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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Nov. 2, 201012:00 PM EST

'The worst recession' - Urban Land Institute to talk trends


by Karen Brune Mathis

Managing Editor

Jacksonville real estate professionals will share their insights at the annual Urban Land Institute North Florida Real Estate Trends meeting on Thursday.

Those who’ve been around the market say they have never seen anything like this.

“This” is the impact of the recession that began in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009, although the residual effects are pervasive throughout the economy.

“The depth and length of this recession in the housing industry is unlike anything I have experienced,” said Ed Burr, president and CEO of Jacksonville-based GreenPointe Holdings LLC, which focuses on sustainable community development.

Bruce Johnson, executive vice president and CFO of Regency Centers, said it’s “the worst recession I have experienced” since starting his real estate career in the early 1970s.

Jacksonville-based Regency Centers is a real estate investment trust that develops, owns and operates grocery-anchored and community shopping centers.

Burr and Johnson are scheduled as panelists at the “Real Estate Trends 2011” event to talk about Northeast Florida’s economy. They will take part in a discussion moderated by attorney Bob Rhodes of Foley & Lardner. CSX Real Property Inc. President Stephen Crosby was confirmed as a panelist late Monday.

The event begins with registration at 5 p.m. and the program takes place from 6-8 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza on the Downtown Southbank.

The meeting will also feature a national forecast with Chuck DiRocco, national director of real estate research at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which focuses on audit, tax and advisory services along with other consulting services.

The institute will distribute copies of the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2011” report.

Costs to attend are $40 for ULI members, $45 for nonmembers and $35 for its Young Leaders Group members and for students.

For information, call Carolyn Clark at 486-8256 or e-mail [email protected].

Rhodes, of counsel with Foley & Lardner with its real estate practice, is the former executive vice president and general counsel of The St. Joe Co. Before that, he was senior vice president and general counsel to Arvida Corp. and Disney Development Co.

Rhodes also is a past chair of the Environmental and Land Use Law and Administrative Law sections of the Florida Bar and served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Environmental Law.

Asked about Amendment 4 on the Florida ballot today, Rhodes said that if it passes, it “will severely, negatively impact our region’s ability to compete for new business opportunities.”

If the constitutional amendment passes, referendums will be required for adoption and amendment of local government comprehensive land-use plans.

“Competition for new high-wage business is fierce. Businesses can accept bad news. They will not intentionally accept unpredictability,” said Rhodes.

“Our current growth management decision process is lengthy and a mandatory referendum can extend this time by up to two years with an uncertain result.”

If the amendment doesn’t pass, “Florida’s economy and ability to compete for new jobs” will dodge a bullet, he said.

“The Amendment 4 campaign, which extended over eight years, is a wake-up call and reflects widespread citizen dissatisfaction with our current state and local growth management programs and execution of these programs,” he said.

[email protected]


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