In a general market site-selection analysis, I have defined my client’s objectives, reviewed the general market’s economic conditions, and even may have determined if any gaps exist. If no opportunities are available now or in the foreseeable future for site A, we move to another market area and another site (site B). If we determine opportunities are available for site B, the process narrows to a more specific location and site analysis.
Location and site analyses are related but distinct. This relationship can be stated in two ways:
- Each site has its own unique location.
- Many sites exist within a general location.
Location and site analysis are very similar and often intertwined. Location analysis examines the general area around a site or a general sub-market area that contains multiple sites sharing the same general characteristics (such as zoning, demographics, or accessibility). Site analysis covers characteristics specific to the site itself.
Some functional components of location analysis include linkages, which measure how the location functions and how it interacts and connects with the rest of the sub-market or market. Some common linkages for multi-residential include transportation network, employment centres, retail centres, municipal services, educational facilities, recreational facilities, health services, cultural amenities, places of worship, and neighbouring uses.
Demographic/economic factors commonly evaluated for apartments include population, households, employment, income, real estate prices, and housing rates.
Physical Site Analysis
Typical physical site features can include the following factors:
- Site size and shape
- Site type and orientation
- Topography (contour, slopes, grade, and elevation relative to streets)
- Soil, bedrock, and drainage conditions
- Externalities, positive and negative
- Scenic view and aesthetics
Physical Attributes of the Structure
Typical physical attributes of an apartment building include the following factors.
- Size and type of the apartment units
- Design and type of the apartment units
- Size of the apartment building
- Design of the apartment building
- Style of the building and its appearance
- Age and condition of the structures and the units
- Environmental hazards
Some physical amenities placed in either the building and/or the apartment project can include the following:
- Recreational facilities (e.g., swimming pool, tennis courts, putting green, play area, volleyball court, and basketball court)
- Tenant-support facilities (e.g., elevators, covered entry, laundry room, separate and secure storage areas, and a vending machine area)
- Security equipment and measures (e.g., security lights in the parking lots, electronic surveillance systems, gatehouses, key-controlled entry systems to the complex and to the building, intercom systems between the lobby and the units, dead-bolt door locks, and burglar proof window latches)
The apartment building can have a different architectural style with unique elevations and aesthetic appeal.
The apartment building can have a different age and condition profile; it can have a different quality level.
Finally, the apartment units and the building can have environment hazards present in the exterior and interior material. These hazards are asbestos, leadbased paint, urea-formaldehyde, among others.
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