“Free” Land is not always free

Jan 13, 2020

“Free” Land is not always free

Many times, companies seeking a location for a significant manufacturing facility expect that land for these projects will be free or, at the very least, significantly reduced in price. This is a fair expectation given the profound positive economic impact that large manufacturing projects have on states and communities.

Top site selection consultants understand that sometimes a deal on land isn’t a deal at all because often the costs associated with site preparation, geotechnical remediation, permitting, and fulfilling entitlements on certain sites can be very expensive.

A professional site selection consultant can help a company understand the issues that can often have significant cost and schedule impacts, such as:

  • The timing and cost of potential rezoning and processing of entitlements,
  • Challenging topography and related site preparation costs,
  • Sub-surface conditions and the cost of geotechnical remediation,
  • Environmental conditions, such as wetlands and areas of environmental contamination, and the cost of remediation,
  • Schedule risks presented by required utility and transportation infrastructure extensions, and
  • The business cost of construction delays and delays of product deliveries to customers.

Experienced and un-biased site location professionals apply the time required to construct detailed cost pro-formas for their clients. This comparative analysis shows not only the impact of land costs but also the net cost of developing and operating on a site compared to other candidate sties. These pro-formas are developed based on comprehensive site analysis and the evaluation of hidden costs as well as extensive experience.

When companies base their site selection decision on the price of the land, it can result in making the wrong location decision. There can be, significant additional site investment costs that make free or reduced-price land very expensive.


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