Archive for February, 2010
“Our legislators need to understand that Minnesota’s struggling economy cannot bear the weight of even greater fixed costs on doing business here.”
Doug Fulton is the senior director at Cushman & Wakefield of Minnesota, Inc. and was sworn in as the 2010 NAIOP Minnesota President at the Awards of Excellence in January.
As most of us witnessed one way or another, 2009 was a very difficult year for commercial real estate investors. The “perfect storm” consisted of souring real estate fundamentals along with a recession, job losses and a tightening credit environment. This was enhanced by a lack of commercial real estate transactions to help direct investors towards price discovery, leading to a further decline in market activity.
While challenges will remain in the market in 2010 more investors are beginning to see value in the distressed industry. Opportunities are created by real estate valuations being at recent historic lows, little new product coming online, and a brightening economic outlook. Furthermore, debt capital remains available at historically attractive rates from six to seven percent.
During the past month commercial real estate finance industry players from around the country met at two industry trade conventions, the National Multi Housing Council’s annual meeting (NMHC) and the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Commercial Real Estate Finance (CREF) convention. Brief summaries of their sentiments and outlook for 2010 follow. (more…)
There is a provision in the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) policy bill (HF2972), causing some consternation among property owners, regarding the admittance of expert testimony and appraisal reports in tax court by assessors for political subdivisions of the state who are not licensed as property tax appraisers.
The legislative committee of the tax section of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) has unanimously opposed this provision—“…the standard of evidence that is required of the taxpayer will be unjustly higher than the standard that is required of the state.” The DOR’s bill attempts to legislatively override recent court decisions: Shoppes of Woodbury Village v. County of Washington, and Beddor Enterprises v. County of Hennepin.
HF2972 was heard in the House Tax Committee on February 17. Gina DeConcini , Chair, Legislative Committee of the MSBA Tax Section, testified on behalf of taxpayers.
Because this provision, according to Chair Lenczewski, is controversial and receiving a lot of attention, the bill will be heard again:
- House Tax Committee, Monday, February 22 at 2:45 P.M. in Room 10, State Office Building.
- If you’re interested in testifying, want additional information, or voice an opinion, contact Representative Lenczewski’s office. Sasha Bergman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-296-2955 or Representative Lenzcewski at email@example.com
Bill Details: (more…)
Among the many challenges facing Minnesota’s policymakers and taxpayers is what to do about underfunded public pension plans. It’s worth taking a closer look at these retirement plans to better understand how they work, their current condition, and the potential costs to taxpayers of repairing them.
As announced at the annual NAIOP Awards of Excellence program in January, NAIOP Minnesota has selected a new non-profit organization –Catalyst Community Partners — to partner with for three years. NAIOP selects a new partner every three years to make sure that members can use the relationship to improve an up-and-coming non-profit and help new organizations gain traction in their mission.
Catalyst, which started just three years ago, was selected by the NAIOP Board of Directors for two primary reasons: First, they are focused on revitalizing commercial corridors in underperforming neighborhoods and connect well to NAIOP’s members in commercial real estate, offering many types of volunteer opportunities for members. Second, the organization is small enough that NAIOP members will have a significant impact on its continued success and growth.
Catalyst is a 501(c)3 organization headquartered in Minneapolis that helps revitalize underperforming neighborhood commercial corridors through real estate and business development. Catalyst Community Partners revitalize key commercial corridors in distressed urban neighborhoods by developing real estate and sustainable businesses to meet community needs and provide neighborhood jobs.
To help NAIOP members connect with Catalyst, the Community Enhancement Committee will offer brief presentations at both the February and March breakfast programs as well as keep members informed of where member companies have started to participate through the NAIOP Pulse.
“We think it is extremely important for NAIOP members to start to learn where they can make a difference with this organization and how they can very quickly make a difference with Catalyst,” said Sonja Breyfogle, chair of the CEC.