With the multi-family market remaining red hot, CLASS reached out to Fred Beebe of  Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co to provide some insight on Site Selection Due Diligence.   Thomas and Hutton has conducted site searches, land plans, and civil engineering for 11,000 apartment units in South Carolina and Georgia for the nation’s leading multi-family developers.   Below, Fred discusses some important steps to carefully consider prior to site selection.

“The following outline is presented for the benefit of developers and investors.  This list is a professional critique of the large issues presented to a multi-family developer during site search and site development, and the detailed breakdown of each category becomes a guide to a successful project.

A.  Utilities

  • Availability (to site or mains extensions)
  • Capacities (distribution, collection, plant)
  • User Fees

B.  Transportation

  • Planned or Existing
  • Capacity
  • Access

C.  Topography & Geology

  • Environmental (Wetlands and Floodplain)
  • Sub-Surface Conditions (Water Table and Rock)
  • Hydrology (Storm Water Management)
  • Relief (Site Balancing and ADA Compliant)

D. Zoning

  • Existing or Required Conditions
  • Densities
  • Impact Fees and Code Requirements
  • Required Variances

E.  Master-Planned Communities or Stand-Alone Development

  • Restrictions
  • Benefits
  • Costs

Beginning with an initial analysis of a property, the planning and design team aims the project directly at the epicenter of the approval process, and this is where local experience and relationships with counties and municipalities becomes essential to the project.  Presenting site-specific information to the approval and permitting personnel early and with clarity, Land Disturbance Permits can be issued in an accelerated time-frame.”

If you have any questions or wish to contact Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co., please email Fred Beebe at fbeebe@mindspring.com