Assistant vice president of development for United Properties
As a development manager for Bloomington-based United Properties, Brandon Champeau leads teams in land acquisition, municipal approvals, design/construction and development of commercial properties. He also leases or sells the projects upon completion. The Green Bay, Wis., native was recently named chairman of the public policy committee for NAIOP Minnesota, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. Champeau, 32, will lead NAIOP's legislative affairs group into the 2014 legislative session.
Q: What developments are you working on?
A: We're going to be constructing a new headquarters building for the National Marrow Donor Program in downtown Minneapolis. We're evaluating the purchase of the Days Hotel property on the University of Minnesota campus. This will be the first hotel purchase our company has ever made, but it's an exciting piece of property with a lot of redevelopment potential. We're looking to buy the building, run the hotel for a short period of time, and hopefully do a big project there. We're also gearing up on the industrial side and will be pretty busy over the next few years.
Q: What's the purpose of NAIOP's public policy committee?
A: To advocate on behalf of our members and the tenants and businesses in our buildings and make our policymakers aware of things that they're doing or not doing that are making it more difficult or expensive for businesses to run in our state.
Q: What are committee goals for 2014?
Goal one is making sure we're staying on the front lines of the property tax issue. Goal two is bringing to light the economic activity that a development project brings to a community. When a city announces a project, they might say XYZ Co. will bring 100 jobs. What you don't read about is that the new project will have three developers, 10 lawyers, four bankers, 10 architects, 150 laborers, etc. There are so many people affected by one real estate project, and it's important for our policymakers to understand that when they make it easier for us to get business done, it has a very positive effect on much more than just that immediate project or area.
Q: Starting April 1, 2014, business-related warehousing and storage services will be taxable in Minnesota. What are priorities for the 2014 legislative session?
A: Making sure we keep the cost of doing business competitive. This warehouse tax that was passed at the end of last year's session, it was a very dangerous precedent to set in our state, because it has a lot of our logistics companies looking elsewhere and starting to come up with Plan Bs — whether that means relocating out of Minnesota or taking Minnesota off the map as a potential expansion state.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.