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February 28, 2009

Commercial Appraiser

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February 25, 2009

House Bill Seeks To Eliminate Discounts in Valuing the Assets in Family Limited Partnerships

H.R. 436, introduced on Jan. 9 and referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, would eliminate current rules for discounting the value of fractional interests in family-owned investment entities, such as Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs). If enacted into law, the Pomeroy bill will deprive taxpayers of the right to have the fractional interests in the assets of a limited partnership valued at fair market value—the traditional standard for tax-related valuations required by the Tax Code. Ironically, while the Pomeroy bill would prohibit the application of valuation discounts for FLP purposes, such discounts still would be required if shares of closely held FLP stock were donated to an eligible charity. Members of ASA's Business Valuation discipline are working to explain to Congress why current discount rules reflect economic realities and why the legislation is harmful to good tax policy.

ASA Governmental Relations Committee members Jay Fishman, FASA, and William Frazier, ASA, and Governmental Relations Consultant Peter Barash recently met with senior staff on the Congressional Joint Tax Committee and the tax staffer for Congressman Pomeroy, the principal sponsor of H.R. 436, to explain ASA's opposition to the elimination of valuation discounts.

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SPECIAL REPORT: MBA Says Large Amounts of Multifamily Loans Will Mature in 2011 and After

SPECIAL REPORT: MBA Says Large Amounts of Multifamily Loans Will Mature in 2011 and After 
Published: February 11, 2009

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor

San Diego—The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported that $171 billion of multifamily and commercial mortgages—or one-tenth of the outstanding balance—held by non-bank lenders and investors will mature in 2009.

The report was released at MBA’s multifamily and commercial real estate convention held here this week.

“Substantial concerns have been raised about the volume of mortgages maturing in the face of the credit crunch,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s vice president of commercial real estate research. Woodwell suggested that not all types of financing are coming due at the same rate.

According to MBA, short-term CMBS floating-rate mortgages, as well as mortgages held by credit companies warehouse facilities and other investors, are more likely to mature in 2009 and 2010.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA-guaranteed financing, mortgages held by life insurance companies, and fixed-rate CMBS mortgages, are less likely to come due during this two-year period. Woodwell noted that the mass maturities of these types of financing are pushed farther out.  

In terms of multifamily loans coming due, Woodwell said at a panel during the conference that large volumes of multifamily loans will be maturing in the “out years” after 2009 and 2010. There will be about $29 billion coming due in 2009 and $26 billion in 2010. The volumes of maturing multifamily loans will increase as five- and 10-year loans become due in 2011 and 2012, and in 2015 and 2016, he said.

Woodwell said that the pressure for refinancing will be felt more on shorter-term loans. He noted that longer-term fixed-rate loans that are maturing may more easily find refinancing compared to the huge volume of maturing short-term loans. That’s because such long-term loans have gone through a longer period of price appreciation and amortization and were likely made in the early 2000s—before the height of the market.

According to the MBA study, of the total non-bank holdings maturing in 2009, 52.8 percent is in CMBS, CDOs or other ABS, and 33.6 percent is held by credit companies, warehouse facilities or other investors. Only 9.8 percent of the non-bank mortgages maturing in 2009 are held by life insurance companies and 3.8 percent are held or guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or FHA.  

MBA said most investor groups have “considerable discretion in how they deal with loans that may not be able to immediately refinance at maturity.” And according to RBS Greenwich Capital, floating rate loans tend to have extension options built into them.



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RCA Education Connection

  RCA Education Connection

If you are looking for affordable commercial education then register today for one of three upcoming RCA webinars. On March 11, the RCA is launching its first free webinar. The free monthly RCA webinars will address a mix of topics that can be applied to commercial real estate, or any business. The March 11 webinar, “The Secrets of Commercial Real Estate Success in a Challenging Economy" will offer strategies of self mastery that will lead you to sales success regardless of economic conditions. Dr. Drew Stevens, internationally recognized sales and marketing authority, will share his proven strategies for establishing a foothold in your target market and mastering the art of business development. Learn more about the March 11 webinar.

On March 19 and March 20, the RCA in partnership with Top Dogs, is offering two webinars at a deeply discounted rate of $49 per session. The March 19 webinar, "Retail Properties - 29 Questions You Must Ask", will cover everything you need to know in order to present yourself as an expert in retail properties. Dramatically reduce the time it takes to become an expert in retail properties when you attend the March 19 session. The March 20 webinar, "How to Build Your Personal Brand, Become a Recognized Expert, and Get $100,000 Worth of Free Advertising" will show you how to become the first person thought of within your specialty. Earn more with less effort when you attend the March 20 session. The RCA/Top Dogs webinars will give you the opportunity to learn from two of the best instructors in the country - Peter Droubay and Bob McComb, the co-creators of the Top Dogs commercial real estate training programs. Learn more about the March 19 and March 20 webinars.

Webinar Registration:

March 11 - "The Secrets of Commercial Real Estate Success in a Challenging Economy"


March 19 - "Retail Properties - 29 Questions You Must Ask"


March 20 - "How to Build Your Personal Brand, Become a Recognized Expert, and Get $100,000 Worth of Free Advertising"

All sessions are first come, first-served and limited to 200 attendees. Visit the RCA Education web page to learn more about the education resources available to you from the RCA and commercial affiliates. For more information or questions, call the RCA at 800-874-6500.

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February 23, 2009

Real Estate Appraiser

Statement 7: Prohibition Against DiscriminationState agencies should be aware that Title XI and the Agencies' regulations prohibit federally regulated financial institutions from excluding appraisers from consideration for an assignment solely by virtue of their membership, or lack of membership, in any appraisal organization. Federally regulated financial institutions should review the qualifications of appraisers to ensure that they are qualified for the assignment for which they are being considered. It is unacceptable to assume that an appraiser is qualified solely due to membership in, or designation from, an appraisal organization, or the lack thereof. The Agencies have determined that financial institutions' appraisal policies should not favor appraisers from one or more organizations or exclude individuals based on their lack of such membership. If a State agency learns that a certified or licensed appraiser allegedly has been a victim of such discrimination, the State agency should inform the Agency which has regulatory authority over the involved financial institution.

The ASC has determined that such discrimination also is inappropriate in the establishment and administration of a State's certification and licensing system. The ASC urges States to adopt legislation, regulations or other procedures to prohibit such discriminatory practices.

In addition, State agencies should avoid discriminatory practices regarding appraiser educational course providers. Some State agencies inappropriately: (1) have charged a course review fee to private course providers while not charging such a fee to certain professional appraiser organizations; (2) have delayed approval of private school appraisal courses while rapidly approving those of professional appraiser organizations; and (3) have forced non-affiliated proprietary schools to maintain and use fixed school room locations, while certain professional appraisal organizations have been allowed to teach courses at non-fixed commercial sites, such as hotels, motels and office locations. State agencies should review their internal procedures and take steps to ensure that all educational providers are afforded equal treatment in all respects, including course review fees, timeliness of review and course location requirements.

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Real Estate Losses in '09? Employ These Tax Strategies ASAP

Expecting Real Estate Losses in '09? Employ These Tax Strategies ASAP
Published: February 23, 2009

By Eli Loebenberg, CPA, CEO Madison Commercial Real Estate Services (MCRES)

Lakewood, N.J.--With the economy slowing, many multifamily owners are bracing for a tough year. Job losses, a weak stock market, declining real estate prices, and distressed financial markets all point to a challenging year ahead. This means that any business strategy that can reduce taxes and increase cash flow will be in high demand. One tax strategy that accomplishes this is cost segregation, which will make it very popular this year with owners of investment property.

What is Cost Segregation?

In general, buildings can be depreciated over a 27.5-year or 39-year period, but certain categories of fixed building assets can be depreciated more quickly, over five, seven or 15 years. Identifying and reclassifying these eligible assets can accelerate part of the building's tax depreciation and create a reduced tax liability.

A cost segregation, or "cost seg," study is the tax and engineering analysis that identifies and segregates these eligible assets, assesses their value, and determines the resulting asset classes and corresponding accelerated depreciation.

Eligible assets are systems, fixtures or related elements that are either unnecessary for the operation of the building itself or are temporary structures. They include such elements as decorative lighting or moldings, wall coverings or redundant HVAC systems.

Using the guidance set forth in the IRS Audit Techniques Guide, experts in the areas of tax and engineering separate out or segregate these elements. This process provides maximum tax benefits to property owners with facilities built or bought in the last seven years, as well as those with significant construction in progress, or with newly constructed, renovated or expanded facilities.

The bottom line? Cost segregation saves multifamily owners money by justifying larger upfront tax deductions and in turn, lowering their tax payments. For large companies, it can also increase shareholder value and improve the overall financial picture for the property's holding company.

How "Cost Seg" Works

With tax season ahead, cost segregation will be particularly appealing to owners who were profitable in 2008 but who are anticipating losses in 2009. They can use the accelerated depreciations now to offset their 2008 tax bill, rather than wait until next year when there will be less need for depreciation deductions because of the declining economy.

Other benefits also come into play when choosing cost segregation. For example, a real estate investor with 30 apartment buildings was recently considering whether to do cost segregation studies on one or several of his holdings. Some buildings were upscale garden-style apartment complexes, while others were city-style apartment buildings.
Some had been purchased recently, while others had been held for many years. After answering a few basic questions, he decided to proceed with a feasibility analysis on seven garden-style complexes that he had owned for five to seven years.

The reasons for this were two-fold: first, the garden-style apartments had more assets that could be accelerated from 27.5-year to 15-year depreciation. The second is that older properties generate a catch-up situation, as described below. The investor chose to analyze the buildings that would generate the most depreciation in order to get the most bang for his buck.

If dealing with new construction, it is best to incorporate cost segregation as early as possible in order to save money on federal, and possibly state tax returns. For existing properties, understated depreciations can be recaptured for past construction, purchases, expansions, renovations and qualified leasehold improvements. Owners can recapture these missed depreciations with a simple change in accounting method. Amended tax returns are not required; instead, a "catch-up" depreciation can be taken in one year by filing IRS Federal Form 3115 (Change in Accounting Method, with IRS consent granted automatically).

Without a doubt, cost segregation studies are among the most valuable tax strategies available to owners of investment and business real estate, and are sure to be one of the hottest business strategies in 2009.


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From: HUD USER News

From: HUD USER News
HUD USER has posted Comprehensive Housing Market
Analysis (CHMA) reports for the areas of Abilene, Texas;
Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana; and Fort Lauderdale-
Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Florida. These CHMAs
contain valuable information for builders, mortgage
lenders, borrowers, local planners, and others who need
to keep up with area housing conditions and trends.
Prepared by field economists in HUD's Office of Policy
Development and Research, these reports provide data
that are useful in anticipating changes in the demand
for new housing. Our analyses describe the economic,
demographic, and housing inventory characteristics of
the Abilene, Shreveport-Bossier City, and Fort
Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach housing market
areas from 1990 to 2000, from 2000 through June 2008,
and contain projections regarding anticipated market
activity during the period of July 1, 2008 to July 1,
These CHMAs, as well as previous reports examining
housing market areas across the nation, are available
at www.huduser.org/publications/econdev/mkt_analysis.html.
All HUD USER CHMA reports are available as free downloads.

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February 21, 2009

Recently Added to This Section

Recently Added to This Section
January 2009 USPAP Q&A
Communicating Confidential Information to a Sworn Peace Officer
Signature on Letter of Transmittal
Citation of Effective Date

December 2008 USPAP Q&A
Current Sales Contract Not Provided
Appraisal Report Labeling Confusion
Reviewer Citation of USPAP Non-Compliance

November 2008 USPAP Q&A
Copyrighting an Appraisal Report
“Allocation” of Value Opinions

October 2008 USPAP Q&A
Adequacy of Workfile Documentation
USPAP Applicability in Valuation for Financial Reporting
Assignment Involving Analysis of Leases September 2008 USPAP Q&A
Sales History for New Construction
Appraiser Coercion
Confidentiality and Review Appraisers
Copy of License in Appraisal Report
August 2008 USPAP Q&A
Addressees, Clients, And Intended Users
Errors and Omissions Insurance
Appraisal Update With No Change In Value
July 2008 USPAP Q&A
Electronic Report Delivery
Can Appraisers Perform "Comp Check" Assignments?
Can Appraisers Perform "Comp Check" Assignments for Free?
Is Disclosure of a Free "Comp Check" Assignment Required?
June 2008 USPAP Q&A
Uniform Act and Scope of Work
Valuation Methods and Jurisdictional Exception Rule
“Before Acquisition Value” and STANDARD RULE 1-4(f)
Uniform Act and the Review of “Low Value” Acquisition Appraisal Reports

May 2008 USPAP Q&A
Does Changing the Sale Price Result in a New Assignment?
Is it Permissible to Use MLS Photos for Comparable Sales?
Is it Permissible to Use MLS Photos for Active Listings?
Can an Appraiser Disclose the Identity of Past Clients in an Appraisal Report?

April 2008 USPAP Q&A
Does USPAP Require Identifying Appraisal Credentials?
Which USPAP Standards Apply to Personal Property Appraisal Consulting?
Providing Sample Appraisal Reports

March 2008 USPAP Q&A
Does Appraising a Physical Segment Require Use of a Hypothetical Condition?
Must a Hypothetical Condition or Extraordinary Assumption be Labeled?
Is a Letter of Transmittal Part of an Appraisal Report?

February 2008 USPAP Q&A
Appraiser Qualifications in Report
Appraisal Report Received by Others
Changing the Effective Date

January 2008 USPAP Q&A
Geographic Competency in Appraisal Reviews
Appraisal Without Knowing Sale Price
Due Process Under Confidentiality

December 2007 USPAP Q&A
Changing the Scope of Work after the Report has been Submitted
Errors of Commission and Omission
Making a Series of Errors November 2007 USPAP Q&A
Intentionally "Deflating" Opinions of Value
When does Appraiser-Client Confidentiality End?
Readdress or Transfer

October 2007 USPAP Q&A
Client Altering the Report (follow-up)
Are Instant Messages or Text Messages Appraisal Reports?
Checking "Stable" vs. "Declining"
Is Compliance with STANDARD 3 Required when Submitting a Complaint?" September 2007 USPAP Q&A
Signature Authorization
Authentication of an Appraiser's Digital Signature
Approving the Use of Your Digital Signature
Providing Signature to Create a Signature File
Losing Control of a Digital Signature
Client Altering the Report

August 2007 USPAP Q&A
Requirement for Signing Reports
Signing Digital (Electronic) Reports
Changing the Certification
Competency Statement in the Report July 2007 USPAP Q&A
Appropriate Workfile Retention and Access Arrangements
Can Access to a Workfile Be Denied?
Proper Analysis of Agreement of Sale

June 2007 USPAP Q&A
Is an AVM an Appraisal?
Appraiser's USPAP Obligations When Using an AVM
May 2007 USPAP Q&A
Confidentiality and Intended Users
Significant Appraisal Assistance

April 2007 USPAP Q&A
Record Keeping Requirements for Oral Reports and Testimony
Is a Transcript Required for Oral Reports and Testimony?
Is a Transcript Required if a Written Appraisal Report was Prepared?
Is a Transcript of the Entire Proceeding Required? March 2007 USPAP Q&A
Sales or Financing Concessions
Obligation to Analyze Prior Listings of Subject Property
Obligation to Analyze Withdrawn or Expired Listings

February 2007 USPAP Q&A
Appraisal Versus Appraisal Consulting Assignment
Market Rent Opinion
Income and Expense Analyses

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The Appraisal Foundation Major Initiatives for 2009

The Appraisal Foundation Major Initiatives for 2009

Consistent Enforcement Task Force
Training Sessions for State Appraiser Investigators
Regulatory White Paper Task Force
Best Practices Task Force 
Best Practices for Valuations in Financial Reporting Task Force
Expanded Role of the Supervising Appraiser Task Force
Operational Efficiencies Task Force
Board Vacancies
New Publications/Courses

PDF Version

Consistent Enforcement Task Force
With 55 different state real property appraiser regulatory bodies enforcing USPAP, there is a wide range of disciplinary actions taking place. While uniformity may be an unrealistic goal, there is a need for greater consistency in enforcement. There is concern that appraisers committing the same USPAP violation in different jurisdictions are being sanctioned very differently.

One possibility is the development of recommended disciplinary guidelines. The initial focus of the task force will be to survey state regulators to ensure that there is enough interest among the states to use the recommended guidelines. Assuming that there is enough interest, work will then commence on the recommended disciplinary guidelines. The Task Force is composed of Trustees, current and former state appraiser regulators and an Appraisal Subcommittee representative. The task force is being Chaired by Joe Traynor.

Training Sessions for State Appraiser Investigators
The Appraisal Foundation and the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO) have formed a partnership to offer investigator training to state appraiser regulatory officials. The training sessions will be offered once per quarter in 2009.

The training sessions, which will accommodate up to 160 state regulators in 2009, will be offered at no cost to the states, as a result of a grant to The Appraisal Foundation from the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC). In addition, transportation to the sessions as well as lodging and meals will be reimbursed by the Foundation. The goal of these sessions is to promote greater consistency in the evaluation and investigation of complaints received about appraisers nationwide.

The training session will be presented over a two and a half day period. It will focus on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) from a state regulator perspective, as well as offer recommended investigative and interview techniques. Greater uniformity in the reporting of investigator’s findings will also be a component of the sessions. The first session will be held in Phoenix, Arizona on March 19-21. Additional sessions will be held in Chicago, Dallas and Washington, DC.

Regulatory White Paper Task Force
As a result of the current economic crisis, in 2009 the Congress will be focusing on significant revisions to our current financial institution regulatory structure (much like it did after the Great Depression and the S&L crisis of the 1980’s). During this process, Title XI of FIRREA (the appraisal section) will almost certainly be reviewed and quite possibly revised. In addition, 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the enactment of FIRREA. As an organization specifically referenced in FIRREA, The Appraisal Foundation is in a unique position to offer its observations and recommendations on how to improve the current real property appraiser regulatory system.

We believe that now is the time to be proactive rather than reactionary and are therefore developing a white paper on the issue. The major elements of our recommendations will be circulated to the Foundation advisory councils for their input. Upon completion, the white paper will be circulated to all appropriate Congressional and government leaders. This may result in our being asked to testify in future Congressional hearings on appraisal regulatory reform.

Best Practices Task Force
The valuation profession has an enforceable set of performance and ethical standards (the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)) and an enforceable set of qualifications (the AQB Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria). However, the profession does not have an enforceable set of best practices or core principles regarding appraisal methodology. The development and presentation of education related to appraisal methodology has traditionally been filled by the professional appraisal societies. However, over the years the percentage of state credentialed real estate appraisers who belong to professional societies has dropped to approximately 35%.

The lack of a clear-cut, enforceable body of knowledge has proven to be a significant challenge for state appraiser regulatory agencies (and others) in enforcing USPAP. Since USPAP simply requires appraisers to be aware of, understand, and correctly employ recognized methods and techniques necessary to produce credible assignment results, enforcement agencies often find that their first order of business in judicial proceedings or administrative hearings is to prove what the appropriate methodology is or should have been. This “education” of best practices must be accomplished prior to attempting to establish whether or not the respondent actually committed a violation. Having the ability to refer to a publication of established best practices or core principles would likely be an immeasurable help to those attempting to enforce USPAP.

The Appraisal Subcommittee has expressed its strong concern to the Foundation that there is a current lack of timely guidance to appraisers in the area of best practice issues. Examples of current topics cited include (1) the impact of foreclosed properties on market value; (2) residential appraising in a distressed market; and (3) residential appraising in the absence of comparable sales. Two specific issues were raised: (1) Where does an appraiser who is not affiliated with a professional society turn to get guidance on these and other emerging issues? (2) What can be done to ensure that appraisers are properly motivated to learn the guidance?

It was the decision of the Foundation leadership that a special task force composed of key stakeholders be convened to develop recommendations on how timely guidance can be made available to all state credentialed appraisers. The Task Force will be composed of representatives from The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC), the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO), the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB), the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB), and the Appraisal Sponsors. David Wilkes will chair this task force.

Best Practices for Valuations in Financial Reporting Task Force
This initiative is ongoing for 2009. Currently two working groups have been established. The first working group is nearing completion on an exposure draft for Best Practices on the Identification of Contributory Asset Charges. The second working group is developing an exposure draft on the Best Practices for the Valuation of Customer Relationships. We anticipate a final set of best practices from both groups later this year. In addition, a third working group will be established in the Spring with the topic to be determined.

Expanded Role of the Supervising Appraiser Task Force
The Supervising Appraiser Task Force presented a white paper to the Board of Trustees at its fall meeting on the results of its survey of the states and its findings to date. The Task Force now has a second charge: to develop a set of “best practices” for supervising appraisers which can be incorporated into a course. The course would be offered by the Foundation on a wholesale basis to educational providers and it would be up to each state to decide if it is required. The course would be structured so that it would be beneficial for both supervisors and trainees to attend. If all goes as intended, this course would be an excellent candidate for on-line presentation in the future. Lynne Heiden has agreed to continue to serve as Chair of this task force.

Operational Efficiencies Task Force
For many years the focus of the Foundation has been inclusion and representation. With over 130 non-profit organizations, for-profit companies and government agencies now affiliated with the Foundation, we have been very successful in our outreach efforts. However, given our current financial situation our focus has now turned to the efficiency of our organizational structure. Are our three boards and five advisory groups organized in the most efficient and cost effective manner? Can we make better use of web based meetings to reduce travel expenses, our largest budget item? Is the staff structure appropriate for our growing and changing needs? These questions and many others will be addressed by this Task Force, which will be chaired by Gene Kaczkowski.

Board Vacancies
Several vacancies will occur on the Foundation’s Boards this year. There will be four vacancies on the Board of Trustees, the governing body of the Foundation. The deadline for applications is March 16th and finalists will be publicly interviewed at the spring Board of Trustees meeting in New Orleans on May 15. There are also two vacancies on the Appraisal Standards Board and two vacancies on the Appraiser Qualifications Board. The deadline for applications is August 7 and the finalists will be publicly interviewed at the fall Board of Trustees meeting in Phoenix on October 30.

New Publications/Courses
This year the Foundation will produce two new publications. USPAP for Non-Appraisers will be available for sale this summer. The publication will provide an overview of USPAP from the user’s perspective, with an emphasis on accountants, attorneys and lenders. A complimentary brochure entitled Why You Should Engage a Professional Appraiser will be available this spring. The brochure outlines what distinguishes an individual as a professional appraiser (i.e. adherence to a written set of standards, meeting educational and experience requirements).

In addition to the supervising appraiser course previously referenced, the Foundation will be developing three on-line courses this year. These include on-line versions of the 7-hour National USPAP Update Course as well as the 15-hour National USPAP Course. In addition, AQB Certified USPAP Instructors will be taking the Instructor Recertification Course on-line, rather than attending a classroom presentation.

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February 20, 2009

CCLR logo
2009 CCLR Trainings

Experience is the best teacher. For nearly a decade, CCLR has been assembling the most experienced redevelopment professionals in California for our faculty. Our trainings are carefully prepared with case studies drawn from our own professional experience. Focused on real-world realities of redevelopment, our trainings are designed to provide you with the tools, techniques, and resources required to bring projects in on-time and on-budget.

San Francisco
Wednesday, February 25th

8:00am - 3:00pm
The Port Commission Room
2nd Floor, Ferry Building  
1 Ferry Building
(Embarcadero & Market)
Map >>

Register for San Francisco

Los Angeles
Wednesday, May 6th

8:00am - 3:00pm
Center for Healthy Communities
The California Endowment
1000 North Alameda Street 
Map >>

Register for Los Angeles
This workshop is designed to meet the needs of project managers involved in redeveloping vacant, blighted or environmentally impacted properties. By limiting class size, trainings are ideal for those interested in direct counsel from the workshop speakers. This workshop program is our most popular and sells out quickly, so please register online early!
    Curriculum Includes:
  • Regulatory and Legal Framework
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
  • Phase II Environmental Site Assessment & Cleanup
  • Environmental Insurance
  • Financial Resources
  • Establishing a Redevelopment Team
  • Case Study

Tuition: $100 Non Profit, $200 Government, $350 Private
CCLR is committed to helping community-based organizations by providing scholarships to reduce the cost of the workshop. Please call to inquire about our Wells Fargo Scholarship program.

CCLR's workshops are approved for 6 MCLE and 6 Planning credits!

To register, and for more information about curriculum, please visit our website www.cclr.org/brownfields_101.htm or call 415.398.1080 x104.

Generously sponsored by:
Bank of the West
Union Bank of California


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Appraisal Foundation Seeks Comment on White Paper
The Appraisal Foundation is going to write a White Paper on appraisal regulatory reform, and they are seeking your comments. Possible topics for the white paper include: "Implement National Licensing or Registration Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies" and "Require Greater Due Diligence from Federal Financial Institutions." Read more...

Appraisers Upset Over New Rules
Many real estate professionals are still trying to catch their breath from the ever-changing pace of the nation's housing industry, but they don't have long because on May 1 the industry will change big time ? and not all for the better, according to some local professionals.  Read more...
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Ready . . . Fire . . . Aim!:
California Appeals Court Rejects Vague and Overbroad Resolutions of Necessity


John C. Murphy
P: 949.732.3736
F: 949.251.5820
Attorney Bio

Emily L. Madueno
P: 949.732.3709
F: 949.251.5829
Attorney Bio

Regan Forester
P: 949.732.3718
F: 949.251.5835
Attorney Bio

Will Rogers, the homespun philosopher, once observed, “The minute you read something you can’t understand, you can be sure it was written by a lawyer.” Public agency lawyers in eminent domain sometimes try to use vague wording to their advantage - at least according to a California Court of Appeal. In a recent opinion, the Court chastised a city’s attorney for using “inscrutable and meaningless” language in a resolution of necessity. (City of Stockton v. Marina Towers LLC, et al., February 13, 2009, C054495 ____ Cal.App.4th ____.)

Resolutions of necessity play key roles in eminent domain. The public agency must vote on and pass such a resolution early on, before it can file an eminent domain lawsuit. (Code Civ. Proc. § 1245.210 et seq.)

On February 13, 2009, the California Court of Appeal in the Marina Towers opinion held that a city’s resolution of necessity could not support an eminent domain lawsuit since the resolution did not identify a project with "sufficient specificity such that persons of ordinary intelligence can discern what [the heck] the project is."


Public agencies generally cannot “condemn first, [and] decide what to do with the property later.” A public agency must heed the project definition requirements for a resolution of necessity to ensure a valid resolution:

  • The resolution must state an identifiable project with a public purpose, unless the taking falls within the Community Redevelopment Law’s safe harbor as a taking to implement a redevelopment plan.
  • An agency does not define a project by listing every statutorily authorized public purpose for eminent domain under the Government Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, or any other law.
  • A public agency cannot validate a facially defective resolution of necessity adopted before the agency filed its complaint through (1) corrective resolutions adopted after filing the complaint or (2) eventual use of the property for a public use.


In September 2003, the City of Stockton (“City”) adopted identical resolutions of necessity approving the City’s condemnation of two parcels owned by Marina Towers LLC (“Marina”). The City’s resolutions stated the City’s proposed project consisted of acquiring additional land for redevelopment near land the City already owns. The City, however, conceded it was not condemning Marina’s property under the Community Redevelopment Law. The resolution listed a slew of statutory sections authorizing eminent domain for various public purposes.

Within a week after the City adopted the resolutions of necessity, it filed a complaint in eminent domain to acquire Marina’s property. Marina raised several right-to-take affirmative defenses. In particular, Marina alleged the City’s resolutions were facially defective for failing to sufficiently identify the public use for which Marina’s property was to be condemned.

While the eminent domain action was pending, the City’s project developed and progressed. In January and March 2004, the City adopted new resolutions of necessity for Marina’s parcels, seeking the property for a public parking lot and a ballpark. The City completed construction on Marina’s property before trial.

Requirements to Adopt a Resolution of Necessity.

Private property may only be taken for public use. To ensure respect for this constitutional limit, California Eminent Domain Law requires a public agency to make certain findings before adopting its resolution of necessity. Code of Civil Procedure section 1245.230 requires that a resolution of necessity contain a general statement of the public use for which the property is to be taken and a reference to the statute authorizing eminent domain for the identified public use.

The resolution of necessity must also contain three findings under Code of Civil Procedure section 1240.030: (1) the public interest and necessity require the project; (2) the project is planned or located in the manner most compatible with the greatest public good and least private injury; and (3) the property sought is necessary for the project. An agency cannot make these findings and a court cannot adjudicate right to take challenges unless the agency identifies its proposed project.

A Public Agency Must Take Aim at A Particular Public Use Before Its Resolution of Necessity Fires at Targeted Property.

The California Court of Appeal conditionally dismissed the City’s eminent domain action and awarded Marina reasonable litigation expenses after it held the City’s resolutions of necessity did not identify the City’s proposed project on Marina’s property. The City’s resolutions of necessity should have specifically identified how the City intended to use Marina’s property, whether for a parking lot or a ballpark.

The City’s list of statutes authorizing various public purposes for condemning property, without the City’s commitment to a specific project, did not save the City’s resolutions. Instead, the Court noted that the list served as an implied admission the City did not have a proposed project for Marina’s property. Moreover, the Court refused to allow the resolutions of necessity the City adopted after it filed the complaint and the City’s eventual use of Marina’s property for a public use to validate the defective original resolutions.

The Court reasoned that California law requires adoption of a resolution of necessity to ensure that a public agency carefully and conscientiously decides it needs the project and the desired property before it condemns private property. The resolution’s purpose would be eviscerated if post-hoc and post-filing events could validate an otherwise invalid resolution. Moreover, a description that fails to give the owner notice and an opportunity to be heard on the resolution of necessity could violate the owner’s procedural due process rights.

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February 13, 2009

Develop Industrial Property Expertise

Develop Industrial Property Expertise
On February 19, spend under 2 hours at the Webinar, "15 Things You Must Know to Lead in the Field" to learn a unique approach for increasing your expertise and gaining recognition for it. The focus of the training is industrial properties, and it is being presented in partnership with Top Dogs Commercial Real Estate Training. The cost is $49 for NAR/RCA members using the discount code: hsemeffusf OR kefidduguv. To register¸ go to...
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February 05, 2009

Event Details
What:Open House - Cerritos  
81,288 SF divisible to 45,768 SF & 35,520 SF

Catered Lunch & Prizes sponsored by TA Associates Realty and CBRE
When:2/19/2009 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
13845 Artesia Blvd.
Cerritos, CA
Who:Open to Everyone
Contact:RSVP to Allison Nowell (310) 516-2341
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Membership Materials

Click on a link below to download a PDF document of the various membership materials.

For additional membership information in Los Angeles County, please call AIR at (213) 687-8777 or email us at membershipLA@airea.com. In Orange County and the Inland Empire, please call AIR at (714) 538-8432 or email us at membershipOCIE@airea.com.

Home | About AIR | Membership | Forms | Property Data | Event Calendar | Locations
800 West 6th Street - Suite 800, Los Angeles CA 90017   213.687.8777
© 2005-2006 AIR Commercial Real Estate Association
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February 03, 2009

2009 Real Estate Industry Outlook

2009 Real Estate Industry Outlook
Facing complex challenges

2009 Real Estate Industry OutlookWhether the proverb, “May you live in interesting times,” is intended as a blessing or a curse, it’s one’s interpretation that determines success or failure. Through a series of in-depth interviews, Deloitte’s sector leaders have detailed their anticipated, industry-specific challenges and opportunities for 2009, as well as provided suggestions to help executives weather the current economic downturn and position their organizations for recovery and future growth.

Following several years of spectacular returns for the commercial real estate industry, global credit problems that began in the U.S. residential subprime market have spilled over into the commercial debt markets, resulting in suppressed transaction volumes and limited access to financing. Although real estate remains a relatively good investment option, especially in light of the recent volatility of competing asset classes such as stocks and bonds, the real estate sector itself faces several challenges in 2009 that are symptomatic of a general economy in distress. "
2009 Industry Outlook: Real Estate" discusses top-of-mind issues such as:

  • Debt maturity
  • Globalization
  • Changing legislative and reporting environment

Visit Deloitte.com to read more about the real estate sector and explore shared issues and lessons learned across other industries.

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