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New report shows Chinese investors largest single group in commercial real estate market

In recent posts on this blog, we’ve been discussing the findings of a recent study released by the National Association of Realtors showing that Texas is among the most active markets for foreign investment in commercial real estate.

Now, a new report from Cushman & Wakefield presents findings that Chinese investors were the largest single group of foreign investors in commercial real estate in 2016. Many of the Chinese transactions are high-value deals, amounting to over $1 billion. 

Do Tree Regulations Impact Economic Development?

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has requested that local governments consider for the special session starting July 18 a provision that would nix local tree regulations. Present in more than 50 municipalities across Texas, tree regulations usually require landowners to pay a fee when they take down trees or replant trees that have been removed.

The governor, Republican lawmakers and the conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation believe that tree regulations infringe on local property owners’ rights. Those arguing against easing tree restrictions believe that local tree protections help make areas more attractive to those who would live or do business there, and that allowing property owners to raze trees at will could decrease quality of life and reduce property values.

Commercial real estate transactions with foreign buyers: work with skilled legal counsel

Previously, we mentioned that a recent National Association of Realtors survey found Texas to be one of the most active markets in the United States in terms of foreign investment in commercial real estate. As we noted last time, there are often special considerations in commercial real estate transactions involving foreign buyers, and addressing these considerations is important to ensuring a successful transaction.

In addition to differences in negotiation style and handling nonstandard purchase agreements, buyer identity and credit verification can be more complicated with foreign buyers, and loan requirements can vary depending on the residency status of the buyer. For instance, lenders may require larger down payments or guaranteed deposits in a U.S. bank before approving loans. 

Realtor group: Texas a hotspot for foreign investment in commercial real estate

One of the trends in commercial real estate readers may have heard about in recent years is that foreign buying of U.S. real estate is on the increase. According to a recent survey published by the National Association of Realtors, 20 percent of its commercial real estate members reported having closed at least one sale with a foreign buyer in 2016.

The survey also found that the state of Texas, along with Florida and California, was among the most popular markets for foreign buyers of commercial real estate. There are probably multiple reasons for this, one of which is that slow but steady economic improvement makes the U.S. market in general, and the Texas market in particular, favorable for foreign investors.  

Nonprofit corporations: work with experienced attorney on executive compensation issues

In recent posts, we’ve been looking at the topic of executive compensation and severance agreement negotiation, and the importance of businesses working with experienced legal counsel to negotiate these agreements so as to minimize legal liabilities. For nonprofits, it is important to

Texas nonprofit law prohibits the payment of dividends and corporate income to members, directors and officers. As we noted last time, though, nonprofit corporations are able to pay reasonable compensation for services provided, and may confer benefits on members as long as the benefits conform to the purposes of the corporation. 

Work with experienced legal counsel to negotiate executive compensation issues

Previously, we began looking at the issue of executive compensation, particularly in light of Texas A&M’s ongoing deliberation about whether to offer its current Chancellor an early contract extension. As we noted last time, businesses need to carefully balance the need to attract highly qualified professionals with financial limitations and the need to protect business interests.

Executive compensation negotiations typically include discussions about the full range of compensation, including base compensation, stock options, signing bonus, annual incentives, wardrobe allowance, and benefits. Although not strictly considered compensation, job title is another matter that is sometimes negotiated in compensation discussions.

Texas A&M board to vote on proposed employment contract extension for Chancellor

Negotiating employment agreements is an important task for businesses, for a number of reasons. First of all, there is the need to attract and secure qualified individuals, particularly for positions of great responsibility within the business. There is also the need to form agreements which allow a business to retain its talent. In addition, though, it important to consider the changing needs of the business and to establish options for addressing contractual disputes as they arise.

The Texas A&M University System is currently in the midst of determining how to deal with a proposed extension of the employment agreement for its current Chancellor John Sharp. The extension proposal comes less than two years after the current contract was signed. That contract was supposed to run until 2020, but the proposed extension would extend the contract into 2023. 

Is Crowdfunding A Viable Option For Developers?

The loosening of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) restrictions has given developers a new means of financing: crowdfunding.

In the past few years, dozens of websites have appeared that allow developers to reach investors directly to crowdfund their projects. Some of the more popular real estate crowdfunding portals include: Patch of Land, Fundrise, Realty Mogul and RealtyShares.

This new option may seem appealing, but is it truly a viable option when it comes to residential or commercial real estate development?

Study ranks Texas near top in nation in terms of commercial real estate activity

Commercial real estate is a large, important industry, and according to a recent analysis, it is especially important in the state of Texas. At a national level, commercial real estate development and construction made up $861 billion of the gross domestic product in 2015, and supported a total of 6.25 million jobs.

In Texas, commercial real estate development accounted for a total of 320,994 jobs in Texas and commercial property construction expenditures amounted to $18.5 billion. The study found that Texas actually ranked second in terms of construction expenditures, and that’s for the second year in a row. New York ranked first. 

Looking at state, federal trade secret protection laws, P.2

Previously, we began looking at the importance of trade secret protections, and the various remedies Texas courts may take to enforce these protections. At the federal level, the Defend Trade Secrets Act provides similar protections.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act creates a federal cause of action for business to protect trade secrets from misappropriation. The law targets both the improper acquisition and use of trade secrets, and provides for various remedies, including injunction, civil seizure, royalties, damages including punitive damages where appropriate, and reasonable attorney’s fees. 

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