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Why You Should Hire a Professional Planner

Why You Should Hire a Professional Planner

There are many occasions in which a first meeting with a developer is spent processing the numerous reasons a plan (that was initially done by the engineers or architects) is not meeting the needs of the developer’s project vision and goals. Many developers attempt to minimize costs during the due diligence phase by having these professionals make an attempt at the initial plan. Unfortunately, skimping on this phase could be costly later or lost revenue never realized.

Land planning requires an expert that is not only creative, but also knowledgeable in governmental regulations and the science of land development. There is a major difference from the plan a civil engineer would provide and the one that a planner customizes specifically for the site and the market. An expert in land planning will know the best approaches to communicate your vision and goals for a project. These experts will be well-versed in the competition (because they research it). Land Planners will take your preferences into mind and then come up with several creative concepts that look to achieve all target goals. More importantly, they will marry the art and science of land development to help drive the project into a successful future for the community.

Not to discourage the use of multi-disciplinary firms that provide planning services, but typically their focus is on either engineering or architecture.  A firm focused only on land planning and landscape architecture, allows the entire staff to focus on a client’s project, with planning as the number one priority. At 7gen Planning, planners and landscape architects collaborate to ensure that the placemaking dividend is achieved in the layout and design elements of each project.

Here are 5 reasons why you should hire a professional planner for your project:

  1. Saves time
    A quality professional planner will save you time during the process with their focus and knowledge for your project. They will first evaluate a tract of land for its constraints and its opportunities. Once this is done, they take their artistic talent, backed by their scientific knowledge, to develop plan options and take advantage of both the opportunities and constraints, in order to achieve the client’s development goals. The combination of the analysis, design talent and scientific knowledge, and collaboration with your projects’ engineers, will bring you a design that is sustainable for development sooner than other professionals might achieve.
  2. Saves money
    Saving time saves money when it comes to land development. First, there is the due diligence phase. If the seller is getting frustrated with constant extensions, they will start demanding hard money and/or raise the sale price. So, receiving a preferred development plan faster, allows the pro forma numbers and other considerations to be run sooner. Next is the entitlement process, having received a buildable plan, your planner can speak the language of the regulating authorities’ development review team and work through any special circumstances. Using their knowledge of the regulating authorities’ codes and ordinances along with the knowledge of intent for these regulations, land planners can work through the entitlement phase more swiftly and reduce interest costs on capital investments before taking the project to market. Lastly, with a quality design for your development, that has improved your reputation and stands out from your competitor, there is greater potential for faster absorption of lots, units and/or retail areas which will shorten the time it takes to build out the project, again saving interest payments on capital.
  3. Helps you stand out from the competition
    So how has a professional planner helped you stand out from your competition? Well, if your competition is using a civil engineer for planning, then they are most likely getting the easiest layout to create engineering documents, straight and gridded. If using an architect, then some design thought will most likely go into the plan, but will typically direct focus on the architectural features of the plan. A quality professional planner will take features into consideration, but as equals to the other development goals and the sites natural characteristics, to achieve the project vision and goals. The planner will incorporate artistic design and knowledge of development science to coordinate with your project engineers and architects, ensuring buildability and opportunity for the development, thus providing you with a sustainable development for both your pocketbook and the end users.
  4. Brand consistency
    Change is inevitable. Markets shift. Something unknown is discovered on the tract of land, absorption slows down or better, it’s faster than anticipated, or any number of other items. By having a professional planner on the team, designing the project from inception, they can adjust and tweak the plan while keeping the development vision and goals intact. Each phase of development stays consistent despite what nature, regulating authorities, budget, or the market might throw at you along the way.
  5. Help you achieve the results you want
    The professional planner’s role is to achieve the clients vision and goals for their project, through skill and knowledge of quality design, while collaborating with the other development team members. At 7gen Planning we have skilled experts in the field of planning and landscape architecture which maintain a continuing education regimen and active participation in relevant organizations serving the real estate development industry. However, we feel that collaboration is the missing element from most firms, therefore, we focus on this as a foundation to bringing your sustainable project to life. By bringing our extensive experience in land planning and landscape architecture to the team you will save time and money while having your projects brand stand out to achieve the results you want.

Don’t start your next project on the wrong foot. Make a sustainable development plan that helps build your brand and reputation. Improve your image while standing out from the rest of the crowd and spending less time and money to get there. The right planner will work with you, within your budget, and help you prioritize the development goals and visions from phase one through completion.

Our lives on this earth are temporary, but your developments are enduring for generations! Leave behind a sustainable project for a stronger, better community. Give them something to remember, to enjoy and to cherish.

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