November 15 Closer Look Lunch: Leveraging the Use of Drones with Commercial Real Estate


NAIOP members have the advantage in being able to register & participate in the November 15 Closer Look lunch on the commercial real estate uses of drones.Real-world examples of how drones — and their valuable imagery data — are becoming an important industry tool. Among the topics …

  • Exploring the wide variety of potential drone products, beyond a simple photograph or video.
  • Discovering how drone data is being used in the engineering and land surveying process, on new and existing projects.
  • Supplementing a construction site webcam by keeping stakeholders up-to-date on project status and providing a new perspective.
  • Providing more powerful marketing material by showing tenants the proposed views from a multi-story building.

This Tues, Nov 15 lunch (11:30 am – 1:00 pm, The Opus Group headquarters) is limited to the first 30 NAIOP members that register and pay the registration fee. Event details & registration.


October 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

The Power of the Minnesotan Vote on Nov. 8

Throughout the summer and early fall I have spoken with several political advisers about this year’s election.  When I parsed through the jargon, I came up with a single common denominator: it’s a total “crap shoot.”

A recent blog post by Faegre Baker Daniels (NAIOP Minnesota’s lobbyists) previews the election’s potential impact in Minnesota, highlighting not only the presidential race, but all 201 seats in the Minnesota House and Senate and all eight of Minnesota’s congressional districts on the 2016 ballot. Bottom line: Notwithstanding Trump’s apparent implosion recently, no one can predict with certainty how a normally robust voter turnout may be influenced by an electorate turned off by both contenders.  In fact, Faegre Baker Daniels believes only a few thousand votes could determine the control of the Minnesota Legislature.

Does this match up with what you’re hearing? Drop me a note and let me know.  More importantly, this information should motivate you to not only vote – and vote the entire ballot – but also encourage others to vote. Using the Secretary of State’s poll finder, it’s easy to find polling places, precinct districts, and candidates and questions on the ballot. The Star Tribune has also put together an election tool to help you learn about candidates and races, locate your polling place, and stay updated after the polls close on Election Day.

In past presidential elections, Minnesota has favored the DFL and led the nation in voter turnout. But this year seems different, Faegre Baker Daniels pointing to lowest primary voter turnout since 1950. However, just six days after in-person absentee voting opened on Sept. 23, the Secretary of State reported that 100,000 Minnesotans had already sent in their absentee ballots. (In comparison, Faegre Baker Daniels cites that 200,000 Minnesotans total cast an absentee ballot in 2014.)  And perhaps more than ever, political parties covet the value of your vote. A recent Pioneer Press article, for example, showcases the ferocity of election battles in Burnsville. Seriously, voting this year is that important.

After you have performed your civic duty and listened to the Nov. 9 water cooler talk, I invite you a post-election recap/forecast to hear from experts firsthand. Our post-election “Coffee and CREam” event on Nov. 10 will feature John Rouleau, Executive Director of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, and Joe Davis, Executive Director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota. The event will be hosted by Todd Rapp of public affairs firm Himle Rapp and Co. and begin at 7:30 a.m. at Kraus Anderson Companies (3433 Broadway St. NE in Minneapolis). Plenty of free parking will be available. I hope to see you there.

If you have any questions at all, send me an email.

– Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy


October 25, 2016 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

The Health & Well-Being of Building Occupants (Nov 3, Pantages Theatre)

A session arranged by NAIOP member companies CBRE and Fluid Interiors, in conjunction with Pulse, MSR and Interface.

Thursday, November 3
6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Pantages Theater

RSVP for this free event at

The past few years have focused on developing systems to ensure better-designed buildings and responsible use of materials. The industry is now transitioning toward a focus on the health and well-being of its occupants.

At this event, researcher and author, Bill Browning, will provide  insight into how design practices can affect staff retention, job performance, productivity, creativity and the general well-being of individuals. In addition, Paul Hawken’s will convey the changing the relationship between business and the environment, including in his new book Drawdown (April 2017) in which he describes when and how humanity can reach climate drawdown.

[NAIOP is not involved with this presentation. The listing this being provided at the opportunity to assist efforts to advance workplace initiatives.]

October 17, 2016 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

Warning signs signal need for better long-term economic strategy

At first glance, Minnesota’s economy appears to be humming along like a well-oiled machine. Beneath the surface, however, some troubling signs are emerging. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, for example, reports that exports declined five percent during the first quarter of 2016. That’s better than some neighboring states but it’s nevertheless negative. DEED’s 2015 year-end business conditions report also suggests that companies are investing less. And the Minnesota office of Management and Budget now reports that State revenues are off $42 million, or 2.9 percent, from forecasts.

In its monthly Business Index report, Creighton University noted that Minnesota fell below “growth neutral” – meaning a contraction. The report noted that Minnesota’s “[b]usiness losses for metal manufacturers and machinery producers more than offset gains for computer and electronic product manufacturers and food processors in the state,” adding that job growth is below average. And NAIOP’s own analysis recently revealed that Minnesota is nowhere to be found in its listing of the Nation’s Top 10 economies – normally a regular home for the Gopher State.

One hallmark of effective public policy is how well it can make appropriate adjustments today in order to achieve greater (or maintain today’s) prosperity in the future. In order to influence policy for the better we must get engaged and stay engaged. If we put the time in now and work on public policies concerning issues such as property valuation and tax, solid waste, transparency, etc., we can positively impact all economic indicators, including the unemployment rate and new job creation.

The kind of work we have to do is just starting with the current election season. In addition to national and statewide races, it is critical that we support business-minded candidates for the State Legislature. After Nov. 8, we will need to pull together and reach out to policy makers on the issues that directly influence our businesses.

If you agree and want to join with us in our mission, please contact me:

September 29, 2016 at 11:48 am

David Kordonowy receives NAIOP MN President’s Award

In front of a packed-house at the annual Awards of Excellence event, NAIOP Minnesota presented its 2016 President’s Award David L. Kordonowy, President of Steiner Development, Inc. The award, the association’s highest individual honor, is to an individual for outstanding service to the commercial real estate industry as catalyst of the industry’s growth, for service to NAIOP and to the community. David is President of Steiner Development, Inc., CEO of Steiner Construction Services, Inc. and President of Steiner Commercial Realty, Inc.

David started with Steiner Development in 1981 in sales and property management. He became Director of Sales and Marketing in 1985, responsible for lease-up of all new projects, and tenant retention in the company’s portfolio. He became partner in 1989, and President of Steiner Development in 1999. David has been responsible for acquiring over 2.1 million square feet of investment properties, in addition to developing over 1 million square feet of industrial and retail projects. David and his partners started Steiner Construction Services in 2003, and Steiner Commercial Realty in 2011.

An advocate for the power of both involvement and inclusivity, David L. Kordonowy is active in industry associations and in the community. Within NAIOP, he is a participant on the Education Committee and a frequent mentor in the Developing Leaders mentorship program. Active on both the chapter and national levels, David has also served on NAIOP Minnesota’s Board of Directors multiple times, including as the 2013 President.

In the community, David has served on numerous boards for local youth and civic organizations. He is a member of his local Rotary Club and serves as a board member for Camp Fire Minnesota, which provides quality programming to young people through its clubs and camps.

Thank you, David, for your exceptional and continuing contributions to benefit our industry and our communities!

September 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

2016 Awards of Excellence Project Winners

Congratulations to the project winners at NAIOP Minnesota’s 33rd Annual Awards of Excellence!

See the complete list of 2016 project nominees.

See the detailed list of winners along with their full project teams.

September 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

“Thank you, Senator Rest.” – Senator Ann Rest receives NAIOP MN Building Excellence in Leadership award

There is no doubt in my mind that Sen. Ann Rest “gets it.” – Quinn Cheney

On Sept. 22, Director of Public Policy, Quinn Cheney, and Chair of the Public Policy Committee, Phil Cattanach, had the pleasure of honoring Sen. Rest with NAIOP Minnesota’s first annual Building Excellence in Leadership Award. With a passion for supporting a moderate approach to commercial and industrial tax rates, it seemed fitting to honor Ann for her outstanding leadership and over 30 years of support for what we do.

Sen. Rest has devoted her life to public service, truly making it her life’s mission. From when she was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1984 to her present role as a leader in tax policy and reform, Sen. Rest has distinguished herself as a highly intelligent, balanced and committed leader.

Along the way, she has championed thoughtful and moderate reforms to the state’s tax policies.  During the 1990s in particular, Sen. Rest supported a more moderate approach to commercial and industrial tax rates when such a stand was quite unpopular. She led the 2001 reform of education financing and property tax rate reductions. And, in 2015 and 2016, she authored legislation to eliminate automatic increases to the State General Levy.

NAIOP Minnesota shares a kinship of values with Sen. Rest – a desire for a balanced and fair-minded approach to the symbiotic relationship between business and government.


Director of Public Policy, Quinn Cheney, and Chair of the Public Policy Committee, Phil Cattanach, were honored to present Senator Rest with her recognition during the recent NAIOP Minnesota Awards of Excellence ceremony.

September 28, 2016 at 10:50 am

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