Commercial real estate and the regulatory balancing act

The Carefree Industrial Park in Independence, Mo., is just one of three LS Commercial business parks that are doing solid business in the Kansas City area.

Paul Licausi, president of Overland Park, Kan.-based LS Commercial, is happy with what he’s seeing from the economy both locally and nationally. Things are going well for his company, too. LS Commercial boasts three business parks in the Kansas City area that are home to some of the strongest tenants in the region.

But like all commercial real estate pros, Licausi sees room for improvement. He sees the potential for an even stronger economic recovery.

And what would help? Relief from government regulations.

“Too harsh of a regulatory environment stifles growth,” Licausi said. “Heavy-handed regulations stop economic growth. And today, we need to see growth continue. With more growth, you’d see an even stronger economic recovery.”

Of course, Licausi understands the need for what he calls reasonable regulation. We all saw what too little regulation led to: It sent the nation’s economy into a freefall.

Licausi isn’t arguing for no regulations on the business world. He’s not naive. But he is arguing for regulations that accomplish two things: protect the consumer and allow businesses to grow.

“The right amount of regulation can be a real driver, can give the economy a real push,” Licausi said.

Licausi is far from alone. Commercial real estate professionals across the Midwest are eager to see a stronger recovery. They’re ready to see the boost in commercial real estate activity in Midwest markets kick up a notch.

And one way to help this happen? As the commercial pros I speak with regularly tell me, we need government regulations that aren’t designed to stifle growth.

It’s easy to assume that businesses are eager for no government regulations at all. But that’s a simplistic view. The commercial real estate professionals that I interview call for a far more nuanced approach. And it’s an approach that makes sense.

Dan Rafter

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