Action Alerts

Urgent:  Please Contact Congressman Dave Brat

As you may know, the Congressional Tax Reform Plan proposes to eliminate the federal historic tax credit.  Repeal of this credit could have a serious impact on the Richmond area’s economy and its commercial development industry.  Congressman Dave Brat is the only Republican member of Congress who represents this area and is therefore the Congressman who is most likely able to influence the debate in the House of Representatives on this issue.  I urge you to contact Congressman Brat and let him know that is important for him to fight to preserve the historic tax credit.  To do so, click on this link and enter your home zip code.  If Congressman Brat represents you, the site will then take you to a contact page where you can submit an email.  If your home address zip code is not in his District, try your work zip code. Below is the text of a message you can cut and paste and edit as you see fit in the comment box.  Thanks for your help on this important matter.  Time is of the essence because the bill is being debated in committee now.

Dear Congressman Brat:  I am writing as a constituent who is deeply concerned that the tax reform bill before the House Ways and Means Committee proposes to eliminate the federal Historic Tax Credit.  This proposed legislation will have a devastating effect on the Richmond area.  A “pro-growth” tax policy for over 30 years, the Historic Tax Credit not only attracts private capital for the revitalization of our community’s historic assets, but it also stimulates job creation and generates more revenue for the Treasury than it costs. 

While the proposed bill is intended to stimulate economic growth, the elimination of the Historic Tax Credit will create the opposite. The credit has a proven track record and should be retained.  In the Richmond MSA alone Historic Tax Credits have leveraged during the past twenty years over $2 billion in private investment and supported over 17,000 jobs.  Research has shown that redevelopment of these historic properties simply could not have gotten done because they would have not qualified for financing without the Historic Tax Credit.  Please do all you can to make sure that the federal Historic Tax Credit is retained as part of the tax reform legislation. 


Virginia General Assembly

When the General Assembly is in Session, GRACRE will monitor legislative items pertaining to our industry.

Here is where you will find all bills posted in complete form:

Our Lobbyists

The Vectre Corporation

The Vectre Corporation was founded in 1989 by H. Benson Dendy III, a former senior staff member to two Virginia Governors. Today, he is part of a team of seven government affairs professionals including longtime policy advisor Philip F. Abraham, as well as Richard K. Grossman, Christopher J. Whyte, Angela I. Bezik, and Petrina L. Jones. Corporations, associations, local governments, and individuals looking to increase their effectiveness within the public sector, rely on The Vectre Corporation to oversee their projects and achieve their objectives.

Visit to learn more.


It was a seismic election in Virginia. As was predicted by most public polling, the Democrats won all three statewide offices. As of the time of this post, Governor-Elect Ralph Northam received 54.18%, Lt. Governor-Elect Fairfax received 52.39%, and Attorney General Herring received 53.45%. While turnout was higher than average throughout most of Virginia, the turnout in the populated areas of Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads went strongly for the three Democratic candidates. 

In addition to the Democratic ticket winning all three statewide offices, the Democrats also made significant gains in the House of Delegates and as of the time of this post are very close to gaining an outright majority to take control of the House of Delegates for the first time since 2000. Four races are likely to go to recount, but if the results hold as reported, the Democrats would pick up 16 seats and there would be a 50-50 tie in the House of Delegates.  At present, the Democrats have clearly won fifteen seats, which are as follows:

  • HOD 02 – Jennifer Foy (D) vs. Mike Makee (R) (Replacing retiring Delegate Mark Dudenhefer)
  • HOD 10 – Wendy Gooditis (D) vs. Delegate Randy Minchew 
  • HOD 12 – Christopher Hurst (D) vs. Delegate Joe Yost
  • HOD 13 – Danica Roem (D) vs. Delegate Bob Marshall (R)
  • HOD 21 – Kelly Fowler (D) vs. Delegate Ron Villanueva (R)
  • HOD  31– Elizabeth Guzman (D) vs. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (R)
  • HOD 32 – David Reid (D) vs. Delegate Tag Greason (R)
  • HOD 42 – Kathy Tran (D) vs. Lolita Mancheno-Smoak (Replacing retiring Delegate Dave Albo)
  • HOD 50 – Lee Carter (D) vs. Delegate Jackson Miller (R)
  • HOD 51 – Hala Ayala (D) vs. Delegate Rich Anderson (R)
  • HOD 67 – Karrie Delaney (D) vs. Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R)
  • HOD 68 – Dawn Adams (D) vs. Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R)
  • HOD 72 – Schuyler VanValkenburg (D) vs. Eddie Whitlock (R) (Replacing retiring Delegate Jimmie Massie)
  • HOD 72 – Debra Rodman (D) vs. Delegate John O’Bannon (R)
  • HOD 85 – Cheryl Turpin (D) vs. Delegate Rocky Holcomb (R)

The four contests which will likely head to a recount are:

  • Delegate David Yancey (R) vs. Shelly Simonds (D) (Yancey +12)
  • Delegate Roxanne Robinson (R) vs. Larry Barnett (D) (Robinson +124)
  • Delegate Tim Hugo (R) vs. Donte Tanner (D) (Tanner +68)
  • Bob Thomas (R) vs. Joshua Cole (D) (Thomas +86)

Each locality will conduct a canvass tomorrow (November 9th) to verify the reported results after which a candidate can request a recount if the results are within one percent.


VACRE’s lobbyists in Richmond represented VACRE during the last thirty days on the following matters that are of interest to its members in the commercial and industrial development industries:

Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB):

  • VACRE monitored and reported on the endorsement by the CTB of a report to the Virginia General Assembly on the dollar amounts needed and potential sources of new sustainable revenue to address the public transit “fiscal cliff” facing Virginia in 2021. The state funding contribution of $110 million annually to localities for public transit capital needs (excluding Metro) has been paid in recent years through bond sales. That bond authority begins to phase out in 2018 and expires in 2021. Recordation tax increases and grantor tax increases statewide and regional are among the possible funding sources identified in this report which will be presented in final form to the General Assembly in August 2017.

  • VACRE monitored and reported on a CTB briefing on new VDOT requirements for “access management” applicable to new development seeking installation of traffic signals along certain “Corridors of Statewide Significance” (COSS). The new requirements include CTB approval of new traffic signals in certain specified  COSS to seek to avoid degradation of the traffic flows on those major highways in the state, particularly those four-lane divided highways in Virginia that meet the needs served by interstate highways in rural parts of Virginia (e.g. Routes 360, 460 and 29).

Department of Environmental Quality:

  • VACRE is being represented by its Legislative Counsel on DEQ Stakeholders Advisory Panel formed as directed by 2017 legislation to address regulation of development activities in rural areas of Eastern Virginia that are governed by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

  • VACRE monitored the deliberations and recommendations of the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Advisory Committee. This advisory committee will make recommendations to the Department of environmental Quality on the best ways to manage and regulate the authorized permitted and unpermitted uses of groundwater (well water) in Eastern Virginia. This includes recommendations that new wells not be allowed to be installed in any of the aquifers of Eastern Virginia that are for the purpose of landscaping irrigation at any residence or any office, retail and or office development.

Virginia Code Commission: 

  • VACRE’s Legislative Counsel is serving on a Work Group formed by the Code Commission to recodify Title 55 of the Code of Virginia which relates to property. VACRE’s monitoring of this effort is focusing on the recodification of Virginia law governing the conveyance of commercial real estate.

Commercial Development PAC

The Commercial Development PAC (“CDPAC”) was formed by members of the Virginia Association for Commercial Real Estate (VACRE) to support candidates for statewide office and the Virginia General Assembly who are supportive of the commercial real estate industry in Virginia. Candidates receiving contributions from the CDPAC are typically pro-growth and are supportive of the state’s economic development, establishment of a first-class educational system and an improved transportation network for Virginia . In 2003, 24 of the 26 candidates that received contributions from the CDPAC were elected to the General Assembly. The two candidates who were defeated were incumbents who lost to challengers that were openly anti-growth.

The CDPAC works to educate incumbents and challengers for office on matters pending before the Virginia General Assembly and the Executive Branch of Virginia State Government that are of importance to the commercial real estate industry. These issues include opposition to anti-growth legislation, such as adequate public facilities (APF) proposals (that could be used to unreasonably restrict growth in Virginia and damage property rights), new local government impact fees (which could place an unreasonable tax burden on the industry), burdensome new environmental regulations or unreasonable increases in environmental permit fee. The CDPAC also supports new investment in Virginia’s transportation system and its public schools, colleges and universities. A major focus of the CDPAC in coming months will be to support candidates who recognize the need for new, dedicated funding sources for Virginia’s transportation system which has not seen a new source of revenue since 1986.

Industry Links

Associations / Organizations

Better Housing Coalition:

Central Business District Association:

Commercial Real Estate Council (TAR):

International Council of Shopping Center:

National Association of Industrial & Office Properties:

Society of Industrial & Office Realtors:

Virginia Association of Realtors:

Virginia Chamber of Commerce:

Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate:

Virginia CCIM Chapter:

Virginia NAIOP:

CoStar Group:

Economic Development Resources

Virginia Economic Developers Association:

Virginia Economic Development Partnership:

DEQ-Brownfields Land Renewal:

Commonwealth Transportation Alliance:

Greater Richmond Partnership:

International Economic Development Council:

Southern Economic Development Council:

Virginia Chamber of Commerce:

Virginia Department of Business Assistance:

Commonwealth Transportation Alliance:

International Economic Development Council:

Southern Economic Development Council:

Virginia Chamber of Commerce:

Virginia Department of Business Assistance:

Virginia Energy Choice:

Virginia General Assembly: