much like a study paper, which fails to address the problems of implementation. The Board is particularly critical of the use of a system of location categories, which while having the same nomen clature as the standard A-B-C system adopted by realty brokers throughout the world, has completely different definitions. A further difficulty that the Board foresees is that insufficient emphasis has been placed on colla boration between national government, municipal corporations and industry. Businesses will only be prepared to invest if they are confident that the necessary improvements to the infrastructure will be forthcoming. For instance, doubts have already been expressed about the speed with which public transportation systems will be upgraded. For their part, the municipal corporations are known to be reluctant to make firm commitments without having received financial guarantees from national government. The fact that business needs have not been assessed before developing a policy on business locations is also seen as a serious shortcoming. The Board is of the opinion that demand for Category B locations - which could have access to the highway network and hence will not be wholly dependent on public transportation systems - will be extremely strong. Firms in the commercial services sector can be expected to have a marked preference for such sites. The requirement to have good access both by public transportation systems and by road is particularly important in the Dutch context because of the geographical spread in business locations. This is far less of an issue in leading business centers abroad because companies tend to be concentrated in specific areas. One aspect of the government’s plan to restrict automobile use, which has already come in for heavy criticism from certain sectors of the realty industry, concerns the new guidelines on parking. The NEPR.OM organization, which represents the majority of property developers in the Netherlands, has let it be known that it considers the new parking ratio introduced by the government - which specifies a limit of one parking space for every 250 square meters of gross floor area - to be far too strict. This view is backed up by the experience gained to date in those cities where the new standards are already in force. NEPROM forecasts that the new guidelines on parking will lead to a dramatic fall in new construction as investors see the viability of development projects being undermined. The Board of FGH BANK is aware of the difficulties the new parking standards are causing and feels that the parking issue should have only been addressed after public transportation facilities had been substantially improved. The importance that the government attaches to environmental matters is clear from its attempts to restrict automobile use for travel to and from work. Whilst the Board feels that such sentiments should be applauded, it has a number of reservations about the impact of general environmental policy on the realty market. In the fight of the Dutch Supreme Court’s failure to apply the principle of “the polluter pays” in all but one recent case, property owners and land owners are unsure as to the extent of their legal obligations in respect of soil pollution and clean-up measures. The worry is that the government might now attempt to recover the costs of such operations by other means. It is essential that the government clarifies its position on such matters in the near future. In reviewing the near-term outlook for the commercial realty market in the Netherlands, it is necessary to discuss the various sectors individual ly. In the office sector, the worrying oversupply of space at what in standard real estate terminology would be referred to as B and C locations is tending REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

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Annual Reports FGH Bank | 1990 | | pagina 12