In knowing that plans are put in place by a local government many years in advance, and individual plans that are submitted for entitlement are often years before groundbreaking, infrastructure is unfortunately put into place (constructed) haphazardly compared to the vision of buildout. It’s understandable, there is a substantial cost factor.

We recently reviewed the feasibility of acquiring a parcel for an office project located several hundred yards midway between two significant office complexes. One project connected their water, sewer and gas from the north, the other drew their utilities from the south. Both developments were connected by a heavily traveled road, and one would fairly assume that at the least, water and sewer would have a main line in conjunction with the road for current and future development. This is after all within a City Specific Plan and energetically marketed for growth.

Fortunately, our discovery or due diligence is approached proactively. With the water and sewer connections poised to bust the bank account, the fact that gas lines were only extended to the two complexes to meet their needs, we had a real problem in servicing our development should we push forward, as it wasn’t feasible to connect from anywhere near those locations. Our “Roadmap to Investing in Land” post would suggest this location was a winner due to a specific plan and well-planned transportation corridors, however the lack of available infrastructure anywhere within a reasonable proximately meant that it would take a substantially larger project then ours to absorb the costs. Next location!

If you are planning a “build” make sure you know as much as possible about the infrastructure in the area. Knowledge is powerful, assumptions are costly. Being pro-active is the way to go. Undoubtedly there will be information discovered well into a project, however there is a check list often used during the pre-application phase that can wisely be utilized prior to pre-application.