E-commerce Continues to Grow – Check out These New Resources

Reference to NAIOP National Headquarters
For more information, http://www.naiop.org

NAIOP’s collection of e-commerce resources continues to grow, and if you’re a fan of Google, Amazon, the mailman and Ralph Lauren – you’ll definitely want to check out these new postings:

  • Google is on the race against Amazon, time and the universe to arrive at your front door. We can’t help but wonder how commercial real estate will fare in the race.
  • Neither rain nor sleet nor snow can keep the USPS from entering the world of e-commerce. Rate increases, however, may keep the customers away.
  • Never thought you’d see the day when the words “logistics” and “sexy” appear together? According to GlobeSt.com’s Carrie Rosenfeld, the two go hand-in-hand as executives discuss the drive to deliver retail product faster.
  • And, speaking of retail, Ralph Lauren’s new e-commerce line will soon make its debut in High Point, North Carolina. The massive e-commerce facility will add 900 jobs by 2017.

All this, and more, are being added to NAIOP’s collection of e-commerce resources daily.

Congress Paves the Road to Temporarily Fund Transit Bill

Reference to NAIOP National Headquarters
For more information, http://www.naiop.org

 

The Senate is expected to vote this week in favor of a bill (already approved by the House) that would temporarily add nearly $11 billion to the Highway Trust Fund. Due to expire in September, the Highway Trust Fund, which provides funding for road construction and repair, could actually run out of money in August, according to estimates from the Department of Transportation.

Federal investment in transportation has a significant impact on commercial real estate development. A recent NAIOP survey finds that 77 percent of NAIOP members support the association’s advocacy efforts to reauthorize the massive transportation bill known as “MAP 21.”

Weighing in on the possible early depletion of funds, President Obama noted that 700,000 jobs could be at risk, resulting in the temporary halt or permanent stoppage of 100,000 projects across the country.

A particular issue of contention between transportation advocates and lawmakers is the possibility of increasing the gas tax – a key revenue source of the Highway Trust Fund which has not been raised since 1993. At its current rate, the gas tax will generate $34 billion per year for infrastructure spending, though Congress is looking to spend $50 billion per year to upgrade the nation’s beleaguered system of highways and roads.

NAIOP’s Government Affairs team continues to meet with Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate, and their staffs, to secure long-term funding for transportation and infrastructure projects.

The Treadmill Trend: Office Desks of the Future

Imagine conducting a conference call from your treadmill-powered desk. As sitting and standing are becoming negative contributors to employee health, the traditional office “workstation” may soon become a “walkstation.”

While numerous studies have shown that standing and walking desks are good for workers’ long-term health, a recent University of Minnesota study provides evidence that treadmill desks also boost productivity. In fact, researcher Avner Ben-Ner found that, within four to six months, employee productivity improved with regards to quality of work, quantity of work and quality of exchanges with colleagues.

If treadmills aren’t your thing, perhaps a hydraulic adjustable-height station is. Take a look at some of the new types of desks designed to boost energy and performance in the summer issue of Development magazine.

State Senate Passes Legislation Reducing Regulation on Existing Commercial Buildings

Originally published on July 24th on REBIC’s blog, In the Loop
Reprinted with permission from REBIC

The North Carolina Senate yesterday approved a bill to reduce energy code and storm water regulations on existing commercial structures, to encourage their re-use and redevelopment.

H 201, the “Building Reutilization for Economic Development Act,” passed its third reading this afternoon and now heads back to the House for consideration. If signed into law, the bill would:

  • Exclude from existing Energy Code requirements any commercial building that received a Certificate of Occupancy prior to January 1, 2012. So long as its alteration would not expand the building area by more than 150 percent, a commercial structure occupied by that date could be renovated or improved under the less-stringent 2009 Energy Code.
  • Exclude from new stormwater regulations any pre-existing development or redevelopment that does not remove or decrease the existing stormwater controls on the property. The bill defines redevelopment as “any land disturbing activity that does not result in a net increase in built-upon area and that provides greater or equal stormwater control to that of the previous development.”

The bill was approved despite strong opposition from local building code and storm water officials, who claim it will create greater inconsistency in enforcement and negatively impact the quality of impaired streams. Supporters say the bill simply codified DENR’s existing practice of exempting from post-construction storm water requirements any redevelopment that does not result in a net increase in built-upon area.

It remains to be seen how the storm water language will impact projects in the City of Charlotte, which claims its federal NPDES permit requires it to mandate post-construction controls on all sites, regardless of whether it is redevelopment or development of a new, undisturbed site.

REBIC supports the bill, and will work with NAIOP and our other partner organizations to assure its passage. It is scheduled to go to the House today.

Senate Acts on TRIA, Sends Message to House

Originally published in the July 22nd issue of NAIOP National’s NAIOP Source
Reprinted with permission from NAIOP National

The Senate last week approved the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2244), a bill sponsored by Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) by a vote of 93-4. The bill extends the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), the federal backstop insurance program against terrorist attacks that kicks in when damages total more than $100 million, for an additional 7 years through 2021. The existing program expires at the end of this year unless reauthorized.

“We commend and congratulate the Senate for the overwhelming bipartisan support to extend TRIA based on the principles that have made it one of the most productive and essential policy tools to have emerged from the tragedy 0f 9-11,” said NAIOP President and CEO Thomas J. Bisacquino in a statement issued following the Senate vote. “Insurance against terrorist attacks is essential… if developers can’t get insurance, projects can’t get financed.”

The Senate’s bill maintains most of the programs original measures with some changes in the amount private insurance must pay out. The House of Representatives has yet to pass TRIA reauthorization. In contrast to the Senate bill, Representative Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) introduced the TRIA Reform Act of 2014 (H.R. 4871) which would make substantial changes to the program, including increasing the trigger point for federal government intervention in case of terrorism from $100 million to $500 million, and establishing a separate entry point of $100 million for nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attacks.

The proposed changes are opposed by industry groups and a number of House Republicans, making passage of the bill in its current form problematic. The overwhelming bipartisan Senate vote makes it unlikely that the Senate will want to negotiate with the House, instead pushing for the House to adopt its version.

Renewal of the TRIA program is a top priority for NAIOP and the commercial real estate industry. NAIOP is a member of the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT), which advocates for extension of the federal terrorism program. NAIOP’s government affairs staff continues to meet and work with members of Congress to pass legislation reauthorizing TRIA in the House.

New Report: 2013 Was Strong Year for Commercial Real Estate

Originally published in the July 22nd issue of NAIOP National’s NAIOP Source
Reprinted with permission from NAIOP National

new report released by the NAIOP Research Foundation shows 2013 was the strongest year for commercial real estate development since the economic recovery began in 2011.

The Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate” determined that the economic impact realized by the development process rose a significant 24.06 percent over the previous year, the largest gain since the market began to recover in 2011. Direct expenditures for 2013 totaled $124 billion, up from $100 billion the year before, and resulted in the following economic contributions to the U.S. economy:

  • Total contribution to U.S. GDP reached $376.35 billion, up from $303.36 billion in 2012.
  • Personal earnings (or wages and salaries paid) totaled $120.02 billion, up from $96.75 billion in 2012.
  • Jobs supported (a measure of both new and existing jobs) reached 2.81 million in 2013, up from 2.27 million the year before.

The report says that the outlook for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015 is that the figures will continue to rise, with year-over-year growth expected in the range of 8-15 percent.

“Commercial development’s economic impact is tremendous; simply put, a healthy development industry is critical to a prosperous U.S. economy,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and CEO. “As the uneven pace of the nation’s economic recovery continues, the industry seeks public policy certainty that bolsters investors’ and developers’ confidence. Despite this lack of assurance, we see positive indicators of a rebounding industry, but believe the industry could be more robust.”

New E-commerce Resources Available

Reference to NAIOP National Headquarters
For more information, http://www.naiop.org

New resources have just been added to NAIOP’s E-commerce Evolution: Considerations for Commercial Real Estate — which lists five elements of e-commerce, identifies and describes the foundational elements of this new way of shopping and shipping, and poses key questions for commercial real estate (CRE) professionals working in this realm.

The publication is updated on a regular basis with additional resources on these evolving elements of e-commerce, including reports, articles and white papers.