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Return to the Hill: CL&LR 2023

Originally published on January 18, 2023 by Aquiles Suarez for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

In less than two weeks – and for the first time since February 2020 and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic – NAIOP members and chapter local executives will be headed to Capitol Hill to meet with their elected representatives, senators and congressional staff. In so doing, they will be taking the opportunity to establish relationships with newly elected members of Congress, renew and deepen existing ties with incumbents, and talk to their elected officials about issues important to the commercial real estate industry.

All of this occurs as part of NAIOP’s Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat (CL&LR), a three-day conference where local NAIOP chapter executives and their leadership come together in our nation’s capital to talk about their chapters, share best practices, and spend a day meeting with their elected federal representatives on Wednesday, Feb. 1, Capitol Hill Day. For much of the next two weeks, NAIOP members coming to Washington, D.C. will be scheduling meetings with their senators and representatives to discuss NAIOP’s 2023 Federal Priorities with them.

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What a Way for Congress to Start the Year

Originally published on January 4, 2023, by Aquiles Suarez for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

A word that has been repeatedly used to describe the workings of Congress is “chaos.” So why should we expect things to change just because it’s a new year? The spectacle put on by the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives trying to choose a speaker this week clearly shows that nothing will be a sure thing in this Congress.

Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the Republican minority leader in the last Congress who wanted to be speaker in the next, after his party won a slim majority in the 2022 congressional midterm elections, failed to get the needed number of votes on the first round of voting. Then he failed on the second round. Ditto on the third try.  Meanwhile, House Democrats were clearly enjoying the Republican dysfunction, with all of them voting for their leader, Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), giving him more votes than McCarthy. While Jeffries was not going to get enough votes to become the speaker, it was great optics for House Democrats who were united while Republicans appeared disorganized.

Choosing a speaker is the first order of business for a newly elected Congress. It’s a constitutional requirement, and nothing in the House happens until a speaker is chosen. Members cannot be sworn in, committee assignments cannot be made, and Congress cannot consider legislation. It has been 100 years since a speaker was not chosen by a new Congress on the first ballot.

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State Election Successes for Both Political Parties in 2022

Originally published on December 14, 2022 by Toby Burke for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

While the primary focus of the national media during the 2022 election may have been on a potential “red wave” for control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, there were over 6,200 state legislative races in 46 states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The outcomes of these state races significantly impact core policy issues of importance for commercial real estate, such as taxes, regulations and economic development. Generally, political pundits may conclude that the status quo was maintained in this election cycle, with Republicans remaining in political control in a majority of state legislatures and Democrats making modest but significant gains in a few.

Both the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee can claim political successes, either maintaining or flipping political majorities in certain state chambers. These include lowering a chamber’s majority by the opposing party gaining seats, or ending veto-proof majorities. 

The post-election analysis by MultiState shows 28 state legislatures under full Republican control, compared to 20 legislatures under full Democratic control. The political parties in the commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia will have divided control between the two chambers heading into the 2023 session. Prior to this year’s election, Republicans controlled 30 state legislatures to 17 by the Democrats with 3 under divided control: Alaska (House bipartisan coalition), Minnesota and Virginia. The election breakdown by Multistate reflects Democrats taking over chamber majorities in the Michigan legislature, the Minnesota Senate, and the Pennsylvania House.

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Chapter Leadership and Legislative Retreat 2023

Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat

 

Date: Monday, January 30, 2023 - Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Where: Capital Hilton, Washington, District of Columbia

NAIOP celebrates and empowers those who step up to lead their local chapter. You motivate volunteers, delegate tasks, and manage schedules. You raise awareness, conduct community outreach, and demonstrate the value of membership. You contribute your time, your expertise, and your dollars. NAIOP provides the annual Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat for you.

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Congress Continues Funding Discussions as Deadline Approaches

Originally published by NAIOP E-Newsletter on December 13, 2022. 

Senate budget negotiators were at an impasse last week with a Dec. 16 deadline looming for passing a spending measure that would keep the government funded. Indications are that bipartisan negotiations will continue, however, after Democrats delayed introducing their own partisan omnibus funding legislation. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the lead Senate negotiator, stated that he was holding off the introduction of an omnibus appropriations bill because progress in bipartisan talks had been made over the weekend.

Congress is expected to pass a temporary stopgap measure extending the funding deadline for another week, until Dec. 23, to give negotiators more time to finalize a deal. If an agreement is not reached, Democrats have threatened to move a yearlong continuing resolution that would fund the government at current levels, although it is unclear whether they would have the votes to pass the measure.

Congress Begins Lame Duck Session After Surprise Midterms

Members of Congress returned this week after midterm elections delivered results surprising both political parties. With President Joe Biden’s approval ratings hovering in the mid-40% range and inflation as the top issue for a plurality of voters, there was widespread expectation that the Republican party would easily regain the majority in the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

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IRS and Treasury Introduce Regulatory Plan

Originally published on November 8, 2022, by the NAIOP E-Newsletter. 

While most of the political establishment in the nation’s capital is focused on the midterm congressional elections, federal agency staff are still moving forward on developing regulations from legislation enacted this year. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service last Friday issued their Priority Guidance Plan for 2022-2023, detailing their top regulatory priorities for the next year.

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Real Estate Industry Weighs in on Property Conversion Legislation

Originally published on October 18, 2022, by NAIOP.

NAIOP and its real estate industry allies last week provided suggestions on the Revitalizing Downtowns Act, legislation that would create a new tax credit to facilitate the conversion of older office buildings into multifamily housing structures. The bill would provide a 20% tax credit for expenses in converting a building that is at least 25 years old to multifamily housing, provided that at least 20% of the units are reserved for affordable housing. In a coalition letter to sponsors of the legislation, the real estate groups suggest expanding the category of properties eligible for the credit and ensuring real estate investment trusts can utilize the incentive, among other things.

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Congress Extends Government Funding

Originally published on October 4, 2022, by NAIOP.

Last Friday, the House passed a stopgap funding bill – sending it for President Joe Biden’s signature only hours before a government shutdown would have taken effect – before lawmakers left to campaign for the November midterm elections. The Senate had passed the Continuing Resolution (CR) days prior, after Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) agreed to remove controversial energy project permitting legislation that had been part of his agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to get his support for passage of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August.

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House Republicans Outline Post-election Policy Agenda

Originally published on September 27, 2022 by NAIOP Source E-Newslettter.

Last Friday in Pittsburgh, House Republicans, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), presented their “Commitment to America,” a broad outline of the direction House Republicans would take if they regained the majority in the House of Representatives after the November congressional midterm elections. The outline reflects more detailed proposals made by various policy task forces established by McCarthy to produce a policy agenda in advance of the midterms.

 

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State and Local Governments Play Key Role in Achieving Federal Policy Objectives

Originally published on September 21, 2022, by Toby Burke for NAIOP Blog.

The federal government in the United States is responsible for establishing national policies and objectives that are often not achievable without the active participation of state and local governments in our federalist system of government. Federal funds are usually included as part of these efforts to assist state and local governments in following federal guidelines and procedures to implement these policies. This reliance on the involvement of state and local governments places significant importance on strong intergovernmental relationships. 

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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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Industrial Space Demand Forecast, Third Quarter 2022

NAIOP research

By: Hany Guirguis, Ph.D., Manhattan College and Michael J. Seiler, DBA, William & Mary

Amid lower pressure on global supply chains, increasing inventory carrying costs, a cooling economy and a decrease in the rate of e-commerce expansion, retailers and logistics firms have slowed the rate at which they acquired additional industrial space this year. Net absorption of industrial space in the first two quarters of 2022 was 151.2 million square feet, down sharply from 2021’s record pace but still notably higher than in prior years (see Figure 2). The authors expect the still-hot industrial market to cool, and they forecast that the net absorption rate will continue to decline until it returns to the pre-pandemic trend. Total net absorption of industrial space in the second half of 2022 is forecast to be 112.4 million square feet, and full-year absorption in 2023 is forecast to be 209.4 million square feet (see Figure 1 for quarterly projections).

The Industrial Market

Supply chain congestion eased during the first half of 2022, as illustrated by the decline in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index from 4.35 in December 2021 to 2.41 in June 2022. As a result, retailers and logistics firms have shown less interest in leasing or buying industrial space before it is needed, a trend that contributed to higher absorption in 2021. Amazon’s decision to substantially scale back its expansion plans is the most prominent example of this shift in demand for industrial space. Nonetheless, smaller e-commerce firms, and even traditional retailers, continue to lease more distribution space despite slowing e-commerce growth as more consumers return to shopping at bricks-and-mortar retail. Industrial vacancy rates remain historically low as the ability to supply new space continues to face physical and political limitations in land-constrained markets. These low vacancy rates continue to cause asking rents, and ultimately transaction prices, to increase. Premium prices are being paid for properties with soon-to-expire leases and even vacancies as they allow owners to lease out more space at record-high market rates.

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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

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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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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Raleigh UDO: Lessons Learned | Panel Discussion

 

As Charlotte strives for a UDO, what can we learn from Raleigh? Hear a discussion with public and private perspectives about the process, transition and implementation.

Reminder of Upcoming Election Schedule

 

originally published by REBIC with permission to prepost

Vote

Primary Elections are just around the corner! The time is now to do your research and get involved. As a reminder, the Election schedule is as follows:

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Election Update

 

originally published by REBIC with permission to repost

Two for Tuesday - REBIC

Important reminder that the comment period for the first draft of Charlotte’s proposed Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) closes at the end of the day on Friday, March 18th. We anticipate the next draft being released sometime in May and have encouraged a number of changes aimed at providing greater certainty with reduced timelines, more flexibility for challenging projects, and the ability to develop and produce additional housing stock to meet existing and future demands. We hope you will take the time to share your concerns with Planning Staff through the available online comment portal.

Congress Rushing to Reach Spending Deal

 

originally published for NAIOP National

Authorization for continued government spending will expire on Friday, March 11, unless Congress agrees on an omnibus fiscal 2022 appropriations bill or passes another short-term funding extension. The time frame for action is shorter, however, because the House of Representatives is scheduled to recess Wednesday, with Democrats going to Philadelphia for their policy retreat.

House Democrats had planned to pass the omnibus spending bill by Wednesday, but negotiations have been complicated by a White House request for an additional $22.5 billion for COVID-19 relief funding, and the need for supplemental funding for humanitarian, military and economic aid for Ukraine. 

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