Why Engaging in Preconstruction Services is the First Important Phase

Previously we had touched upon why bringing a 3-Phase Approach to commercial real estate development is beneficial to the overall success of a project. At SCGWest, we follow a 3-Phase solution that has been proven to reduce costs, timelines, and major pitfalls.

As mentioned in our previous post, Phase 1 of the 3-Phase Approach involves preconstruction services such as due diligence, pre-design, and pre-planning. Many readers might be wondering; what is included in this phase and why is it important? Today, we will be taking a closer look at all the work involved for Phase 1 and why it is such a crucial segment of the streamlined 3-Phase Approach.

Due Diligence

When it comes due diligence, it is not only important to understand why it is beneficial, but also to understand how it can be of benefit at later stages in the process. Due diligence is the process of performing existing site condition assessments, background research on the site and location, determination of zoning requirements and land use requirements, feasibility assessments and much more. This is an important preconstruction step whether purchasing or leasing commercial real estate.

It is best to understand the space or site before moving forward with further design work; due diligence will allow all parties involved to better understand what is possible and what is not possible within the space or site. All of the information gathered here will allow for a well-informed and well-defined program to best fit the needs of the tenant or new owner.

Preliminary Code Review and Site Plan

As more information is discovered about a site, the next step is to perform a preliminary code review and to create a site plan. A preliminary code review is important as this will dictate what is allowed and not allowed per the local jurisdiction code. For plans to be reviewed and approved by city or county plan checkers, all aspects of site plans must be up to code, or plans will face the reality of being rejected. With an understanding of what the code will allow for a given space, preliminary site and space plans can begin to take shape. As these items are worked out, programming of the space begins to take precedent.

Whether it’s retail, restaurant, medical or any other type of property, programming the space and site to fit the needs of the tenant should be worked through in this stage. Taking the time to complete this upfront can reduce time-consuming and costly changes later on. One important idea to remember is: it is easier to change plans on paper than it is to change plans during construction. Following a thorough programming of the space, a rough plan is created based upon existing conditions, what is allowed by code, and the desired program for the space. Furthermore, any special equipment that may be needed for a given space should be addressed here; with so many moving parts in the procurement of equipment, it is best to establish this in the preconstruction and Pre-Design phase.

Preliminary Budget and Schedule

While due diligence and Pre-Design are very important, it is also important to make sure the project is financially reasonable. Developing a space to fit the needs of a business can be expensive, so it is imperative that the budget and timeframe align. Preliminary budgets and schedules are exactly what they sound like; preliminary. The reliability of these estimates can range depending on the project. However, a preliminary budget and timeline will give all parties involved a realistic range of time and costs.

Much of Phase 1 entails the preconstruction work necessary to make more informed decisions on the space or site of interest. The 3-Phase approach we use at SCGWest has been a powerful tool in completing development projects under budget and in less time. Understanding all of the aspects in a commercial real estate project can be difficult for those new or looking to enter the industry. A 3-Phase Approach can help in simplifying the processes involved, but that does not take away from the intricacy of the development process. Click here to contact us today to learn more!

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