The U.S. economy is in a “Goldilocks” period, where it’s not too hot or too cold, and another recession isn’t likely in the next two to three years, Revathi Greenwood, Americas head of research for Cushman & Wakefield, said at a real estate forum in Charlotte Thursday evening.
“We think Charlotte is going to outperform,” Greenwood added at the forum, which was hosted by the real estate services firm and law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. She saw strength in the industrial, multi-family and office markets.
In a panel discussion, Greenwood and local real estate figures were bullish overall, but did note potential challenges. For example, wages for millennials will need to keep up with rising rents to maintain the current apartment building boom, and office space builders will need to adapt to the shrinking amount of space tenants require for each worker.
“I feel like we’re safe at the moment,” said Marc Robinson, vice chair of the Cushman & Wakefield Multifamily Advisory Group.
John “Johno” Harris III, president of Lincoln Harris, said one of the major challenges for developers is the increasing amount of paperwork and legal requirements they face before starting projects.
“Deals take longer to get done,” Harris said.
Lincoln Harris is one of the most active developers in Charlotte, with a half-dozen big projects underway including the redevelopment of the former Charlotte Observer site uptown with a 33-story office tower. Johno Harris’ father, Lincoln Harris CEO Johnny Harris, and his uncle, businessman Cammie Harris, are also listed as minority owners of the Carolina Panthers, which went up for sale this month after owner Jerry Richardson faced workplace misconduct allegations.
Before the real estate panel, Johno Harris declined to comment about the Panthers’ situation. Charlotte businessman Felix Sabates has said unnamed minority owners are part of a group that is looking to bid for the Panthers.