Each year, lobbyists flock to Carson City to push or fight legislation that stands to impact their clients’ businesses. Representatives from every sector across the state work tirelessly to ensure their voice is heard. Always present but often behind the scenes are the advocates for Nevada’s commercial real estate industry – the hardest hit sector in the great recession. This year a number of familiar faces from the state’s top commercial real estate organizations visited Carson City. While the overall agendas may have paralleled years past, the approach in 2011 was strikingly effective. Commercial real estate groups from the North and South ends of the state banded together to tackle the issues at hand and determine the best legislative outcome for developers, contractors, brokers and property managers alike.
Throughout the session, representatives from NAIOP Southern Nevada, NAIOP Northern Nevada, The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and Commercial Alliance worked together as a coalition to back the bills that would enhance economic development in Nevada and support pro-business initiatives. Other areas of interest included transportation and taxation – both important factors in attracting new business to Nevada. The alliance among the commercial real estate groups formed at the start of the session and progressed with weekly conference calls and periodic meetings with key legislative leaders from the groups. The open communication allowed each organization to have a voice in the overall position of the industry and the issues at hand, particularly in relation to proposed legislation that would directly affect their specific scope in the industry.
Through this enhanced synergistic approach and camaraderie, commercial real estate groups and professionals proved that there was strength in numbers throughout the 2011 session. No detrimental bills were signed and several key bills were passed. NAIOP Southern Nevada was proud to be part of an effort that created a united front focused on issues that would impact the recovery of our state. Here is an overview of the approved legislation that stands to make a positive impact on Nevada’s commercial real estate sector:
Assembly Bill 182 was a product of the interim study on logistics and authorizes the creation of inland ports. Commercial real estate leaders were proponents of this legislation in hopes that inland ports will attract logistics operations to the state.
Assembly Bill 449 revises provisions relating to economic development. This omnibus bill to restructure the state’s economic development efforts was supported by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and the entire legislative leadership in both parties. Commercial real estate organizations have made economic development a top priority and this bill was at the center of this policy discussion during the 2011 session.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 4 is also a product of the interim logistics study. This resolution expresses support of economic development in Nevada in the sectors of logistics, supply chain management and renewable energy technology.
Assembly Joint Resolution 6 requests that the United States Congress and the Federal Highway Administration designate a portion of U.S. Route 93 as an interstate highway. Commercial real estate experts testified in support of the resolution that will support the development of the interstate highway between Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Senate Bill 75 establishes a program to provide private equity funding to businesses engaged in certain industries, including but not limited to healthcare and life sciences, cyber security, homeland security and defense, alternative energy, advanced materials and manufacturing and information technology. This bill authorizes the State Treasurer to invest a maximum of $50 million from the State Permanent School Fund to provide private equity funding to businesses in these industries that are located in Nevada or seeking to locate within the state.
Senate Bill 506 requires the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada to establish a demonstration project for a toll road in connection with the Boulder City Bypass Project. This bill will create the innovative opportunity to fund a critical part of an interstate project that connects Las Vegas to Phoenix and strategically position Southern Nevada to be a major distribution center in the West.
Sallie Doebler, NAIOP Southern Nevada President, Jaynes Corporation; and John Ramous, NAIOP Southern Nevada Government Affairs Committee Chair, Harsch Investment Properties