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5 Mistakes to Avoid in Site Selection

Every great development project starts with one thing: the right location.

A project may have incredible design and efficient elements, but in order for those elements to come to fruition and help a business be successful, they need to be supported by great site selection.

An inadequate site not only inflates development costs, but could also affect the future expansion of the property, and the growth of the business.

Let’s look at 5 mistakes to avoid when making that all important site selection.

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Unbalanced or inappropriate criteria

It may often become easy to favor certain characteristics or variables, which can easily skew the site selection process. Each location will present a host of tradeoffs, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses. Knowing which issues will most contribute to the project’s ultimate success is critical to uncovering the best location for your company.

Factors such as project cost, population, income, and overall customer demographics may weigh heavily in some site selection processes. However, aspects such as labor costs, real estate conditions, taxes, logistics, and more should be weighed or factored proportionately.

 

Taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach

Development projects should be well planned out but structured as conceptual frameworks that are flexible in order to meet ever-varying requirements. Every site is different. Every market is different. Every municipality is different.

Making assumptions that a standard model can be dropped down on any site can lead to headaches down the road. Taking a more individualized approach can help minimize redesigns and change orders, which can end up being costly add-ons for your project.

 

Improper site due diligence

Thorough due diligence is one of the most important tenets of a successful commercial real estate deal. It’s paramount to address and measure site issues from environmental risk to insufficient infrastructure to geographically variable construction costs.

Failure to address site issues early on can result in, among many others:

  • Improperly valuing the property

  • Saddling the buyer with liabilities

  • Increased construction costs

Failure to recognize potential incentives

Development incentives can be hugely important in overall cost and the final decision.

Incentives vary in a number of ways, from commercial development grants to property tax abatements and are unique from city to city and state to state.

Through a careful site selection process, companies can take advantage of these incentives. The site selection team should maintain a consistent emphasis on both short and long-term programs that will benefit the operation in material and measurable ways.

 

Influenced by short-term trends

Certain events or market conditions create short-term opportunities for some companies; however, you have to carefully evaluate the cause of those conditions to understand if there are any long-term issues. Some immediate conditions may lead to longer-term problems such as excessive operating costs or unfavorable business climate.


While every project, site, market, and client is different, site selection is universal. Site selection is the foundation of any good build to suit project. The value of a tireless, strategic approach means avoiding the mistakes and getting your commercial real estate development process on a path to success.

Tags: Site Selection Commercial Real Estate Development Process

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