M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — Fall Preview — September 17 - October 21, 2021 — 3C


R etail D evelopment

By Matthew Kelly, PLS, Nave Newell, Inc. Seeking sites for your next retail project? Here’s why you should get an ALTA Survey


n ALTA survey identi- fies any potential prob - lems that may exist on

ownership transition and docu- mentation What you should know when requesting an ALTA survey – The TABLE A TABLE A – OPTIONAL SURVEYRESPONSIBILITIES AND SPECIFICATIONS items cause the most confusion. Table A is located on sheets 9-11 of the “Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys.” These are the optional items beyond the standard instructions. The biggest favor you can do for yourself to avoid last minute surprises, is to know

• It is an absolute must to get your surveyor the title re- port BEFORE they start the fieldwork. I can tell you from experience that this always comes back to haunt both the surveyor and the client. There could be an easement or re- striction listed in the title and we would never even know it existed or have any reason to investigate it in the field. With the title report, the surveyor is able to find these items and direct the field crew to look for them. An important step to save time and money! continued on page 4C

When should I get an ALTA survey for retail property? Lenders for most commercial, industrial or large residential real estate transactions typi- cally require ALTA surveys. If not required, you should get one when: • Future development or a different use is planned • Multiple users are involved including multiple tenants and party line walls • The property is located in urbanized or growing suburban areas • There is lack of previous

your lender’s requirements. Get their Table A require- ments before you contract an ALTA survey. This is im- portant because: • The items selected in the Table A will determine the scope and fee of an ALTA sur- vey. For example, Item #5 may require full site topography and that will definitely drive up the price. • Item #20 on the Table A is open for a write-in request not covered in the Table A options. So, if there is an abnormal lender request, that’s where you will find it.

a property or in historical records . I t helps ensure the integrity of the title. If you are buy- ing or selling an existing retail proper-

Matthew Kelly

ty, or purchasing land for de- velopment, you should obtain an ALTA survey during due diligence. It’s the best time to get an accurate picture of the property and protect your investment. As a multi-state licensed Professional Land Surveyor with over 25 years of ex- perience, I’ve seen many times where a property owner doesn’t get an ALTA survey, only to find out about hidden easements or right-of-ways after settlement. These is- sues can delay a project, require additional approvals, result in the loss of tenants, or worse. ALTA surveys, more for- mally known as ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys, incorpo- rate both a title search and a land survey. They follow the standards set forth by the American Land Title Associa- tion and the National Society of Professional Surveyors and depict the surveyor’s findings on a detailed map. These standards provide a consistent expectation across the country. What can an ALTA sur- vey reveal on potential development sites? An ALTA survey typically identifies: • Property boundaries • Easements and restric - tions • Encroachments or encum - brances • Improvements • Local zoning information • Flood zone designation • Utilities • Right-of-Ways For a retail property, if you’re developing a pad site or a larger parcel, the ALTA will also alert you to: • Setback issues • Variances needed • Existing building heights • Number of regular and accessible parking spaces • Impervious surfaces and the ability to make future improvements

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