Shopping Centers Today

MAR 2017

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 6 of 59

M A R C H 2 0 1 7 / S C T 7 of proposals aimed at curbing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which regulates banks, lenders and other financial companies. "There are those who want to get rid of CFPB altogether," Platt said. "Most likely, however, we'll see some form of congressional oversight. They might change the funding to the appropriations process, for example, so that there is some more legislative accountability for the CFPB." The strict financial disclosure and other rules imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 are likely to be yet another focal point as reformers try to rein in the often untenable costs associated with compliance, Platt says. For ICSC members, changes to the risk- retention rules for commercial-mortgage- backed securities could be particularly important. "This is an area where regulators went beyond the scope of what Congress intended," Platt said. "By limiting CMBS origination and access, the risk-retention and onerous capital-and-liquidity rules create unnecessary impediments to growth in commercial real estate." ICSC members also stand to benefit from proposed rollbacks of certain Labor Department rules and some fiduciary standards that limit the investment recommendations financial planners provide, says Platt. "Even though we are working to help make some of these rollback opportunities come to fruition, our advocacy efforts moving forward will focus primarily on marketplace fairness, ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] lawsuit abuse and tax reform," she said. With respect to land use, ICSC's representatives will closely watch changes to the so-called Waters of the United States rule, says Abby Jagoda, ICSC's director of public policy and best practices. This regulation, overseen by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was originally intended to protect navigable waterways from agricultural runoff. "You might think this would mean any boat-able, swimmable or fishable body of water," Jagoda said. "In practice, though, the interpretation can go so far that people will ask, 'If a duck can land in it, is it navigable?' " As a result, even moving a storm-water ditch or a drainage pond can force retail developers to endure the costly and time-consuming process of obtaining an EPA permit for the site change. Before the federal rule, local governments typically handled such decisions, Jagoda says, and ICSC would like to see a return to this far more manageable approach. "We envision that the Trump administration will not allow the rule to stand and probably will write its own," she said. "That is going to be a lengthy process, possibly involving a U.S. Supreme Court decision before all is said and done." In coming years ICSC will also seek to shape the discussion if the new administration moves to bolster U.S. infrastructure as promised during the campaign — a potential boon to retail real estate. "President Trump has made infrastructure a big priority, so we are looking for an entry point surrounding how retail can benefit from a potential infrastructure package," Jagoda said. "Certainly, we can help local governments achieve their goals. Our focus on public-private partnerships will make us a resource in those discussions." Finally, ICSC will continue seeking to limit energy regulations that could affect its members. The Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership — a collaborative effort by ICSC and the Retail Industry Leaders Association — is already creating a wide range of best practices and producing successful case studies on energy efficiency in retail. The effort shows that these sectors are good actors that can be self-regulating on energy, Jagoda says. "We don't want to be swept up in new regulations," she said, "and wishing we had acted sooner." n "By limiting CMBS origination and access, the risk- retention and onerous capital, and liquidity, rules create unnecessary impediments to growth in commercial real estate"

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Shopping Centers Today - MAR 2017