Real Estate Journal — Shopping Centers — August 29 - September 11, 2014 — 13C


M id A tlantic

S hopping C enters By Timothy Brennan & J. Michael Davis, Nave Newell 5 things you can’t afford to miss during due diligence


he search for available retail sites in the Phil- adelphia Region can be

engineer perform a conceptual grading analysis to get an idea of material import/export. Try and de- termine the likelihood of shallow bed- rock. Ask for an ADA as- sessment to identify im- provements n e e d e d f o r parking and accessible route compliance. 5. Get municipal feedback – It’s never too early to get preliminary feedback. Have

your engineer or planner set up an informal meeting with municipal staff to determine hot button issues. Ask if there’s a process for waiving or abridg- ing the municipal entitlement process. Getting buy-in early can help reduce review time and opposition. Taking each of these items into consideration during due diligence will guide the devel- opment of a successful sketch plan and budget. Is your sketch plan build- able, economical and prac- tical? continued on page 31C

frustrating. Inventory is s h r i nk i ng , leaving re- development opportunities with unique site challeng- es. Most in- fill sites pose

Tim Brennan J. Michael Davis

typical issues like limited access and tight constraints. What youmust be aware of are the not–so-obvious issues that cause unpleasant surprises and lead to schedule delays and increased cost. More often than not, a quick and dirty due diligence evalua- tion is performed prior to final- izing the deal, to determine if your prototype can fit on the site and meet local ordinances. Years ago this may have been a safe bet, but it just isn’t enough anymore. While it is nearly impossible to anticipate every issue, you can take a few extra steps to minimize your risk and understand the very real cost implications. Here are the 5 things you can’t afford to miss during due diligence: 1. Existing easements/ encumbrances – Perform an ALTA Survey to identify hid- den easements, rights-of-way or encumbrances that may af- fect the value and future use of the property. 2. Availability of utilities and potential conflicts – Go beyond what’s visible at a site visit. Get detailed information from utility companies includ- ing the type of structures, size, locations and the capac- ity to serve the intended use. Identify potential long-lead relocation agreements with providers. Perform a concep- tual Traffic Study to determine circulation and access, and identify the potential for off- site roadway improvements. 3. Stormwater approach – Develop a conceptual de- sign approach that can meet NPDES and municipal storm- water requirements. Try and determine the drainage dis- charge area, if the site is likely to infiltrate and the opportunity for low impact retrofits like rain gardens and removal of excess impervious surface. A sound sketch plan incorporates these items from the start. 4. Grading – Have your


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