||Land plan optimization study to cut site improvement costs and enable “just in time” lot delivery.
||National real estate developer
|Partner in charge
Our client was a national real estate developer planning a roughly 300-lot residential community. The community was designed as a traditional neighborhood development (TND) with a wide range of lot types, common greens and rear alleyways serving many of the homes. The plan and its renowned designer received wide acclaim during the entitlements process. The client intended to develop the property and sell finished lots to multiple homebuilders.
However, prior to the commencement of earthmoving, the housing market weakened significantly and the project’s feasibility was put in jeopardy. Demand for the project’s more expensive lot types was poor at best. The project’s land plan, while distinctive and attractive, led to high per-lot improvement costs and overly large construction phases. In this weaker market, there was no way to move forward with the project’s current land plan.
ADS was engaged to bring down the site improvement costs and to shift the lot mix towards smaller, more affordable lots without eroding the integrity of the new urban land plan. Our work took the form of a three-part Land Plan Optimization study which included:
- Plan cost cutting.
Sketch-level concepts for modifying the plan to reduce the cost of its improvements. This included proposals for the removal of redundant / single-loaded infrastructure, review of stormwater and utility conveyance systems, a tightening up of street geometry, adjustments to standard improvement specifications, and ideas for reducing the overall footprint of the development.
- Quantification of savings.
For each of the cost cutting concepts, we quantified the savings using current unit prices from contractors within that market and quantities derived from the new plan.
- Phasing Strategy.
The client’s existing plan required finishing nearly half the project’s stormwater infrastructure to receive building permits for just the model homes. To reduce the risk and carry costs of this phasing plan, we devised a Just in Time Lot Delivery model for the community. We examined utility networks, the road system, earthwork cut/fill analyses, E&S controls, and stormwater systems to understand how each construction phase could be logical and incremental, thereby minimizing the extent and expenditure of the initial construction phases. Our proposed phasing plan enabled our client to improve just 30 lots, including a model court, in that portion of the site located closest to the utility tie-ins, pushing off millions of dollars in improvement costs to the future.
The study identified $1,638,000 of potential cost savings out of a $6,500,000 site improvement budget. Moreover, the plan and construction strategy we proposed had a superior lot mix (better suiting the new reality of the residential market) as well as less risk and lower carry costs (resulting from our Just in Time Lot Delivery model).
Arcadia Development Services performed the work in just four weeks, made possible by multiple Arcadia staff making extraordinary efforts to meet the client’s aggressive timetable.