Business View Civil and Municipal | September 2022

30 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 3, ISSUE 9 BVM: What other issues are you addressing as an organization? Hime: “Another big issue we’re dealing with involves EV charging mandates in California. We have a building codes process that happens every two years. California just finished one at the end of last year that concluded they wouldn’t put mandates on EV chargers in our existing buildings, and the rate at which they would mandate in new construction we thought was manageable. Our industry supportive of electric vehicles, we just want to do it in a common-sense, practical, fiscal manner. Our members are actually the ones going above and beyond the mandates to begin with. But we have to remind legislators that a shopping center parking lot in San Francisco may have a different demand for EV chargers than one in Bakersfield. “So taking a statewide approach for this is an issue we’re tackling and trying to remind the legislature that there’s a reason the codes process came to the decision they did with all the research, information and input that we provided. Essentially that the legislature should leave those codes and mandates up to the people who do that every day for their job.” BVM: How do you see the landscape evolving for your industry over the next three to five years? Hargrove: “Commercial real estate in California is not going anywhere. But in terms of the difficulty for being able to wend our way through a construction project or to manage an existing building, it’s going to continue to get more and more difficult. The large companies, the national companies, the very well resourced companies will be able to deal better with the regulations and the laws that we’re going to see coming down. My worry is that a lot of the smaller regional companies have been and will continue to struggle with all the regulation. It’s much harder to manage and own and make a living off of a small commercial portfolio than it used to be. “The short answer is that commercial real estate is going to survive and be fine in California. We’re going to continue to provide great facilities for you to shop at, work at, and for our goods to pass through, but the atmosphere to operate it is going to become more complicated and the more sophisticated companies are the ones that are able to thrive in California.”