Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Commercial Developers Are Thinking

This month's Utah Business magazine includes some interesting comments from commercial realtors in the magazine's Industry Outlook on commercial real estate (this link will require you to do a free registration to get to the story, but it's worth it). Telling comments from them about how they see the business recruitment process, particularly in Salt Lake City. Devon Glenn of the Boyer Company says Mayor Rocky Anderson "doesn't do what the mayor of Ogden is trying to do. He doesn't do what the other mayors are trying to do." Bill Martin of Commerce CRG says, "The mayor of Draper lands Ikea and gives them the world. But the mayor of Salt Lake doesn't recruit." Lots of other interesting tidbits in this interview.

When they discuss the lack of affordable housing, much of blame from these gentlemen goes to local governments. Bruce Tucker of Prudential CRES says, "A lot of communities have to address the vertical issues. St. George is a perfect example. ... There are multiple developers who would love to come to St. George and do an affordable housing project, but you can't go vertical. You can't make that work. Utah County has the same issue."

Bruce Bingham of Hamilton Partners asks, "Do you think Utah's property rights are deteriorating slower or faster than the rest of the country?" Responds Steve Bogden of Coldwell Banker Commercial, "...we have two areas that are recent examples where I think we have some major challenges. One is in the building with the dome up there. The commercial real estate industry, including developers, brokers, title companies and mortgage companies, have formed a coalition. We are lobbying the legislature at the Capitol regarding redevelopment and the redevelopment process, because there have been cases of abuse. But when they saw that abuse, they killed the issue, instead of trying to help change the process."

Interesting perspective, a little different than what I would have thought, given how the real estate and developer industry has been represented on the Hill.

Fascinating stuff. Give it a read, it will give you a new perspective on what major commercial developers are thinking.

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