Commercial Real Estate’s Positive Impact in Minnesota

The NAIOP Research Foundation has released a 90-second video on the positive impact that the commercial real estate industry has in Minnesota.

– 22,377 jobs created & supported.
– $1 billion in wages and salaries generated.
– $3.1 billion in contributions to the state economy.

Access the 2017 edition of the “Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate.” Report includes items such as the site development impacts, hard & soft cost impacts including with tenant improvement impacts.

February 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Unique March 7 Opportunity: Christopher Lee on where CRE is heading

Join NAIOP Minnesota and industry insider Christopher Lee on a journey into the commercial real estate’s future. He will share his big predictions and identify where commercial real estate is heading, what trends will impact the industry, and how to prepare now. You’ll leave with insightful predictions and strategies for preparing to meet the new realities head-on.

Tuesday, March 7, 8:00 am, Golden Valley Golf & Country Club. Details and registration at Advance registration strongly encouraged.

About: Christopher Lee is CEO and president of the Los Angeles-based CEL & Associates, Inc. A recognized expert in strategic planning, compensation and performance improvement, he has for over 30 years assisted in shaping and growing real estate firms nationwide. Lee’s forecasts, predictions and insights appear regularly in real estate trade publications and his recent book Transformational Leadership in the New Age of Real Estate has been widely acclaimed as a resource to assure success in the years ahead. Lee’s firm conducts approximately two million customer-opinion surveys and the firm’s compensation study done in conjunction with NAIOP is the largest of its kind in the real estate industry.

February 10, 2017 at 9:37 am Leave a comment

The Pioneer Press Agrees: Time for Fresh Look at Truth in Taxation

By Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy

As you may have read in my recent blog post, a new study released by Citizens League and commissioned by NAIOP Minnesota reveals the need for reform in the current local government budgeting system, particularly Truth in Taxation. Shortly after it was released in late January, Citizens League Executive Director Sean Kershaw and I met with Pioneer Press editors to provide context and insight regarding the study.  On February 8, the Pioneer Press published an editorial spotlighting the study, its results and how the current Truth in Taxation system could be improved.

The Citizen League report was commissioned in 2015 as part of NAIOP Minnesota’s efforts to improve transparency in the local government budgeting process. Previously, we had worked with the city of Edina to help its taxpayers better understand how this metro municipality spent its money. The study provided us with the opportunity to show local leaders how they may take the next logical step in improving the overall budgeting process.

I encourage you to check out the article (which features yours truly). While you’re at it, you can download the Citizens League study results here and learn more about how Minnesota can make the Truth in Taxation process more accessible and transparent for its citizens. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

February 9, 2017 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

Feb 14 breakfast: Discussing Twin Cities Office Acquisitions & Development

Join your colleagues for breakfast on February 14 as NAIOP kicks off its 2017 programming with a panel of local experts discussing office acquisitions and development.

Tony Barranco, Vice President of Office & Mixed-Use Development for Ryan Companies US.
Gordy Stofer, Vice President of Office Development for United Properties.
Ryan Watts, Senior Vice President of Capital Markets for CBRE.
– Moderated by Andy Finn, Vice President – Acquisitions & Investments for Founders Properties.

Plenty of topics to cover: – The opportunities. – The projects being worked on. – The tenants in the market. – The impact of rising interest rates on sales transactions. – The sources for equity.

Details and registration at or call (952) 928-4647.

February 2, 2017 at 10:30 am

The Truth about Truth in Taxation

By Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy


As I discussed briefly in a recent blog post, a new Citizens League of Minnesota study, commissioned by NAIOP Minnesota, was released that the sheds light on budget transparency at the local government level, particularly the Truth in Taxation (TnT) system. Fundamentally, the TnT process, despite its good intentions, does not fully live up to its expectations and can work much better if local officials want it to.

The goal of TnT is to inform citizens on the relationship between local government budgeting and property taxes through written notification and encourage citizen engagement through public hearings. Yet the Citizens League found that TnT isn’t as effective as it could be since local budgets that drive the tax levies are determined before any tax notices are sent out.

So how can this be fixed? We believe that the local budget and tax process will function more smoothly if people are engaged in the process much earlier. Right now, many citizens get frustrated because they feel their input is ignored or has no impact. If engaged earlier, local governments and their constituencies will gain an improved consensus around the budget/tax process.

I invite you to see the report and its recommendations for yourself—you can view and download a PDF from our website here. Together, we can create a dialogue and spark more citizen engagement in this vital process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

January 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

MnCRE Property Tax Burden in Legislative Crosshairs

img_1314By Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy
NAIOP Minnesota, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association


During our Jan. 5 Coffee & CREam speakers’ series event, two top Republican state lawmakers, boldly proclaimed that “real tax relief” was on the way.

“Government isn’t supposed to be a money-making business,” said State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), chairman of the Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division. “Government is becoming rich, and the people are struggling.”

State Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee agreed, “As far as taxes go, everything is on the table. [We will] put together a better 2017 tax bill with meaningful property tax relief.”

Any tax relief talk was obviously excellent news to the 50+ NAIOP Minnesota members who came to enjoy coffee, CREam and donuts the beautiful Northland Center, managed by Cushman Wakefield Northmarq, just off of France  Ave and I-494. Such messaging mirrors that which legislative leadership has been uttering since shortly after the November elections. We at NAIOP know there is a long row to hoe when it comes to passing legislation, particularly when it comes to tax relief.

Sen. Chamberlain noted that any tax relief legislation will inevitably run into resistance at the Capitol, as opponents try to characterize it as benefitting the wealthy at the expense of the poor. In truth, tax relief will help everyone, especially those who are struggling economically.

We need to remind everyone that when the burden on business is lifted, business will respond by investing in people and things. Investments lead to more jobs and better pay, something that we can all support.  Rep. Drazkowski nailed it when he said, under our state’s tax system, “we’re chasing away good people who could be working for you; we’re exporting our wealth.”

Both Drazkwoski and Chamberlain agreed that to convince Gov. Dayton that a tax relief bill warrants signing, we will all need to “get personal.” This means talking about what you and your company can’t do under the current tax system and what you will do with tax relief. It means engaging with elected officials in a positive way to effect change. That is what we will be doing in the coming weeks and months. If you want to join us by taking part in our Policy Committee or helping to communicate with policymakers, please contact me.

January 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Presents, Poinsettias and, well, Property Taxes

Amidst the bustle of the holidays, the State of Minnesota thinks it’s also time to start thinking about property tax changes for the coming year. As I mentioned in my last blog post, the State’s Truth In Taxation law requires annual property tax statements be sent to property owners by local governments. This is followed by public hearings, budgets and levies, most of which take place at this time of year (don’t get me started on timing and transparency).

Like you, the last thing I want to think about right now is property taxes. But it’s important to know where to go to learn why your tax bill may be changing and what’s responsible for these changes. I recommend the step-by-step guide from the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence (MCFE) to help you break down your property tax bill and understand the budget and levying procedures of the local government.

Few people like property taxes, particularly during the holiday season, but they don’t have to be such a mystery either. After the holidays, I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee or cocoa and dig in to the property tax issue with me!

As a great first step, be sure to attend our next Coffee & CREam event on Jan. 5. State House and Senate tax committee chairs, Sen. Roger Chamberlain and Rep. Greg Davids, will discuss what they think the 2017 session will bring. This tax policy-based Coffee and CREam event will be held at the Excellence Room at Cushman & Wakefield / NorthMarq, 3600 American Blvd W, Minneapolis, MN 55431. Plenty of free parking will be available. To learn more and to RSVP, click here.

– Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy

December 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm

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