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There's Opportunity at the Office Park

Originally published in NAIOP's Development Magazine Fall 2020 Issue by Ray Kimsey. 

COVID-19 could spur greater interest in transforming suburban office parks into mixed-use developments.

Suburban office parks were already experiencing a renaissance in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. A combination of rising commercial and residential rental rates in urban core areas and the desire of millennial workers to reduce their commutes had led real estate developers to transform older office parks into competitive properties by offering the right mix of uses and amenities.

The pandemic, which may have effectively reset corporate America’s work/life balance equation, has given new impetus to this strategy. Nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas in the wake of the pandemic, according to recent data from a Harris Poll conducted among 2,050 U.S. adults from April 25-27. This could significantly impact the attitudes of both office tenants and residential buyers regarding location and amenities. It would also be happening as futurists predict a “new normal” following the pandemic where remote working could become more accepted. In addition, even when restrictions are lifted, there will be an emphasis on outdoor amenities that support social distancing. 

As commercial real estate leaders plan for the future, many are evaluating changing user preferences and are looking for creative solutions to meet the needs of changing demographic preferences. Here are some insights into reimagining aging office parks by realigning space and tenant engagement strategies through the introduction of residential and mixed-use elements.

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Amazon Could Provide a Peek at Industrial’s Post-COVID Future

Originally published in NAIOP's Summer 2020 Issue by Ed Kimek, AIA, NCARB

The e-commerce giant understands how to connect products and consumers.

Commerce was changing before the outbreak of COVID-19, from the exponential trajectory of e-commerce, to the growth in consumer demand for more immediate goods, to the rise of urban industrial development to fulfill last-mile needs.

The unknowns of this novel virus have accelerated that change to a tipping point. The structures of commerce, and the development that supports it, may be altered for good. This crisis is proving the necessity of a resilient supply chain.

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Apply for NAIOP’s National Forums Program

The National Forums program brings together industry professionals in select groups to share industry knowledge, develop successful business strategies and build strong relationships in a confidential and non-competitive setting. Learn more about this unique opportunity and apply for appointment today. 

The Forums provide a unique opportunity for members to openly discuss project challenges, business opportunities and lessons-learned in a confidential and non-competitive setting. Over time, fellow members become a trusted circle of advisors.

The National Forums are an excellent way to become involved, stay in touch and develop new connections with key industry leaders.

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Lawmakers Pass $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Bill; PPP Deadline Extended

House lawmakers last week passed the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 2), a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that has been a key priority for Democrats since 2018. However, the bill advanced on a mostly party-line vote – with only a handful of members on either side breaking ranks – suggesting its prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate are likely dim. 

The chamber’s Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), later confirmed that sentiment, saying: “This so-called infrastructure bill would siphon billions in funding from actual infrastructure to funnel into climate change policies… It will just join the list of absurd House proposals that were only drawn up to show fealty to the radical left.” 

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Coronavirus Clouds Construction Cost Projections

Originally on March 04, 2020, by Erika Morphy via GlobeSt.com

Construction costs, which have been on the rise for years, were slated for another increase this year. But there was good news: cost growth was expected to be at a slower pace than previous years, according to the JLL 2020 Construction Outlook. Unfortunately there is also bad news: the coronavirus has just added an element of uncertainty to projections about construction costs.

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Cities as a Service

Posted on May 22, 2018

Listen to the audio recording of Greg Lindsay, NewCities Foundation Senior Fellow and keynote at the National Forums Symposium, on how cities as a service are changing how we live, work, move and more, watch the video (see below), or read the recap on NAIOP’s Market Share blog.

Less than a decade ago, Uber, AirBnB and WeWork didn’t exist. Today, one is worth more on paper than Ford Motor, another more than Hyatt, and the third more than Boston Properties. Why? The short answer is that there’s an app for all that, but the truth is more complicated — how and where we live, how we move, and how we work are all being disrupted.

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What's Next for Infrastructure?

Posted on April 17, 2018

Lawmakers are back in Washington after a two-week break. But as they’re coming back into town, a key figure in the Trump administration is set to depart.

DJ Gribbin, the man who drafted President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan, is leaving the administration. A White House official told reporters Gribbin wants to pursue “new opportunities.”

The infrastructure plan Gribbin helped pull together aims to spend $200 billion in federal money and generate roughly $1.5 trillion in overall infrastructure spending. Improving the nation’s infrastructure and transportation networks is a NAIOP legislative priority.

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US Administration Continues Infrastructure Proposal Push

Posted on April 9, 2018

Last week, President Donald Trump hosted a campaign-style event in Ohio to discuss his infrastructure plan. The White House Council of Economic Advisers says that, if implemented, the plan could put more than 400,000 people to work over the next decade. Infrastructure and transportation is a legislative priority for NAIOP in 2018.

Trump says he’d settle for a series of smaller bills instead of a single, sweeping bill. Infrastructure improvements could "be passed in one bill or in a series of measures," the president told reporters last week.

That’s important because many observers doubt Congress will be able to agree on any single major bill before the November election. Still, administration officials promise to keep working on the issue. "We will have a push, a strong push to have infrastructure done this year," a senior administration official told CNN. "We hope to get a big chunk done this year."

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Building a Sound Infrastructure Plan

Posted on March 12, 2018

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says details about the Trump administration’s infrastructure plan should be coming out soon. The goal of the plan is to spend roughly $200 billion in federal funds and generate $1.5 trillion in spending by state and local governments and private investors for transportation, energy, water and other infrastructure projects.

Government investment in infrastructure is a priority issue for NAIOP in 2018. Last month, NAIOP President and CEO Tom Bisacquino wrote an op-ed for Fox News, reminding readers: “In the real estate industry, infrastructure encourages development. People are more likely to develop property, start businesses and choose to live where the roads, bridges, ports and power grid are dependable.”

Last week, Chao told the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials that the plan’s guiding principles are:

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