|Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT VS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPER||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Norm Gauss (normangauss11comcast.net)|
|Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 16:46:40 -0700 (PDT)|
At the time I joined our cohousing project it was in the planning stages. We had started with the services of a consultant and had bought the land, hired a building architect, a landscape architect, and a site engineering firm. We later decided against retaining the consultant and moved forward on our own. After joining, I became interested in the development process and read a book entitled: Real Estate Development : Principles and Process by Mike E. Miles, Gayle Berens, Marc A. Weiss, Urban Land Institute The book painted the picture of a developer as a person or company who first forms a concept of a development much as an artist might form an idea of a painting. If the developer's company is large enough, he might have a planning staff that starts turning the concept into various proposals portrayed as pictorial drawings. Here landscape architects and building architects may be brought in as part of the planning process. An engineering firm is retained to prepare an environmental impact report and to perform surveys and soil tests and make estimates of costs for foundations and utility and drainage lines. Then the developer must persuade government authorities, primarily planning departments, to issue building permits. A market research study is desirable so that a realistic budget can be constructed that reflects the marketability of the completed project. The preliminary budget will guide planners so that the architects ideas are more likely achievable within the budget. Once permits are obtained and a conceptual design is achieved and accepted by the developer, more detailed design drawings are prepared by the architects. The final step in the architectural process is to convert the architects building ideas into construction drawings. This is often performed by an architectural services firm. Also, site maps must be completed by the engineering firm giving specifications for foundations and showing the location of utility and drainage lines and the contour of the land. All these drawings should be checked for accuracy, usually by the developers staff, to make sure that the developers wishes have been accurately portrayed on all the drawings. That is, the landscape architect's drawings, building architect's drawings, and site engineering firm's drawings should be coordinated with each other so that there is no conflict. All this work must be paid as soon as it is completed so that it is important that ample financial resources are available. After the construction drawings are completed and the project is ready for the start of construction, a construction loan must be obtained and a general contractor chosen. In order to get a construction loan, the lender must have some assurances that the project is marketable after completion. If the working budget is too high, the project may not be salable. In such a case, it would be impossible to obtain a construction loan. After construction starts, the developer monitors progress on the project and makes frequent inspections to ensure that the buildings are going up as planned and to consult with the general contractor to make sure that the schedule is being maintained. The developer keeps track of every step of the construction process and ensures that no conflict develops between the general contractor and his subcontractors. Since time-dependent financial obligations are now accruing, the longer it takes to complete the project, the more money must be paid to the creditors (the bank, insurance companies, taxing agencies). That is why time is of the essence and delays should be minimized. This is a major concern of the developer, and skill in smoothing out the construction phase is important. All these phases require skill and experience. If any group is thinking of self-developing, a person experienced in development may be able to perform all the requirements of a professional developer. However, unless a person is active in the community in that capacity, it is unlikely that he will be able to marshal all the elements in a smooth manner such as might be expected of a development firm. In the long run, it will probably have many more headaches, take much more time, and cost more. Norm Gauss Oak Creek Commons Paso Robles, CA
- Re: SELF DEVELOPMENT VS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPER, (continued)
- RE: SELF DEVELOPMENT VS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPER Eileen McCourt, July 28 2004
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