What are the Best Tips for Site Acquisition?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 April 2020
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Site acquisition is one of the most important steps in preparing for the construction or development of some type of real estate project. There are several factors that must be considered as part of the process, including location, zoning laws, land surveys, and the cost of both purchasing the property and preparing it for the intended purpose. This means that the process of site acquisition often begins even before an actual site has been identified.

Any site acquisition project begins with defining what type of characteristics the real estate must possess in order to be a good candidate for the project’s purpose. For example, a site that is located near residential communities but still zoned as commercial would likely be viable for a shopping mall. Assuming that the location in question could be leveled to allow for the construction and that access to the area includes roadways that can accommodate a large amount of traffic, investors may consider the site worth investigating further. At this juncture, the goal is to identify sites that meet the basic qualifications for the project, then to move on in choosing from those available sites based on the benefits associated with each one.


As the process of site acquisition continues, working with local municipalities to determine the zoning and building regulations that apply to each of the proposed sites is very important. The idea is to make sure the plans for the construction are in compliance with those local regulations, or that the municipality is willing to grant an exception or make some changes in the zoning to accommodate the project. If the project does not fall within the scope of the regulations and the municipality is not willing to compromise in some manner, then other sites must be considered.

Once it is determined that a given site does meet the standards for the project and local officials are amenable to the construction, the next phase of site acquisition is to approach the current owner of the property. Here, the process focuses on offering the owner a figure that is within the range of the current market value of the property. Assuming the owner is willing to consider selling the property, the two parties can negotiate the price and terms, eventually arriving at a figure that is agreeable to all concerned.

As soon as the sale is complete, the new owners can complete the site acquisition process by securing the proper building permits to begin construction. Depending on local laws, obtaining the permits may require little in the way of time or effort, or it may require appearing before a local board to submit a request that must be reviewed and approved before the permit is granted. By investigating these factors before approaching the owner and purchasing the property, this phase of the site acquisition is typically much less complicated and time-consuming. Once the permits are in hand, the new owners can move forward with developing the land, launching the construction, and eventually earning some type of return for their efforts.


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