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Old 02-09-2018, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,985 posts, read 3,790,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
I googled about how to be a builder. Many results say one has to go to college to do this. I think that's true for very large projects, such as a downtown building; but for the smallest projects I wonder how difficult it is.

For example, if I just want to buy a one story commercial building, add 2 more stories on the same footprint. How difficult is that? Anyone with experience on how to do this?
We've built lots of things: apartments, houses, commercial and virtually ALL the custom home contractors and guys in high rise never finished HIGH School, much less went to "Talahasee Juco" to paraphrase Dennis Miller!

However, the one thing going on today is the baseline involvement of layers and layers of local government before you pound one nail. Where I am the Engineering and permits, Architect and local evaluations have you spending 200 grand on your 800 grand lot in Canada, and you haven't moved a spoon of earth yet!!!!

One supervisor I worked for got into the game going out with an electrical guy for six months, a plumbing guy for the same, and concrete and form crew for the same, and then went management and site super. Knowing your local area helps. Then you go for it.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:45 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
21,087 posts, read 26,019,765 times
Reputation: 39611
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
.........?.

1. What is the best thing to do? Is it do nothing and continue to collect rent? Or rebuild a 6 story building? And if the latter, what to build? Condo? Office building? Commercial space? Or, should I just sell the properties to a developer and reinvest the proceeds elsewhere?..............
There is no way for anyone not involved in real estate in your area to answer any of those questions.

If you are going to develop property, you must know enough about the area to guess what there will be a strong demand for.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,473 posts, read 38,067,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedwightguy View Post
However, the one thing going on today is the baseline involvement of layers and layers of local government before you pound one nail.
Yep.

And this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
-- Age of current buildings: close to 100 years
... could stymie your attempts to build on top of existing rather than tear down and rebuild.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
858 posts, read 483,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmichigan View Post
I would strongly suggest that you consider simply selling and investing in something else. If you want to build something, buy a lot and start from scratch. Or at least get something where there would be less demolition involved.
I have thought of that; but then I wonder if I am giving up on a big profit opportunity doing it that way.

Can I partner with a builder -- I offer the land, builder offer the construction funds and know-how, we build X apartments and Y retail storefronts, and we each take the agreed number of each. Is this an option?
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:56 PM
 
4,494 posts, read 7,988,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
How hard is it to do a simplest real estate development project?
Super simple!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
For example, if I just want to buy a one story commercial building, add 2 more stories on the same footprint. How difficult is that? Anyone with experience on how to do this?
Almost impossible! Typically cheaper to tear down and build a new building.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
7,890 posts, read 7,625,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
I already own the property I will be building, so that narrows down the questions a bit. I am pretty comfortable with the money aspect because the property is valued at $1000/sqft, and the construction cost should be way less than that. It's just that I want to continue to wholly own it after, therefore I have to deal with the financing all by myself.

And actually, what I want to build now, is in preparation to another bigger project I need to do eventually (definitely not now). I want to familiarize myself with the building process, so I can get involved in that project regardless of whether I use a general contractor or not. There definitely will be lots of major decisions for me and I don't want to rely on people telling me what to do.

Perhaps I can get your views on that bigger project to help my thinking as the project is a lot more complex.

Here are some basic facts:

-- Location: Flushing, NY (in NYC)
-- Existing property: 3 adjacent properties forming a nice rectangle corner lot 120'x60'. Currently they are 2 stories, 2 stories, and 3 stories respectively. Storefronts on ground floor, and apartments on top floors.
-- Age of current buildings: close to 100 years
-- Current zoning allows building up to 6 stories
-- Many neighborhood properties have started to be torn down and rebuilt to the maximum

Attachment 195222

The properties currently generate OK income, but probably are not realizing their maximum potential. A re-built project, if done right, may achieve that. My task is to figure out:

1. What is the best thing to do? Is it do nothing and continue to collect rent? Or rebuild a 6 story building? And if the latter, what to build? Condo? Office building? Commercial space? Or, should I just sell the properties to a developer and reinvest the proceeds elsewhere?

2. How to finance the project (if the project is to go forward)? This is definitely beyond what I have funds for, therefore a construction loan is a must. I understand there are several ways to structure the financing and the repayment. What are the options and what might be the best? Who are the potential lenders if anyone other than banks?

3. How to minimize cost? This is what spawned this thread.

Any feedback is welcome. Again I'm at the brainstorming stage on this one.
Spend a bit of money and talk to an architect. They will be able to give you some ideas on developments costs.

Demolishing a building might cost you $100 per square foot. That would include permits, hazmat abatement, labor, landfill fees, etc.

Building a new commercial structure might cost you 300 per square foot. Again, you have to account for design, construction cost, permits, etc. Commercial structures are much more expensive than residential. They must be much more robust, must be sprinkler protected, have fire egress, etc.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:33 PM
 
5,917 posts, read 4,090,995 times
Reputation: 16282
Just a reminder that this bldg is in NYC.

If the area around it is gentrifying, even a bit, I'd sit on it and sell later. In some cases they'll be banging on your door.

And I say this as someone who knows first and second hand that small mixed retail office can be lucrative. Not for a first timer using google, though, and not in NYC.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:14 AM
 
6,141 posts, read 3,359,282 times
Reputation: 13048
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
I have thought of that; but then I wonder if I am giving up on a big profit opportunity doing it that way.

Can I partner with a builder -- I offer the land, builder offer the construction funds and know-how, we build X apartments and Y retail storefronts, and we each take the agreed number of each. Is this an option?
Probably the first step is to see what the city planning department will approve without lengthy court battles. Next, or maybe simultaneously would be to find out what community district your property is in and what current guidelines are for the area.

Areas of Brooklyn have been faced with the eradication of commercial space in favor of more lucrative residential projects to the extent that community boards are now requiring the preservation of commercial space, at least at street level in many areas. At the same time, in the same places, much existing residential space is required to be preserved to maintain at least a modicum of moderate cost housing

You can develop all the plans you desire but if they'll never be approved, why waste the time and money? Navigating the process may not cost you a lot of money but will certainly take some time and let you know what you don't know.
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