Trust the Private Sector
Now that we’ve got a foothold, tenuous though it may be, in recovery, it seems the talk is once again turning to sustainability. (We were all too busy trying to keep our heads above water during the downturn
to worry about green things, unless a tenant asked, and no one was leasing
But this column isn’t really about energy efficiency. It’s more a rant against
the apparent need of government to insinuate itself into the workings of the
private sector. In preparation for this month’s cover story (as well as for the
Shape of Things to Come panel I’ll be moderating at BOMA’s Every Building
Show in Seattle this June), I’ve spent a lot of time with the good folks of that
group. And the effort to educate/cajole/stop-dead-in-their-tracks legislators
before they wreak havoc on this industry is ongoing.
And it’s not just BOMA. It’s a united front of representative lobbying
groups, such as the Real Estate Roundtable, NAREIT and a full alphabet
soup of other DC-based associations representing your interests, both on
Capitol Hill and at the local level.
So the Obama Administration comes out with a Better Buildings Initiative
(and we appreciate the plug!), despite the fact that the industry is self-policing and already has a program that’s actually more aggressive in terms of
energy goals and timeframes. Your tax dollars at work.
Invading hordes of industry professionals have been storming the Hill over
the past few years in the heated Battle of Carried Interest, and while our
community has its legislative advocates, they seem mostly to be elected
officials who previously ran private-sector businesses and so, they get it.
Educating those who never held a “real” job is the challenge apparently. (Is
community organizer a paid position?)
By the way, you’ll want to read outgoing BOMA chairman Boyd Zoccola’s
personal view of Carried Interest and the impact any legislation will have on
his business. Does Congress know the difference between a building and a
hedge fund? Apparently not, but there are people out there trying to get the
It’s a noble but controversial fight. How much should the crowd inside the
Beltway sit on your shoulder? More important, while the groups are fighting
for your interests, what are you doing?
ALM’s Real Estate Media Group