Envision the following scenario.You’re in the process of selecting a new location for your retail business. Your broker has just shown you a site on a prime corner. Your instincts are telling you, “This is the property!”
Not only are the area’s demographics a great match with your target market, but the site is near several successful businesses with high foot traffic, and the property’s lease rate (or land price) is extremely attractive. You’re tempted to have your broker write a lease or purchase agreement.
Before you take this leap, it is critical you take a step back and answer some important questions. With a career focused on project feasibility, I have assisted owners in developing millions of square feet across four continents. Here are the five questions I recommend asking for every project:
- Does the site have underlying property claims?
- Entities that predate statehood |Most owners and developers understand the need to investigate any rights and land ownerships granted to First Nations or Native Americans. Less commonly understood are rights granted to entities that predate statehood and may impact development rights. Overlying claims on a parcel may include those of agrarian districts, utilities or railroads. Ownership interests in water rights or mineral rights may also prohibit development.
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