It is an honor to take on the responsibility of leading NAIOP in its 50th anniversary year. This is an endeavor I never envisioned for myself during my 15 years of involvement with NAIOP, and I’m pleased to share that the organization is in great shape, with a growing membership, engaged individuals, and a strong grassroots network through our chapters.
Throughout this year, as I meet many of you at chapter events and at NAIOP Corporate conferences, my goal is to continue to build upon our “three-legged stool” model of education, advocacy and networking, with particular attention to legislative advocacy. As our members have heard over the years from NAIOP President and CEO Tom Bisacquino, “If you’re not at the table, you’re probably on the menu.” This is never more relevant than now with the U.S. legislative issues concerning our industry. With a new presidential administration and Congress, it’s no surprise that new leadership is likely to be a change agent. Tax reform and the issues within it – carried interest, 1031 like kind exchanges, and depreciation/expensing – will be a priority, and it’s likely that laws, rules and regulations may be dramatically changed. The unintended consequences of Congress’ best intentions have more than once slowed an economy, and so it’s more important than ever that our U.S.-based members not only understand our legislative priorities, but also communicate them to their elected officials.
From a personal perspective, I want to highlight the concept of thoughtful development with an emphasis upon limited financial leverage. Not to say “the sky is falling,” but a prudent and healthy observation of where we are as an industry within the economic and development cycles. I urge each of you and our membership to stay aware of the risks and uncertainties we face, and to depend on NAIOP for the knowledge, resources and connections that will be helpful to each of us when navigating what lies ahead.
On the heels of a successful Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat, where close to 300 NAIOP leaders from across the chapter network came together, I’d like to invite our industrial-focused members to join me in Toronto for I.CON: Impact Projects, March 8-9. Notably, this is the second major NAIOP conference held north of the border in the last 18 months, which speaks volumes about the strength of our chapters in Canada and the robust development activity within the Toronto market. This unique conference takes us behind-the-scenes of leading industrial projects in the form of intimate case studies, and I know our industrial members will find both the lessons learned and the plentiful networking beneficial.
Moving forward, I’ll highlight some of NAIOP’s forward-thinking initiatives and programs on the blog, including the valuable work of our Research Foundation and our diversity efforts that are gaining traction and recognition as leading companies dedicate themselves to working alongside us to further these important initiatives. I look forward to using this platform to continue our communication throughout the year.
Jonathan Tratt is the principal for Tratt Properties, LLC, a development and investment company based in Phoenix, Arizona, and is serving as the 2017 NAIOP chairman.