Let’s be real here; finding the perfect site for your commercial property is challenging. There’s no magic wand or simple answer to find what you’re looking for. But following certain steps in commercial real estate development site selection will surely get you started off on the right foot.
Let’s take a look at 5 crucial steps to finding the perfect site.
1) Know What You’re Looking For
You kind of want to know exactly what you’re looking for in order to find it. That’s why you need to establish a set of requirements when finding property. From market requirements like population and income to site requirements such as frontage, access, and visibility, knowing what you need will help you find what you want.
2) Check the Price Tag
Every piece of real estate, just like every consumable product, has some type of value. That value is determined by the overall costs and how it meets certain requirements. In conjunction with build-out and improvement costs, finding a site with the right price and the right value is imperative.
3) Figure Out If It’s Clean
Simply put, you don’t want to be stuck with a lemon. And in the search for vacant land, that means getting saddled with a property that is contaminated or physically difficult to build on because of bad dirt (and a number of other factors).
Performing site assessments such as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment or a Geotechnical study will help determine the physical viability of a site. Proper due diligence in site selection can help you avoid a mountain of added costs, legal liability, and a bitter taste in your mouth.
4) Nail Down the Needed Work
Once you’ve ticked off the boxes that a site, a) meets your requirements, b) is in the right price range, and c) is clean, the next step (or at least concurrent step) is to figure out just how much work is going to go into it.
You’ll want to know about necessary improvements such as access, setbacks, zoning, potential unexpected site work, demolition, utilities, earthwork, and more. Because fewer boxes on your site “to-do list” can mean a better development process and more success down the road.
5) Check Your Schedule
What we mean by that is, don’t just pencil in site improvements on your schedule. Whether there are a significant number of “to-dos” or not, the anticipated timeframes for those improvements should be assessed in the site selection process.
Making sure site work and delivery can meet your anticipated dates and fit your overall expansion plans is key to what works and what doesn’t.
As you prepare to expand in the growth economy, the site selection process becomes extremely important. If you want to maximize your odds of picking the best location then it’s critical to rely on experts, internal and external, and focus on taking the right steps toward the right commercial real estate development site selection.