When deciding between buying an existing property or building a
new space for your business, the first questions you need to ask
are about timing. While anticipating the timeframes may sound like
common sense, even seasoned buyers and builders can get caught off
guard by the process and timelines involved in purchasing and
developing property in a new location. Here are a few questions to
consider so your next project stays on time and on budget.
How Long are You Prepared to Research a Building Before
If you have your eye on an existing building, consider the
amount of time you will want to "kick the tires" of your
new space and the extent of the due diligence you will want to
conduct before entering into any negotiations or agreements with
the seller. The more you know about a property, the more
comfortable you will be with negotiating the deal. Be sure to give
yourself (and your lawyer) ample time to complete any searches,
inspections or other inquiries you will need to feel confident on
What are the Local Timelines for Commercial Development?
Similarly, if you are looking to redevelop a property or build
new, do your research and understand the various stages and
timelines involved in designing, receiving development and building
approval for, and constructing a commercial development in your
area. Different municipalities will have different processing times
for permits and approvals. Different building sites – even
within the same area – can present remarkably different and
unexpected challenges. Don't assume the timeframes you used on
your last project will work for your current one. And, as with any
construction project, remember that flexibility is vital. Know what
your timeframes should be, but always build in a buffer to be able
to take those inevitable hiccups and holdups in stride.
Will you be Complying with the Current Land Use
Finally, whether you are buying or building, be sure to consider
whether your proposed use for the land will comply with the current
land use designation in your municipality. If it doesn't, be
aware that the timeframes for these approvals can range from a few
months to over a year. Address this issue early and have a
Guide to Timing the Purchase or Development of Commercial
Property in Calgary
The following infographic sets out some of the approximate
timeframes associated with various stages of buying and/or building
a property in Calgary. Some of the stages listed below will be
concurrent or may not be required, and again, because all projects
are unique, these timeframes will vary depending on a number of
site, deal-specific and administrative factors and are provided
only as rough guide and are subject to change. As always, your best
bet is to talk to your lawyer when considering buying or building
your new space and work together to ensure your concerns are
addressed and goals are met.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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