Real estate trade group urges N.C. legislators to pass HB2 compromise bill

A prominent real estate and development industry group threw their weight behind a proposed bill to repeal House Bill 2 on Thursday, even as advocates on the left and right decried the measure.

The repeal bill, House Bill 142, passed Thursday in the legislature. N.C. General Assembly leaders Phil Berger and Tim Moore, along with Gov. Roy Cooper, pushed for the bill’s passage.

NAIOP North Carolina, which represents developers and brokers in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and the Triad, said the bill under discussion “allows our state to recover from the economic damage suffered over the past year.”

In a statement, the group warned that the surge of office and industrial space that will be completed soon in major cities won’t be filled if HB2 isn’t repealed.

“Since the passage of HB2 last March, North Carolina and its commercial real estate industry has suffered millions in lost revenue from taxes, leases and fees, as dozens of economic development prospects have passed over our state because of this law,” the group said. They’re having their annual meeting Thursday in Pinehurst, with many members keeping a close eye on Raleigh. “The office and industrial sectors have been most strongly hit, and with millions of square feet coming on line over the next few quarters, net absorption will be insufficient to keep up with deliveries in Charlotte, the Triangle and the Triad.”

But groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU are against the bill because of prohibitions against new local nondiscrimination ordinances until 2020, while groups on the right such as the Civitas Institute are against the bill because of what they say are “extortionist tactics” from HB2 opponents.