Guest blog by David Hickey, Managing Director, HICKEY

When a corporate real estate professional undertakes a major location decision, there are several critical factors to identify and evaluate.  Among those leading components are credits and incentives, tools and resources from economic development entities, government agencies, and utilities enacted to support and recruit business investment and job creation. 

Over the past year, credits and incentives have been on the forefront of a number of high-visibility real estate and business relocation / expansion projects in the United States.  It was hard for anyone to miss Amazon’s infamous “HQ2” project, which brought about vast debate over the utilization of these tools and their respective impact on the site selection process.  Meanwhile, there were hundreds of other corporate real estate projects across the country which were directly supported and moved forward, in part, because of successful partnerships between economic development agencies, government entities, and businesses.

Along with major projects, key trends and policy changes around credits and incentives during 2019 were further expansion of transparency rules and initiatives at state and local levels, legislating a return on investment for taxpayers, targeting of investments on a geographic and industry sector basis, and enhancement of federal economic development programs by state and local agencies.  On the latter, several states and communities have established incentive programs designed to leverage federal Opportunity Zones, which were created in the major tax overhaul law passed in 2017.

Looking ahead to the next decade, the utilization of these tools and resources will continue, while the trends of expanded transparency, taxpayer return on investment, and targeted public investments will increasingly be deployed.

Visit the CoreNet Global Knowledge Center to access a recent report from HICKEY providing analysis and insights on critical trends, legislative changes, policy shifts, and proposed regulations around the nation’s state capitals and local communities.