HB2 crashing interest in North Carolina expansions, JLL executive says

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Commercial inquiries about relocating to North Carolina have come to a “screeching halt,” according to Chris Schaaf, executive vice president of JLL, the large real estate brokerage company. Speaking at a real estate conference in Charlotte of more than 200 people, Schaaf said inquiries from out-of-state companies looking at relocating or expanding in North Carolina have declined 90% from a year ago.

More important than previous announcements by PayPal and other companies to cancel or postpone investments are the dozens of companies that have quietly decided to not even consider the state, a number that JLL is trying to track, Schaaf said. He cited past investments by Dimensional Fund Advisors adding a $100 million center in Charlotte and Sealed Air Corp.’s headquarters relocation to Charlotte from New Jersey as examples of the types of deals that are no longer likely to occur in North Carolina because of HB2.

Crescent Communities is adding a 200,000-square-foot industrial building near the South Carolina-North Carolina state line near Charlotte. “People tell us the one thing you have going for you is that you are in South Carolina and there is no HB2,” said Brian Leary, director of commercial and mixed-use for Charlotte-based Crescent.

Chicago-based JLL, or Jones Lang Lasalle, employs more than 58,000 people at 230 offices globally.

Schaaf and Leary were among the speakers at the conference sponsored by France Media Inc.

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