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Survey Shows Progress in Diversity Efforts in Real Estate Investment Management

Originally published for NAIOP's Development Magazine Summer 2021 Issue by Trey Barrineau.

However, a lot of work remains despite tangible advances in recent years.

Women and minorities have made some progress in reaching the C-suite in commercial real estate investment management firms during the past few years, but the 2021 NAREIM Diversity & Inclusion Survey shows that there is still a lot of work to do.

“Material, sustained changes will take time to show through in the data,” said Zoe Hughes, CEO of NAREIM, in a release. “But what is clear is that there is a mandate and momentum for DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) to be a priority within the real estate investment management industry.”

The survey, conducted by NAREIM and executive recruitment firm Ferguson Partners, reveals that the real estate investment management industry as a whole is mostly male and white. Men, who are 49.2% of the U.S. population according to the U.S. Census, comprise 60% of full-time employees in the real estate investment management, and non-Hispanic whites, who are 62.8% of the U.S. population, represent 73% of workers. (Blacks make up 6% of the industry, while Asians and Hispanics each represent 10% of CRE investment-management staffing.)

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New Report: Industrial Space Demand Forecast

Industrial Space Demand Remains Strong 

Demand for industrial real estate continues to be strong as the long-term trend toward e-commerce (and away from in-store sales) continues with no end in sight. With nearly 100 million new square feet delivered nationally since the beginning of the year, 450 million square feet currently under construction and another 450 million planned, the demand for industrial real estate still outpaces supply.1

Because of this, authors Dr. Hany Guirguis and Dr. Michael Seiler forecast that the total net absorption in the second half of 2021 will be 162.6 million square feet with a quarterly average of 81.3 million square feet. In 2022, the projected net absorption is 334.6 million square feet with a quarterly average of 83.6 million square feet. An improvement in the outlook for the economy in 2021 and 2022 is behind the upward revision of the 2022 forecast. For example, the real GDP growth rate is now forecast to be 7% in 2021, above the previous forecast of 5% growth. As economic growth is projected to revert toward long-term growth rates in 2023, net absorption in the first half of the year is forecast to be 160.5 million square feet, for a quarterly average of 80.2 million square feet. 

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Important Government Affairs Update

Top 3 Items to Note:

  1. We are making significant progress on our efforts to identify and bring aboard a seasoned individual to provide additional eyes and ears on the ground in Iredell County and Cabarrus County.  More on that to come later this week.
  1. The City of Charlotte is seeking development/real estate representatives to serve on two advisory boards created by the passage of the policy section of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.  It is essential we engage qualified and knowledgeable individuals to fill these positions.  We have an incredible opportunity here and I could use your help.  (Deadline is Friday, August 27th, details follow)
Charlotte Equitable Development Commission
The Charlotte Equitable Development Commission was created with the adoption of the Future Charlotte 2040 Comprehensive Plan by City Council resolution on June 21, 2021. The Commission is charged with advising in the assessment of infrastructure throughout the city and recommending strategies that balance equitable investments in areas most in need, including areas with absent and insufficient facilities, areas growing fastest, and areas targeted for growth. The Commission will work with the Office of Strategy and Budget to provide input on the development of the city’s proposed Capital Investment Plan. The Commission will provide regular updates to the Budget and Effectiveness Council Committee and quarterly reports to the entire Council.  The committee will consist of individuals with significant backgrounds in community development and infrastructure assessments. Examples of preferred experience shall include consulting engineers in the project development business; attorneys specializing in development; developers; independent business representatives; construction contractors; bankers or insurance agents engaged in the financial aspect of development; representatives from homebuilder's association; homeowners or neighborhood association representatives.
9 Members (3 appointments by Mayor, 6 appointments by City Council), Term Length – 3 years, 1 term
 
Charlotte’s Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Commission (Charlotte’s NEST)
The City of Charlotte needs to address displacement caused by gentrification in a comprehensive, broad, and systematic, intentional manner. The recently adopted 2040 Comprehensive Plan includes the establishment of the Charlotte Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Commission (Charlotte’s NEST). The City currently has an adopted Affordable Housing Framework coupled with a number of neighborhood programs that are used to address gentrification. However, the City desires to engage the community in developing additional strategies to limit displacement. Therefore, the Charlotte Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization Commission is established for a 3-year period and is charged with reviewing and recommending specific anti-displacement strategies and specific tools for protecting residents of moderate to high vulnerability of displacement. The Commission will make regular reports to the Great Neighborhood Council Committee, quarterly reports to the entire Council and provide recommendations for combatting displacement prior to the implementation of the Plan.
15 Members (5 appointments by Mayor, 10 appointments by City Council) who shall be appointed according to the following criteria:
- 3 appointees - Housing Advocates (1 appointed by Mayor, 2 appointed by Council)
- 3 appointees - Neighborhood Leaders or Community Organizers (1 appointed by Mayor, 2 appointed by Council)
- 3 appointees - Involved in the Real Estate Development Industry as specified below:
- Non-Profit Affordable Housing Developer (1 appointment by the Mayor)
- For Profit Affordable Housing Developer (1 appointment by the Council)
- Market Rate Housing Developer (1 appointment by the Council)
- 2 appointees - Residents who have experienced or are experiencing displacement (1 appointed by Mayor, 1 appointed by Council)
- 1 Urban Studies and Planning Representative with experience in displacement and gentrification and implementing equitable inclusive development strategies (1 appointment by the Mayor)
- 1 Housing Finance Representative with experience in rental housing finance and homeownership and affordable and subsidized housing (1 appointment by the Council)
- 1 Land Use Representative with expertise and experience in historic preservation and landmarks, zoning, and development rights (1 appointment by the Council)
- 1 appointee - Neighborhood Conditions Representative with expertise and experience in economic development, health, racial/ethnic segregation, schools and education and crime (1 appointment by the Council)
Term Length – 3 years, 1 term
 

For more information on the new advisory boards, please visit: https://charlottenc.gov/CityClerk/Pages/BoardsandCommissions.aspx

 

  1. The next phases of CLT Future 2040 (mapping and UDO) are underway –
    • Alan and I had our second monthly meeting with Taiwo and Alyson last Thursday.  As a result of that meeting, REBIC will be putting together a small group of design professionals that will meet with planning staff every two weeks (for as long as necessary) beginning a few days prior to the public release of the UDO on October 4th.  These meetings will allow REBIC representatives to provide feedback and to receive an immediate response, much earlier in the process, on elements of the proposed ordinance that could be problematic if implemented  It also allows us to be a cheerleader for those things in the UDO that help streamline the process and reduce development time frames.
    • Brenda Hayden will be joining Alan and me for the monthly meetings beginning in September.
    • A brief presentation containing the projected schedule for mapping/UDO is here.
  • Due to recent and higher than anticipated COVID infection rates, the Government Center has been closed to the public for the time being.

New Report: Industrial Space Demand Forecast

Originally published by Hany Guirguis, Ph.D., Manhattan College and Michael J. Seiler, DBA, William & Mary in August 2021

Industrial Space Demand Remains Strong 

Demand for industrial real estate continues to be strong as the long-term trend toward e-commerce (and away from in-store sales) continues with no end in sight. With nearly 100 million new square feet delivered nationally since the beginning of the year, 450 million square feet currently under construction, and another 450 million planned, the demand for industrial real estate still outpaces supply.1

Because of this, authors Dr. Hany Guirguis and Dr. Michael Seiler forecast that the total net absorption in the second half of 2021 will be 162.6 million square feet with a quarterly average of 81.3 million square feet. In 2022, the projected net absorption is 334.6 million square feet with a quarterly average of 83.6 million square feet. An improvement in the outlook for the economy in 2021 and 2022 is behind the upward revision of the 2022 forecast. For example, the real GDP growth rate is now forecast to be 7% in 2021, above the previous forecast of 5% growth. As economic growth is projected to revert toward long-term growth rates in 2023, net absorption in the first half of the year is forecast to be 160.5 million square feet, for a quarterly average of 80.2 million square feet. 

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Key Takeaways from the Q2 2021 Office Space Demand Forecast

Originally published on May 2021 by Hany Guirguis, Ph.D., Manhattan College and Michael J. Seiler, DBA, William & Mary and the University of Cambridge.

Office Space Absorption Projected to Stabilize by Mid-2022

The U.S. economy is experiencing a strong rebound from the COVID-19-induced recession, resulting in job growth in office-using sectors. However, tenant-safety concerns remain a drag on office leasing. The U.S. office market posted continued declines in net absorption in the fourth quarter of 2020 (-26.7 million square feet) and the first quarter of 2021 (-34.8 million square feet). Nonetheless, as coronavirus safety concerns abate and the economy continues to expand, negative net absorption is forecast to moderate over the next two quarters, with a return to positive absorption in the fourth quarter of this year (Figure 1). Quarterly net absorption in 2022 is expected to average 11.7 million square feet, in line with the 2015-2019 quarterly average of 11.6 million square feet.

At the time of this writing, more than half of eligible Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, and more than one-third are fully vaccinated. As vaccination rates increase and new coronavirus cases decline, more employers are re-opening their offices. However, a widespread return to the office will likely depend on the return of K-12 schools to in-person instruction. Many schools currently rely on a full- or part-time remote schedule, requiring parents of young children to either stay home or seek alternative childcare arrangements. With vaccination rates on the rise, most schools are now planning to resume full in-person instruction in the fall. As safety concerns about returning to the office recede and schools reopen, office absorption should begin to respond to the current upswing in economic growth.

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CREW Charlotte June Luncheon (HYBRID): The 2040 Plan with Taiwo Jaiyeoba

CREW Charlotte is excited to host its first in-person luncheon in over a year! Space is limited so do not delay.

Learn more about the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan from Assistant City Manager, Taiwo Jaiyeoba.

Charlotte has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the country in recent years. This growth has established Charlotte as a vibrant and desirable city. However, this rapid development has also contributed to and highlighted, many challenges that have faced our community for decades. The Charlotte Future 2040 comprehensive plan outlines how we address these challenges and guide our growth and development over the next 20 years. This plan is a living document that provides a policy framework that will guide our city’s decision-making and investment in both the near- and long-term. The community-driven planning process has been guided by a focus on equitable growth and Charlotte's residents coming together to prioritize what is most important to us (housing, jobs, environment, livability, etc. The plan seeks to address the inequities of the past and unite the city around a shared set of goals for our future.

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NEW 2040 Comp Plan Draft Released

The recommended draft of the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan is now available online at cltfuture2040.com. The City of Charlotte is hosting a virtual Planning Community Conversation about the recommended draft on Thursday, May 27, from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in participating must complete the community conversation sign-up form to speak during the meeting and submit questions or comments through the WebEx virtual meeting platform. The meeting will also be live on the City of Charlotte’s YouTube and Facebook pages, and staff will take questions submitted through the video comments.

The City will be hosting a press conference at 3:30 today to discuss the new draft.

Our analysis will be released in the coming days, once we have had adequate time to review the changes.

Read the New Draft Here

Take This CLT Development Center Survey

The CLT Development Center would like your opinion about their services and processes. Please click the link below to provide your input:

Share your perceptions of City services; please DO NOT evaluate Mecklenburg County as a part of this research.

Charlotte-based Customer Service Solutions, Inc. (CSS) is conducting this survey on behalf of the City of Charlotte. If you encounter any problems in completing this survey, please contact CSS at charl[email protected].

Thank you for your time in taking this survey and helping the City of Charlotte to continuously improve its programs and services!

Construction employment stalls in April

Originally published on May 7, 2021, by the Building Design + Construction Network

Construction employment was unchanged from March to April as nonresidential contractors and home builders alike struggled to obtain materials and find enough workers, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government data released today. Association officials said the industry’s recovery was being hampered by problems getting stable prices and reliable deliveries of key materials, while the pandemic and federal policies were making it harder for firms to find workers to hire.

“Contractors are experiencing unprecedented intensity and range of cost increases, supply-chain disruptions, and worker shortages that have kept firms from increasing their workforces,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “These challenges will make it difficult for contractors to rebound as the pandemic appears to wane.”

Construction employment in April totaled 7,452,000, matching the March total but amounting to 196,000 employees or 2.6% below the most recent peak in February 2020. The number of former construction workers who were unemployed in April, 768,000, dropped by half from a year ago and the sector’s unemployment rate fell from 16.6% in April 2020 to 7.7% last month.

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Digital Tools Increasingly Vital to Success of Construction Projects

Originally published on April 26, 2021 by Linda Strowbridge for NAIOP E-Newsletter.

Despite its traditional roots, construction has started to transform into a digital industry. Building information modeling, geospatial technologies, prefabrication and modular construction, drone services, augmented-reality wearables and other technologies are increasingly becoming a larger and more crucial part of successful, efficient, profitable construction projects.

“An Overview of Emerging Construction Technologies,” a NAIOP Research Foundation report, details the recent advances and new horizons in construction technology. Authors Andrew McCoy, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Building Construction at Virginia Tech, and Armin Yeganeh, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech, talked to NAIOP about what these technology advances mean for construction firms and commercial real estate companies.

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Colorado Energy Benchmarking Statute a Poor Solution

Originally published on April 20, 2021, by Erin Goff for NAIOP.

Colorado legislators are poised to introduce what is being referred to by proponents as the “Energy Performance in Buildings Act of 2021.” The draft bill, which mandates energy benchmarking and performance standards, requires owners of most commercial, multifamily and public buildings over 50,000 square feet to collect and report the building’s energy use to the Colorado Energy Office (CEO). The building will then be given an Energy Star score compared to other buildings. By 2026, owners of buildings that do not meet a certain score must make improvements that lead to a 15-point Energy Star score increase, a 15% energy use intensity reduction, or other options. Failure to reach energy reduction mandates will result in hefty civil penalties for commercial and multifamily building owners. Buildings exempt from the penalty provision include buildings owned by the state, municipalities, counties, special districts, school districts and state institutions of higher education.

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Measuring the Impact of Smart Building Technology Investments

Originally published by Marta Soncodi for NAIOP's Spring 2021 Issue.

A new ratings system quantifies how effective they are across several important criteria. 

Investing in smart building technology may not be seen as a priority after commercial real estate investments were hit especially hard in 2020. However, if improving tenant experience was being considered before the pandemic, it’s now an imperative.

Why should commercial real estate owners consider investing in smart building technology upgrades? Based on research and industry analysis, fully integrated smart systems can increase building efficiency, optimize facility operations, improve occupant safety, security and wellbeing, and enhance end-user preferences. And, in light of the pandemic, stakeholders — commercial real estate companies, building owners, managers, and tenants — should examine the competitive advantages of smart building technology. 

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A New Asset Class: The Future Hybrid Store

Originally published on April 9, 2021 by Brielle Scott for NAIOP Blog.

The disruption caused by COVID-19 has accelerated the blending of brick-and-mortar retail and logistics real estate. This has resulted in the emergence of a new hybrid store model – one that takes omnichannel strategies to the next level and promises to revolutionize the retail, industrial and logistics industries. 

In a recent NAIOP webinar, John Morris, head of industrial and retail, CBRE, and Andres Rodriquez, senior research analyst, CBRE, shared their vision for a hybrid store that preserves the store experience for physical shopping while leveraging logistics capabilities for the fulfillment of online sales. 

Rodriquez started the discussion by sharing some historical data. According to data between 2010-2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, online retail sales were growing about 16% per year, while in-store retail sales were growing about 3% per year. In response to that, retailers had been focusing heavily on rolling out their online platforms to meet consumer demand. 

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Council Delays Vote on 2040 Plan | Time to Speak Out

Thank you to our many members who showed up to speak at the virtual public hearing on the draft Charlotte Future 2040 Plan. Mayor Lyles announced that the vote will be pushed to June 28,2021 to allow for more public input. We look forward to continuing to work with members of City Council and planning staff to assist in completion of the plan.

As part of the continued request for public input, the City of Charlotte has scheduled the first three virtual town halls.

Thursday, April 8 at 5:30 PM – Hosted by Council Member Malcolm Graham

Topic: Anti-Displacement in Vulnerable Neighborhoods (Creating Great Neighborhoods)

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New Report: Emerging Construction Technologies

Originally published by Andrew McCoy, Ph.D., and Amin Yeganeh, Ph.D. in March 2021 for NAIOP's Research Foundation.

The construction industry has historically been slow to develop or adopt new technologies, resulting in productivity growth that has lagged other sectors. However, protracted labor shortages have increased demand for labor and time-saving technologies, and recent advances have given rise to a new generation of more efficient, flexible and adaptive construction technologies. Successfully adopting these new technologies will require that firms evaluate their costs, benefits and risks and update construction practices as needed.

The NAIOP Research Foundation commissioned this report to explore emerging construction technologies and their implications for the construction and real estate development industries. The authors draw from interviews with researchers and industry practitioners to evaluate the current benefits and limitations of new technologies. This report:

  • Profiles technologies that are rapidly being deployed in construction projects and those that are likely to be adopted by the industry in the coming years.
  • Examines how technologies have the potential to transform construction practices and disrupt traditional business models.
  • Outlines best practices for firms to prepare for and adapt to new technologies.
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New Report: Emerging Construction Technologies

Originally published by Andrew McCoy, Ph.D., and Amin Yeganeh, Ph.D. in March 2021 for NAIOP's Research Foundation.

The construction industry has historically been slow to develop or adopt new technologies, resulting in productivity growth that has lagged other sectors. However, protracted labor shortages have increased demand for labor and time-saving technologies, and recent advances have given rise to a new generation of more efficient, flexible and adaptive construction technologies. Successfully adopting these new technologies will require that firms evaluate their costs, benefits and risks and update construction practices as needed.

The NAIOP Research Foundation commissioned this report to explore emerging construction technologies and their implications for the construction and real estate development industries. The authors draw from interviews with researchers and industry practitioners to evaluate the current benefits and limitations of new technologies. This report:

  • Profiles technologies that are rapidly being deployed in construction projects and those that are likely to be adopted by the industry in the coming years.
  • Examines how technologies have the potential to transform construction practices and disrupt traditional business models.
  • Outlines best practices for firms to prepare for and adapt to new technologies.
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Call to Action on the 2040 Comp Plan

We need your voice!

Over the past few months, NAIOP Charlotte, in conjunction with REBIC and other real estate associations, has spent considerable time and energy reviewing the proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan from the City of Charlotte (the Comp Plan)

It is a hefty document coming in at 320 pages and is a visionary document for how Charlotte will grow and develop over the next 20 years.  Charlotte Planning created the document with considerable community input, and it will be used as the guide for creating the  Unified Development Ordinance (a replacement for our existing zoning code), so there is a lot riding on the proper execution of the Comp Plan.

The Comp Plan rightfully addresses many concerns the community has, especially around equity and inclusivity   We fully support these goals, yet we want to be able to include goals to create a thriving community into the plan as well.  It is hard to distill such a large document into a few points, but the following are highlights of our concerns with the plan and the process to create it:

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New Report: Strong Growth in Demand for Industrial Space

Originally published by NAIOP Research Foundation on February 22, 2021.

Strong Growth in Demand for Industrial Space

The NAIOP Research Foundation has published the NAIOP Industrial Space Demand Forecast or Q1 2021.

Key Takeaways

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NAIOP State of the Association 2021

Originally published in NAIOP E-Newsletter on February 2, 2021. 

Watch NAIOP's State of the Association hear a recap of 2020, preview NAIOP's legislative priorities, and learn what’s next for the association as we journey through 2021.

The last 12 months have been filled with unexpected challenges and a pandemic none of us could have imagined. It impacted our lives and our industry in countless ways, from how we operate our businesses to tenant demand and use of space.

We anticipate a steady readjustment to a post-pandemic world, with a deep examination of how office, industrial, retail, and other shared spaces will be reimagined. These changes can be viewed as opportunities. The CRE industry continues to modernize and adapt as we create new strategies that will help us succeed.

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North Carolina is #8 state in U.S. for CRE retail development

North Carolina is the #8 state in the U.S. for contributions to state GDP created by retail/entertainment real estate development. Overall, the construction and development of office, industrial, warehouse, and retail created and supported 67,041 related jobs and contributing $8.99 billion to the state’s economy in 2020 (the most recent data available).

The data is from “Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2021 U.S. Edition,” published annually by the NAIOP Research Foundation.

New development and ongoing operations of existing commercial real estate buildings in the United States – office, industrial, warehouse, and retail – generates significant economic growth at the national level:

  • Created and supported 8 million American jobs in 2020.
  • Contributed $1.01 trillion to U.S. GDP.
  • Generated $338.1 billion in salaries and wages.

“Many factors point to a commercial real estate rebound in 2021,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO of NAIOP. “Obviously, we dealt with several unknowns and unexpected challenges in 2020. The pandemic accelerated trends already progressing in real estate. The warehouse sector has flourished as e-commerce demand intensified; office space has been impacted by tenant demand, as remote work options expand and companies rethink space needs; and the retail sector struggled as shoppers preferred to buy online. Nonetheless, commercial real estate construction and development sectors remain solid, valuable contributors to the U.S. economy, and we have a bright future as the economy continues to improve.”

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