CRE Market Conditions, Tax Proposals, and Energy Policy Focus of Roundtable Annual Meeting

The Real Estate Roundtable’s 2023 Annual Meeting this week included policy discussions with national lawmakers on issues affecting commercial real estate, including market conditions and pressures on the office sector, tax policy, sustainability issues, and evolving security threats. Additionally, a special industry tax panel focused on incentives for property repurposing, community revitalization, and housing.

Speakers & Policy Issues 

Roundtable Chairman John Fish, left, with Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer

Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman and CEO, SUFFOLK), left, and Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer, right, launched the meeting, which included the following speakers:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ)
Member, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Geordy Johnson, CEO, The Johnson Group

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN)left 
Member, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
and Roundtable Board Member Geordy Johnson (CEO, The Johnson Group)

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO)

Jason Smith (R-MO), Chairman
House Ways and Means Committee

House Ways and Means Committee Member Brad Schneider (D-IL)

 Brad Schneider (D-IL), Member
House Ways and Means Committee

Rep. Andrew Gabarino (R-NY)

Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Chairman
House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection

David Crane and Tony Malkin

David Crane, left, Department of Energy Under Secretary for Infrastructure, and 
Roundtable Board Member Tony Malkin (Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.)

Alejandra Nunez

Alejandra Nunez
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation

Thomas Barthold

Thomas Barthold
 Chief of Staff, Joint Committee on Tax

Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics  

Roundtable Policy Advisory Committees 

Real Estate Roundtable 2023 Annual Meeting wide shot

The Roundtable’s policy advisory committees also met on June 13-14 to analyze policy issues
with industry experts, policymakers, and their staff, including:

  • Joint RECPAC-Research Committee Meeting 

RECPAC Research panel Annual 2023

The Roundtable’s joint RECPAC and Research Committee meeting included a real estate capital market panel with CRE leaders. [Left to right in photo: panel moderator Mike Lowe (Co-CEO, Lowe); Sarah Hawkins (CEO, East Region, Hines); Christoph Donner (Chief Executive Officer, America, PIMCO Prime Real Estate LLC); David Mei (Vice President, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts); Gregg Gerken (Head of Commercial Real Estate, TD Bank); and Kathy Farrell (Head of Commercial Real Estate, Truist).

A separate presentation on the economy and CRE conditions was given by CBRE’s Christopher R. Ludeman, Global President, Capital Markets and Spencer Levy, Global Client Strategist & Senior Economic Advisor.

  • Tax Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC) 

TPAC panel with Downey speaking

Speakers at the TPAC meeting included key House tax policy leaders (see photos in previous story section) and a panel on “Debt Workouts / Tax Incentives for Property Repurposing, Community Revitalization, and Housing.” [Left to right in photo above: Adam Feuerstein (Real Estate Tax Technical Leader, PwC); David Downey (President & CEO, International Downtown Association); Victoria Honard (Legislative Director, Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA); and Phuc Tran (Vice President, Asset Management, Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners)]

An additional panel on the “Tax Legislative Outlook and Agenda with Senior Republican Tax Staff” featured a discussion with Payson Peabody (Tax Counsel, House Ways and Means Committee Majority Staff) and Michael Gould (IRS Detailee, Senate Finance Committee) that was moderated by Russ Sullivan (Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck).

  • Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) 

SPAC meeting at 2023 Annual

SPAC members heard from featured speakers David Crane and Alejandra Nunez (see photos in previous section above), along with updates from EPA senior staff on agency projects affecting CRE assets, and a presentation of an online marketplace for Inflation Reduction Act energy tax credits. (SPAC meeting agenda)

  • Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF) 

Roundtable's Homeland Security Task Force

A joint session of The Roundtable’s HSTF and Risk Management Working Group met with Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) and were briefed by officials from the Department of Homeland Security on efforts to enhance information sharing with the CRE industry. 

Next on The Roundtable’s FY2023 meeting calendar is the Fall Meeting on October 16-17 in Washington, DC. This meeting is restricted to Roundtable-level members only. 

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Policymakers and Industry Leaders to Discuss Economic Pressures on CRE

All-member Roundtable Meeting wide shot

Real Estate Roundtable members will meet next week to discuss policy issues, market conditions, and the significant economic pressures facing the office sector. In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged the increasing stress on the office market this week, including the potential for further problems with banks with exposure to weakening CRE valuations.

Stress on Office Sector

  • On June 7, Treasury Secretary Yellen said, “Well, I do think that there will be issues with respect to commercial real estate. Certainly, the demand for office space since we’ve seen such a big change in attitudes and behavior toward remote work has changed and especially in an environment of higher interest rates.” She added that banking supervisors continue to closely monitor “a range of banks to make sure that they are adequately prepared to deal with it.” (CNBC’s Squawk Box and MarketWatch, June 7)
  • Roundtable Member David O’Reilly (CEO, Howard Hughes Corporation) was interviewed by CNBC’s Power Lunch on June 7 about the distress facing sectors of CRE, noting how capital markets are constraining borrowers from financing real estate projects.
  • The Roundtable continues to emphasize the need for federal regulators to allow more flexibility for lenders and borrowers to restructure a wave of $1.5 trillion in CRE loans maturing in the next three years. Real Estate Roundtable Chair John Fish (Chairman and CEO, SUFFOLK) summarized the industry’s views in a May 9 MarketWatch article.

Policymakers at Next Week’s Roundtable Meeting


  • These compelling industry issues, among others, will be the focus of The Roundtable’s Annual Meeting on June 13-14 in Washington, DC.

The Roundtable will conclude its 2023 fiscal year this month and will release its annual report to the membership in early July.

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