So, you’ve picked your site and your team members, what next? Now is the time for due diligence in order to control cost and risk. Many of the things that need to occur are as follows:
- Conduct market research. What does the market want in terms of types of units, and mix? Determine if there is adequate market depth.
- Perform preliminary design that meets programmatic and market needs.
- Develop a budget and a detailed pro forma to understand if the project makes sense. Consider adjusting project parameters if it doesn’t. Stress test it, as any budget at this point will be approximate.
- Take your preliminary drawings, including site plan, to the local jurisdictions to see if there are any issues that could impact development.
- Conduct an ALTA survey with topographic information to understand exactly what you have, and to get information on easements and other items that could impact development.
- Conduct geotechnical testing to determine if the soils are adequate for economical development.
- Perform preliminary title work to determine if there are any glaring issues.
- If there are concerns, consider environmental testing.
Though much of this takes time, none of it is expensive, and they are the first steps in controlling risks and assuring a successful development.
Peter Douglas, P.E.
The Douglas Company
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