NAIOP's Upstate New York chapter visits state capitol in Albany - May 20

May 30, 2008 - Spotlights

Shown (from left) are: Stuart Baker, SE Baker & Co.; Tom Thaney, Public Abstract Corp.; Laura Zaepfel, Uniland; Assemblyman Joseph Errigo; and Karen McCready, NAIOP Upstate N.Y.

Shown (from left) are: Stuart Baker, SE Baker & Co.; Tom Thaney, Public Abstract Corp.; Laura Zaepfel, Uniland; Assemblyman Jim Hayes; Melissa Huffman, NAIOP National; Karen McCready, NAIOP Upstate N.Y.; and Aaron Hilger, Builder Partner

Shown (from left) are: Senator Bill Stachowski, Laura Zaepfel, Aaron Hilger, Tom Thaney, Karen McCready, and Stuart Baker

Shown (front row from left) are: Laura Zaepfel and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger. Shown (standing from left) are: Tom Thaney, Karen McCready, Melissa Huffman and Stuart Baker

Shown (from left) are: Stuart Baker, Melissa Huffman, Senator Joseph Robach, Laura Zaepfel, Karen McCready and Tom Thaney

Shown (from left) are: Stuart Baker, Laura Zaepfel, Assemblyman Joe Morelle, Melissa Huffman, Karen McCready and Tom Thaney

Leaders from the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties' (NAIOP) Upstate New York chapter visited the state capitol in Albany on Tuesday, May 20. Among those members who visited the State House included Upstate New York president Laura Zaepfel (Uniland Development Company), public affairs chair Stuart Baker (SE Baker & Co.), president-elect Thomas Thaney (Public Abstract Corporation) and NAIOP Upstate NY chapter executive Karen McCready. Melissa Huffman, NAIOP director of state and local affairs, also attended the event, as well as Aaron Hilger and Denise Murphy McGraw from Builder Partner, a group representing NAIOP and contractors across the state.
Throughout the day, NAIOP members met with key legislative and committee members in the State House to discuss the issues that most affect commercial real estate development in the state of New York, including:
* Industrial Development
Agency (IDA) Reform Legislation - NAIOP members in New York invest millions of dollars of capital investment in the state thanks to the tax incentives and financing of IDA. Changes in the current legislation would significantly increase the cost of IDA supported projects and are counterproductive to Governor Paterson's efforts to curtail excessive government spending. Specifically, NAIOP Upstate New York opposes the prevailing wage to construction contractors and the living wage to project employers, these requirements that will only inflate already rapidly increasing construction costs and weaken New York's competitiveness among other states. NAIOP Upstate New York encourages the General Assembly to bring all stakeholders to the table to find meaningful solutions supported by all interested parties and pass the much needed legislation.
* Brownfield Reform Legislation - NAIOP Upstate New York members support reforms to the Brownfield Remediation Laws and administrative improvements that will expedite state approvals and project completions. We strongly encourage legislators to include the development industry in its discussions of these reforms. NAIOP Upstate New York supports reforms that include eligibility requirements defined by the legislature providing predictability necessary to move forward on projects and eliminate the added lengthy bureaucracy of the Department of Environmental Conservation, Empire State Development and the Department of Taxation administering the program.
* Wetlands Legislation - NAIOP Upstate New York will support wetlands legislation that creates criteria that is reproducible and scientifically defensible. NAIOP Upstate New York does not support increases in New York Department of Environmental Conservation jurisdiction of wetlands from 12 acres to 1 acre as found in the current legislation. A vague definition of wetlands will lead to inconsistent results.
* Labor Law 240/241 (Scaffold Law) - NAIOP Upstate New York supports legislation that would level the playing field and make workers responsible for the portion of the injury caused by them when the accident is the fault of a worker's criminal, wrongful, or negligent behavior. The high cost of liability insurance affects the ability of developers, minority owned businesses, small business owners, and business owners in the Western region of New York to compete for new business. NAIOP Upstate New York supports the healthy and safe environment of its employees and can provide necessary liability coverage without the burden of this mandate.
During their visit to the State House, Upstate New York members met with Senators Jim Alesi (R-Perinton), economic development chair; Joseph Robach (R-Greece), labor chair; Bill Stachowski (D-Lake View), Ranking Minority Member Ways and Means; and Dale Volker (R-Erie), codes committee chair, as well as Assemblymen Joseph Errigo (R-Conesus); Jim Hayes (R-Amherst), Ranking Minority Ways and Means Member; Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit), insurance chair; and Robin Schimminger (D-Kenmore), economic development chair.

Additional detail regarding NAIOP is available at


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