Submitted by: Christian Harden - NAIOP NEFL, VP Public Affairs
City of Jacksonville:
Partial Mobility Fee Waiver (Ordinance 2013-94-E) Approved by Jacksonville City Council.
Following the expiration of the initial moratorium on collections of the mobility fee in October 2012, legislation was introduced by Councilman Clark for a new three-year moratorium. This bill was met with significant opposition, but after several months of discussion, a compromise was reached and an 18-month sliding reduction of the mobility fee was approved by the City Council in April.
Any building permit that is obtained by January 19, 2014 is subject to a 75% waiver, between January 20, 2014-July 19, 2014 shall receive a 50% waiver, and between July 20, 2014-October 19, 2014 shall receive a 25% waiver.
An important component of the bill is that all mobility fees collected during the 18-month period are used to fund sidewalk and bicycle lane improvements.
State of Florida:
While the 2013 Florida Legislative session ended last Friday with headlines on the Medicaid expansion stalemate, several issues impacting the real estate industry were addressed during the 60 day session.
The Governor's priority for attracting manufacturing to the state finally passed the legislature on the last day. HB 7007 passed with an exemption for machinery purchased for the use of manufacturing, compounding or production of tangible personal property for sale. NAIOP supported this exemption one of the Governor’s efforts to stimulate the economy. The bill also contains many provisions requiring reporting by industry receiving economic incentives to allow the state to monitor whether the incentives are working. The bill also fine tunes the Brownfield legislation.
The numeric nutrient rules legislation, SB 1808, also passed, giving Florida DEP rulemaking authority consistent with agreements reached with federal EPA to establish these water quality standards for state waters. While environmentalists protested and plan to challenge this in court, the state and EPA appear to have settled a longstanding lawsuit with this legislation.
The streamlined foreclosure law, HB 87, also passed, which should speed uncontested foreclosure lawsuits and return property to the market faster. Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) and Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) were the key sponsors.
As a part of the affordable housing legislation, SB 1852, $21 million was set aside for the court system for new technology systems and to hire senior judges to help address the backlog in foreclosure cases and to hire case managers who will coordinate cases and assure all documentation is furnished to help speed cases along. Affordable housing also received some $120 million in funding, more than in the last 7 years.
For developers, note that the Florida Bar-supported rewrite of the limited liability corporation act widely used in the real estate industry passed as one of the last bills of the session. The bill adopts the National Uniform LLC Act of 2006 with changes to reflect unique Florida Laws. The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
HB 319, sponsored by Rep. Lake Ray (R-Jacksonville), passed. The bill addresses alternative mobility funding systems, in lieu of transportation concurrency.
Finally, HB 537 passed clarifying that local governments with charters, do not have the ability to use general referendum requirements to require a vote on development orders or permits at the local level. This should finally put the Hometown Democracy issue to rest. The bill was amended during the last days of session to clarify the language and was made retroactive to 2012. The bill sponsor was Representative George Moraitis (R-Fort Lauderdale).
Unfortunately, NAIOP's key 2013 initiative - the elimination of the sales tax on commercial leases - did not advance after being introduced by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange) and Representative Marlene O'Toole (R-The Villages). As Gene Adams reported last month, legislative leaders were very hesitant to give up any source of revenue without an offsetting increase in another source. The members of the real estate coalition which promoted the gradual elimination of the sales tax on commercial leases continues to strategize on how to re-introduce the initiative in the future.
What an event, what a tour and what a party! If you didn't sign up for the Downtown Tour & Tasting on Wednesday, May 15th you missed a great time! This tour had everything - networking with industry peers, new contacts from all over, stops that covered entertainment, food, office space for lease, co-working, art, breath taking renovated law office building, great wine and let's not forget the Boogie Freaks! With nearly 125 attendees signed up we had downtown rocking for a good 4 hours, making our way from one building to the next - tasting, socializing, networking and everything in between. This year's event was a huge success, thanks to a wonderful committee, supportive sponsors and great attendees. Click through the photos below to see who let their "Freak on"and what you missed.
NAIOP of Northeast Florida, recently competed in the Jacksonville Backyard BBQ Championships benefitting the Daniel Foundation. NAIOP’s entries in each of three categories – chicken, ribs and pork – were all honored as Top 10 Finalists in the Backyard (amateur) Division. NAIOP also served as a sponsor of the event, which is a fundraiser for the Glyn Cook Memorial Scholarship for Daniel kids.
“The Backyard BBQ Championships is a great way for our membership to come together and compete for BBQ bragging rights while supporting a terrific local nonprofit and enjoying a community event that has quickly become a Jacksonville favorite,” said Julie Bohn, community service chair for NAIOP of Northeast Florida. “The Northeast Chapter has sponsored and participated in the event for three years, and we couldn’t ask for better food, music, people and staff. The NAIOP Team and supporting members will definitely be back next year!”
As a Contributing Sponsor, the NAIOP chapter would like to thank all of its members, family, and friends that participated in the event held on April 27th at Everbank Field. With your support the Glyn Cook Memorial Foundation raised approximately $40,000+ in scholarship funds for Daniel Kids.
Special Thank You to the amazing members of the NAIOP Team including Jeff Evans, Matt Ray, Lou Irwin, Carmel Buchanan and Julie Bohn and to all the volunteers donating their time and side dishes contributing to the event’s continued success this year including Mike Biagini – Scherer Construction; Ali Griffin – Head, Moss, Fulton & Griffin; Ed Randall – CenterState Bank; Phillip Parsons – Colliers International; Rebecca Walden - First Coast Signs; and JD Davis – Savage Brothers.
We also would like to give praise to one of our member company teams, Elkins Constructors, for winning 1st Place Overall this year and for taking home People’s Choice Award for the 2nd year in a row. They not only smoked the competition but raised substantial additional funds for the scholarship. Thanks for being out there with us again for the third straight year!
To watch the video of Mayor Brown making the announcement and signing of the reinvestment legislation into Downtown, please CLICK HERE to view video!
NAIOP Day at the Capital was held on February 18th and 19th of 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida. Every NAIOP Chapter in the state participated in the two day event. We got off to a great start by meeting with Senate speaker Don Gaetz as soon as we arrived in Tallahassee. Speaker Gaetz addressed issues important to NAIOP (Internet Sales Tax, Manufacturing Machinery Credits and Phase out of Sales Tax on Commercial Leases). Speaker Gaetz understands our position on these items and he feels these proposed laws will have a positive impact by helping to create jobs and continue to improve Florida’s recovery.
The Board of Directors meeting commenced immediately after the meeting with Speaker Gaetz. Besides addressing normal business items, we discussed the possibility of changing NAIOP’s Political Consultant. The Board received six proposals from consultants across the state and is currently evaluating them to create a short list for final interviews.
In addition, we had Senator Jack Latvala and Representative Lake Ray address our group. Senator Latvala is the head of the Elections and Ethics Committee and discussed ways to improve the election process. Representative Ray discussed his continued push for the improvement of Florida’s Ports.
On Tuesday morning, February 19th, all NAIOP members in attendance met for breakfast and went to appointments with each member’s local delegation. I was honored to represent NAIOP of Northeast Florida and was fortunate to meet with eight of our twelve delegation members in person. All of our delegation members are on the same page with our issues and I heard over and over “create jobs and improve the economy”. I met with the legislative aides of the other four delegation members and left our literature for them to review when they returned to their office. I also attended meetings with House Speaker Will Weatherford and House Representative Seth McKeel. Speaker Weatherford shared his views on our issues and is positive for the upcoming two month session. Representative McKeel is Chair of the Appropriations Committee and he is confident his committee has the appropriate funding to balance the budget, which is required by law.
NAIOP of Florida, with the participation of all state chapters, has made significant progress in being recognized as a lobbying force in Tallahassee. Politicians are seeking our positions on issues and never before have I met with so many Senators and Representatives who know and respect NAIOP. Through hard work and diligence, NAIOP of Florida has become relevant statewide in the political arena. The challenge for NAIOP of Florida will be to keep this momentum going through this legislative session and beyond. We will rise to the challenge.
Financial News & Daily Record - by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor
Commercial real estate professionals recorded for an awards presentation Thursday said the market is improving, but completing deals remains a challenge.
Members and guests of the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Northeast Florida Chapter met at the Florida Theatre for the group's annual awards.
Awards and winners were:
• Chapter Merit Award: Michael Loftin, Parkway Realty Services.
• Distinguished Service Award: Joe Newell, Elkins Constructors.
• Office Project of the Year: Mike Heise, Liberty Property Trust, for the Concorde Career College.
• Sustainable Project of the Year: Mike Heise, Liberty Property Trust, Concorde Career College.
• Developer of the Year: Liberty Property Trust, Mike Heise and Dan Santinga.
• Land Sale of the Year: Hobart Joost, David Ergisi and Guy Preston, Colliers International, the Flagler Center property sale to Ja-Ru Inc.
• Office Lease/Sale of the Year: Buddy Register, Cushman & Wakefield, for the Advanced Disposal lease.
• Industrial Lease/Sale of the Year: Bobby Gatling, Grubb & Ellis Phoenix Realty Group, for selling the 8813 and 8873 Western Way Mercedes-Benz property.
• Investment Broker of the Year: Robert Selton, Colliers International.
• Emerging Professional of the Year: Julie Bohn, Cantrell & Morgan Inc.
• Office Broker of the Year: Victor Hughes, Parkway Realty Services.
• Industrial Broker of the Year: Nathan Rogers, CBRE.
"We're starting to see things pick back up," Gatling said in his recorded interview.
However, deals are taking a lot longer. "It's always a chase," he said.
"I think we'll see continued steady growth," said Rogers, who did not attend the event, in the recording. Jacksonville CBRE Managing Director Jim Citrano accepted the award on his behalf.
Heise expects to see strength in the industrial market because of e-commerce and the need by retailers and manufacturers for distribution centers. Office growth is challenged by changes in workplaces because workers can do their jobs remotely and not need office space or need less of it.
Channel 47 - Reported by: Katherine Varnum
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Action News has learned the mayor announced he is changing his decision to turn off thousands of Jacksonville's streetlights.
Mayor Alvin Brown originally shut them off to save money. Now, he's found the cash to keep them on. During the tight budget cuts last year, the mayor decided they could save $300,000 by turning off more than 2,000 streetlights across the city. Local businesses were upset. They sent letters saying Jacksonville would lose big business. On Friday, the mayor responded.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Those who do business in South Point Plaza say the city has left them in the dark, shutting down multiple streetlights around their parking lots in an effort to save $300,000 in taxpayer funds.
"Is saving money worth the safety of the citizens?" asked Charles Bellinghausen, who works for PSS World Medical at South Point. "I think that right there would sum it up."
Local real estate experts agree. NAIOP, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association of Northeast Florida, says shutting off more than 2,000 lights throughout Jacksonville was far from a bright idea when it comes to growing the city's economy.
'With a company looking at Jacksonville and other cities if they're looking at Jacksonville and they notice our streetlights are out what does that say about our city?" said Traci Jenks, chapter president of NAIOP.
She says turning off thousands of streetlights sends a message to companies that Jacksonville doesn't care about public safety, preventing much needed jobs from coming to our area.
The organization wrote a letter to Mayor Alvin Brown, hoping he'll see the light.
"It basically asked him to turn the streetlights back on," said Jenks.
The organization says they understand the need to save, but not when the long-run cost is this high.
"This is one of these things that it's being penny-wise and pound foolish. I mean you really need to turn these streetlights on or you're going to lose a lot more money in tax revenue from businesses that leave," said Jenks.
Action News reached out to representatives for the mayor and got no response. NAIOP says it is expecting to hear back from the mayor on Friday.
CLICK HERE for letter that was sent to Mayor Brown's office regarding NAIOP's position on this issue.
by Christian Harden : V.P. Public Affairs
NAIOP Northeast Florida joined over 300 NAIOP leaders from chapters across the country in Washington, D.C. for the annual Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat held February 11-14.
After two days of meetings, our chapter sent a group of representatives to Capital Hill for scheduled visits with elected officials from Northeast Florida to promote issues important to the commercial real estate industry. The following members were on the trip:
-Traci Jenks, President
-Wyman Duggan, President-
-Christian Harden, VP, Public Affairs
-Vince McCormick, Programs Chair
-David Smith, Developing Leaders Chair
-Carmel Buchanan, Chapter Executive
NAIOP was able to attend meetings with the following Legislators and/or their aides:
-Senator Bill Nelson
-Representative Ron DeSantis
-Representative Ander Crenshaw
-Representative Ted Yoho
The meetings were very productive, as our legislators recognize the importance of commercial real estate development in creating a healthy business climate n Florida, one of the leading contributors to the domestic economy.
Some of the issues discussed were carried interest, tax extenders and waterways funding to allow federal authorization of Mile Point funding for the port.
• Carried Interest, also known as a "promoted interest" or a "promote" in the real estate industry, is a financial interest in the long-term capital gain of a development given to a general partner by the investors in the partnership.
• Currently taxed as capital gains, proposals to change the tax treatment of carried to ordinary income would result in a dramatic tax increase (from 15 percent to as high as 35 percent) for many real estate development partnerships.
• More importantly, if enacted, such a change would significantly hinder future commercial real estate development activity.
• NAIOP strongly opposes changing the tax treatment of carried interest from capital gains to ordinary income.
• Numerous business tax provisions that enjoy bipartisan support expired at the end of 2011 when Congress failed to agree on legislation extending the provisions. One of the primary concerns is allowing for 15 year leasehold improvement depreciation.
• Leasehold Improvement Depreciation is the ability to deduct the cost of the customized improvements a building owner makes to a rental space to configure it for a tenant's needs.
• The current 15-year depreciation schedule automatically reverts to a 39-year depreciation schedule.
• Failure to extend 15-year qualified leasehold improvement depreciation will result in higher capital costs for many building owners, creating disincentives to upgrade and modernize the space for their tenants.
• Because the provision is not a permanent part of the tax code but is only addressed annually as part of broad "tax extenders" legislation, Congress is repeatedly forced to address the issue, denying businesses the level of certainty needed for better long-term planning.
• NAIOP supports extending and making permanent 15-year leasehold improvement depreciation, which is in closer alignment with the economic reality of the leasehold improvements' typical lifespan.
NAIOP DL hosted its first social event of 2013 as a membership drive at Blackfinn Restaurant at Town Center on Feb. 7th. We welcomed current members and potential new members to network and learn more about joining the dynamic NAIOP organization. The event brought in over 65 attendees, and hopes to fill new membership spots from the relationships formed that evening. In addition to great conversation and networking, a gift certificate of $100 was donated for a raffle of current members who brought new visitors. In addition to commercial real estate brokers, the night was full of attendance from many different industries that are associated to economic growth in Jacksonville, including commercial banking, commercial appraisal, corporate law, interior design, and general contractors.