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3 Insights to Site Selection

07 February 2020
3 Insights to Site Selection

Site selection is one of the first steps in real estate development. Within the process of site selection, a potential site will be presented to a developer, when it becomes available. Developers will then vet the site to see if the property is a viable future building site, and if so, what type of building is suitable for the area. For example, an office building may be more suitable for a business zone, such as Chicago’s Loop.

This process depends on a variety of factors. It is lengthy but necessary in order to have a successful project. Here we’ll provide you with some insight into what goes into this process.

Site Evaluation

Site evaluation must precede construction site selection. This process involves a thorough assessment of the unique details of the site. Without a site evaluation, a developer will not have a comprehensive view of a site’s strengths and weaknesses.

A few factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • Location – proximity to transportation, school districts, grocery stores, etc.
  • Zoning – may determine potential height and building use
  • Site conditions – size and orientation

All of these factors drive the viability of the site and what may eventually be developed there. Depending on these findings, a for-sale development, rental housing, or commercial building may be developed.

Zoning & Community Factors

Zoning and Community Factors

Zoning is a process that helps the government regulate organized development and land use. These regulations provide restrictions on building height, type, and more. The government will also set certain environmental requirements to encourage sustainable practices. For example, LEED Certifications reward buildings that meet sustainable standards.

Zoning may also consider historic restrictions or a range of neighborhood ordinances. Certain types of developments may be restricted in historic areas in order to reserve original buildings. Therefore, this will determine the type of building that will be developed.

The community also plays a significant role in real estate site selection. A developer will work with community groups to get approval on building use, design, and size. Some communities will also have affordable housing requirements, so these will be taken into account during site selection as well.

Other Factors

In addition to these factors, a few additional items will need to be addressed during construction site selection. A land and soil assessment must be done to ensure the soil can support the size and depth of a potential development.

Labor availability is also a must. A commercial development requires a full staff of laborers, and if people are not willing to commute to the site, you will run into a labor shortage. Be sure to check for labor availability before making a final decision on building type.

Focus Site Selection Practices

Focus is dedicated to tackling steep barriers to create innovative and creative developments. We don’t shy away from strict zoning and approval processes and are dedicated to working with the community to have the best possible impact. Reach out today to learn more about partnering with us on your next real estate development project.

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