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Beyond Location, Location, Location

BSite Selection involves much more than where. Today we were thinking about some of the factors that go into site selection and what you should consider – especially if you’re not using the services of a broker.

Cost – Obviously!

  • Cost of land, cost of site improvements, cost of relocation, cost (including time involved) of entitlements (the dreaded approval process)
  • Demolition of existing structures above and below ground including any associated environmental concerns such as asbestos abatement or soil remediation
  • Economic incentives that may be available from local business development organizations weighed against current and future taxes

Soil Characteristics

  • Soil strength and stability – would special foundations be required or the building weight (and therefore height) be limited?
  • Groundwater levels – with regard to any underground structure such as basements as well as flood plain issues that would affect permitting, financing or insurance
  • Topography – do the contours lend themselves to the desired structure(s) including parking, pedestrian walkways and site drainage?

Zoning and Codes

  • Understand restrictions with regard to business type, building size, building height, setbacks (distances from edge of building to lot line), and parking (including any required screening)
  • Development covenants may also control building finishes, landscaping, and signage


  • Existing roads and utilities vs to-be-built – how reliable are the scheduled dates of completion?
  • Telecom – connectivity and speed – so that your business needs are met now and in the future

Getting back to Where – Location

  • Visibility from critical directions of travel
  • Easy, multidirectional access from main thoroughfares for employees and customers including airport access where applicable
  • Access to warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution for products
  • Proximity to customers, competitors, vendors and qualified employees
  • Quality of life amenities – good schools, affordable housing, low crime rates, live music, college sports, corner taco stands – whatever trips your trigger

Architectural and engineering firms will often provide preliminary site test services for a low fee so you can find out whether your project intentions are feasible before you buy. Our clients often have us look at several sites before they select the one that’s best. As always, we feel that time spent up front, planning and checking, is rewarded later with project and business success.

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