What is Your Exit Strategy?

A real estate development project is never an end in itself, but is always a means to achieve some greater outcome. The goal could be to expand the family business, to provide affordable housing, to generate a profit on invested assets, or one of a thousand other good reasons. In any case, the investment in the project is expected to provide some benefit to the investor. This benefit can be directly enjoyed (occupied), used to generate an income stream (leased), or converted to cash (sold). The term “exit strategy” refers to the manner by which an investor intends to realize[...]

The Power of Phasing

Land development projects are often constructed in sequenced phases designed to meet project needs or goals. Properly used, phasing is a very effective project management tool. In our project consulting work, we have used the concept of phasing to achieve several different purposes. Phasing is commonly used for relatively large projects that require more financial resources, or will have a longer payback period, than can be justified as a single investment or in a single investment cycle. Phasing is used in these cases to keep the financial investment and the payback period for each portion of the project relatively small. This[...]

Is This a Good Place for a School?

Recently our firm had an experience with a property being considered for development of a charter school. The property was situated on high ground with ample road frontage along a newly constructed highway, had relatively accessible utility service, and was nicely proportioned for efficient site layout. This property initially appeared to be well suited for the intended purpose. But after conducting an assessment of project-specific traffic characteristics and nearby roadway conditions, and based on subsequent discussions with DOT officials, we quickly understood that the cost of necessary roadway improvements would consume more than one-half of the project’s entire development budget.[...]

Providing Lasting Value

Recently I was asked by a friend if I love my job. I enthusiastically affirmed that I do indeed enjoy the work that I do; but more importantly, I love the results of my professional activities. I described how I am able to help people and organizations achieve their goals or to somehow further their mission, and that this is a very satisfying way to use my time, intellect, and energy. I explained to my friend that although my work generally involves development or renovation of real estate; no one does this kind of risky work for its own sake.[...]

Compliance Complexity

Every successful land development project must satisfy regulatory requirements to obtain necessary permits for construction and operation. Navigating the complex regulatory environment is a critical part of effective project management. If not executed skillfully, regulatory compliance can be a source of unnecessary risk, cost, and frustration. To reduce the potential for negative outcomes, Civil Consultants recommends that a customized regulatory analysis be performed for all potential land development projects. Regulations exist to guide land use decisions, to promote public safety and welfare, to set minimum performance and quality standards, and to protect the built and natural environments. These regulations take the[...]

Congratulations, Alan!

Retirement party for Alan Miles, after 21 years with Civil Consultants.[...]