further deter workers from returning to traditional office settings — the sector’s long-term prospects are also murky.

Top Markets for Highest Listing Rate Growth

The average full-service equivalent listing rate in the top 50 U.S. office markets was $37.58 per square foot in June — up two cents from the previous month, but down 2.6% from the previous year.

With a 15.6% gain year-over-year (Y-o-Y), Charlotte, North Carolina, continued to lead the market in price growth, increasing its average full-service equivalent listing fee to $33.45 per square foot. Prices in this market grew at progressively faster rates for the fourth straight month.

Similarly, Miami office space ($47.23/square foot) had a gain of 8.4% over the previous year and continued to be one of the fastest-appreciating office markets. But Boston still outperformed it with a 12% increase, thanks to the city’s thriving life sciences industry.

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NAIOP on Carried Interest and Update on Senate Passage of Reconciliation Bill

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a $740 billion budget reconciliation measure with provisions to address climate change and energy security, extend federal healthcare subsidies, and allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. As we informed you last week, the bill, which had been negotiated by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), contained a proposal changing the taxation of carried interests that would have harmed the commercial real estate industry and real estate entrepreneurs.

When the Schumer-Manchin agreement was announced, NAIOP and NAIOP Arizona, along with our national real estate allies, mobilized to support Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in her efforts to oppose the proposed changes to carried interest. In order to ensure her vote, the proposal was dropped from the bill before the legislation was brought up for floor debate.

We are gratified that the concerns of NAIOP and the real estate industry were considered on this very important issue. For more than a decade, NAIOP has successfully opposed various proposals to alter the tax treatment of carried interests, or “promotes” as they are known in real estate. While characterized in the media as affecting Wall Street hedge fund managers, these tax increases would have had a much broader economic impact, impacting real estate partnerships, the venture capital industry and others. We have been engaged with policymakers long before this latest proposal was introduced, and our members’ support has been extremely helpful.

Senator Sinema promised to continue working with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) to develop legislation reforming carried interest taxation. I want to assure every NAIOP member that, on this and the other important issues affecting commercial real estate, we and our NAIOP chapters will continue our strong advocacy on behalf of you and our industry.

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City Council Members Meet with NAIOP Charlotte for LWAL

Last week, NAIOP members met with City Council Candidates Dimple Ajmera and Marjorie Molina to discuss important issues impacting Charlotte’s CRE industry.

LWAL two

The Lunch with a Leader series provides NAIOP Charlotte members an exclusive opportunity to meet and interact with key leaders in our community. Look for upcoming NAIOP Charlotte fall events here.

LWAL one

UDO: Planning Committee to Review and Recommend

Compiled from REBIC, staff reports

REBIC’s Rob Nanfelt reported Tuesday that the City’s Planning Committee is taking up the matter of the proposed Unified Development Ordinance. Next month, committee members will take any additional recommendations before the third/final draft.

Last week, the Charlotte City Council received comments from the community during a public hearing on the proposed UDO. Click here to view the resolution. The entire hearing is available to view here – beginning approximately at the 2:51:30 mark.   

Next is a review and recommendation from the City’s Planning Committee scheduled to begin Tuesday, July 19, at 5 p.m. Those interested can view it on the City’s Planning Department YouTube Channel. The complete agenda and meeting packet is available here.

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UDO Meeting Set For July 11; CLT Water Plan Review Back On

REBIC's Rob Nenfelt and his team put together this week's Two For Tuesday and UDO takes center stage early next week.

UDO - Public Hearing Scheduled for Monday

The Charlotte City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) for Monday, July 11. The Council Action Review begins at 5:00 pm followed by the Public Forum/Business meeting at 6:30 pm. An agenda should be available here by Friday afternoon. Click here to sign up to speakRebic Logo

Also, Planning Staff has just released responses to public comments submitted prior to last Thursday's deadline. Additional changes will be reflected in the next and likely final draft when it is released which will occur prior to the expected vote on adoption in late August. Here's a link to the page containing the Second Draft Public Comments - With Staff Responses.

For additional UDO resources, please visit Charlotte's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) - (charlotteudo.org).

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RECAP – Industry Forum: Charlotte’s UDO and Next Steps

UDO dom photo

June 23, 2022:  More than 100 commercial real estate professionals registered to hear a panel of local industry professionals share their feedback on the latest draft of Charlotte’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Roger Manley (BB+M Architecture), Jon Morris (Beacon Partners), Tim Sittema (Crosland Southeast) and moderator Rob Nanfelt (REBIC) discussed their participation and impacts the new ordinance will have on the future of commercial real estate development.

Some of the highlights included:

Affordability after the UDO's implementation.  Yes, development and housing costs will go up. But the new draft should offer more flexibility.

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2040 Planning Academy Starting Tuesday, June 21

2040 Planning Academy

2040 Planning Academy Starting Tuesday, June 21

Do you have questions about all the development you see in CLT? Do you want to know more about how CLT plans for its future? Are you interested in influencing the future of your neighborhood?

The 2040 Planning Academy, formerly the Community Planning Academy, is a free 5-class program aimed at helping residents better understand the role planning plays in building communities. Through group discussions, presentations, and interactive activities, participants will learn when and how they can be involved in planning processes and help influence the future of their community.

The application window is open starting today, Tuesday, June 21, 2022, and will close on Sunday, July 17, 2022, at midnight.

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Permit Reform Legislation Advances Following NAIOP’s N.C. Advocacy Day

BY TOBY BURKE,   

Members from NAIOP’s three chapters in North Carolina traveled to Raleigh last week to advance the priorities of the commercial real estate development industry in meetings with state lawmakers. The top priority for NAIOP of North Carolina, the state alliance of NAIOP chapters, is the passage and enactment of House Bill 291, permit reform legislation sponsored by State Representative Jeff Zenger.

Local building permits are an essential and fundamental requirement for the development and improvement of commercial and residential properties. However, the processes for obtaining these permits can vary by city and county in North Carolina. These variations lead to uncertainties and delays in projects moving forward, which can impact the costs, financing and contractional relationships with contractors and providers of construction equipment and materials.

The enactment of House Bill 291 would bring reforms to the permitting process similar to those advocated by our local chapter in Georgia which were ultimately enacted into law in that state. These reforms to the local permitting process bring more predictability and accountability, reducing uncertainty and unnecessary delays. Core elements of the bill include:

  • A local permitting entity has 21 days in which review the plans.
  • During the 21 days, the local entity shall resolve issues associated with the application and may seek additional information from the applicant.
  • If additional information is needed or the application must be resubmitted, the permitting entity has 15 days from receipt of the additional information to issue a permit.
  • If the local permitting entity is unable to meet the time parameters, the applicant or inspections department may seek approval from a certified third-party (engineer) or the Department of Insurance.

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed House Bill 291 in May of 2021 on bipartisan vote of 79-33, sending the bill to the state Senate. The legislation was eventually sent to the commerce and insurance committee in March for their consideration. Our meetings last week focused on urging Senate leadership and the committee chairs to move this important legislation forward before adjourning for the year as early as the end of June. NAIOP of North Carolina’s advocacy played a key role in HB 291 being scheduled the following day for a hearing before the insurance committee the subsequent week.


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NAIOP Charlotte visits Raleigh for Legislative Day

NAIOP three

As part of an annual visit, NAIOP members visited elected North Carolina's elected officials today in Raleigh. Representing the commercial real estate industry’s perspective is critical to cultivate future relationships when challenges arise in the state legislature. 

NAIOP two

 

Class A Buildings Push Office Market Stabilization

Office market vacancy rates kept surging for the 10th straight quarter to start 2022, according to the NAIOP Research Foundation. The group recently published its Office Space Demand Forecast for Q2 2022. You can read the full report here
Office building
The group boasted that Class A buildings are key in many parts of the country, bolstering net absorption rates in areas like the Sun Belt. These work spaces are key in brining in skilled employees. The group said "suburban markets and life sciences hubs are recovering better than the national average as more employers embrace a return to the office and the pandemic eases."

Other key takeaways mentioned 

  • Leasing activity is up year over year, which signals that firms are more comfortable making longer-term commitments to office space. Property owners have been willing to offer greater tenant improvements to encourage signing, indicating that tenants still have the upper hand in lease negotiations. These signals indicate a move toward a more stable equilibrium as the office market finds its balance.
     
  • Given these trends and signs of a slowing – but still growing – economy, net office space absorption in the remaining three quarters of 2022 is forecast to be 46.9 million square feet, essentially unchanged from the previous forecast for these quarters (46.6 million square feet).
     
  • Total net absorption in 2023 is forecast to be 47.3 million square feet, with an additional 6.5 million square feet absorbed in the first quarter of 2024.

Strategic Mobility Plan Out Thursday


UDO graphic

Thursday will mark the release of the Strategic Mobility Plan (SMP) draft. The public can access the May 19 meeting at this link.

The SMP’s goal is to shape the mobility future for the City of Charlotte and expand on the “Safe and Equitable Mobility” goal of the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan (2040 Plan). The SMP dives deeper into the mobility policies of 2040 Plan to achieve a safe, connected, equitable, sustainable, prosperous, and innovative mobility vision for Charlotte. To learn more, follow this link to the Strategic Mobility Plan homepage.

SMP Virtual Engagement Sessions will be live on Thursday, May 26 (6 p.m.) and Tuesday, May 31 (noon). Meeting links will be available by visiting charlottenc.gov/smp.

Additionally, you can sign up to share input during the public comment portion of the City Council Business Meeting on Monday, June 13, at 6 p.m.

UDO – Updates

On Wednesday, there will be a presentation on the findings related to the Economic Analysis of the draft UDO.


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Final Recommended CLT 2040 Policy Map

 

2040 Pic

The final recommended policy maps were released yesterday and can be found here.

  1. Please review any properties in which you may have an interest (current or future), provide comments online (either on the map app directly or via email to [email protected]), and let us know (via email) of any remaining concerns you may have. The comment period ends on March 21st.
  2. We are putting together a list of those who are willing to speak at the public hearing scheduled for the evening of Monday, February 28th. At this point it appears comments will be accepted both in person (PREFERRED – demonstrates higher level of commitment and interest in the issue) and virtually. If you or someone in your organization is available please sign up here and we will contact you.

The Policy Map is scheduled to be adopted on March 28th. The upcoming public hearing is our opportunity to convey any outstanding concerns to the ultimate decision makers – Members of the Charlotte City Council. General talking points will be available for distribution prior to the hearing.

INTERESTED IN SPEAKING AT THE CHARLOTTE CITY COUNCIL MEETING? SIGN UP HERE TO LET US KNOW!

New Charlotte Policy Maps

 

originally published by REBIC with permission to repost

2040 Policy Map Pic

Last summer the City of Charlotte Planning, Design & Development Department kicked-off the Charlotte Future 2040 Policy Map process as a first step in putting the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan into action. Thank you to those of you who have participated in engagement in this effort to date.

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Primary Election Date Moves Again

 

originally published by REBIC with permission to repost.

From the News & Observer:

North Carolina Senate Republicans plan on Wednesday to postpone the state’s primary elections to June 7, citing ongoing litigation of the newly enacted redistricting maps. The state Supreme Court scheduled arguments in the redistricting case for Feb. 2. The court in December pushed back the primary from its original March 8 date to May 17, as part of an expedited hearing schedule for challenges to the redrawn maps. But Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, said Monday that the current schedule “is an extremely short timeframe that will cause unnecessary confusion and chaos.”

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Charlotte UDO & Policy Maps Update

 

originally published by REBIC with permission to repost. 

2040 Policy Map Pic

New schedule for Policy Map announced today:

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Register for Tuesday's Special Webinar: Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball

Sabato Webinar

Political analyst Larry Sabato, Ph.D., will give his up-to-the-minute update on politics in this engaging and informative webinar. He will discuss today's political landscape, the midterm elections, and what we can expect Congress and the Biden administration to focus on moving forward.  

Sabato is a New York Times bestselling author, recipient of four Emmy awards, and one of the nation’s most respected political analysts.

A Rhodes Scholar, Sabato is the founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and has had visiting appointments at Oxford and Cambridge universities in England.