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This post originally appeared on SimonCRE Insights Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

When it comes to choosing a commercial development company for your build to suit project, it’s important to make sure you choose the right fit. Development can be a lengthy process and a lot can go wrong if your developer lacks the proper experience. 

Let’s look at what to consider when choosing a developer for your project. 


The main types of development are ground up, build to suit, and redevelopment. At SimonCRE, we have experience in all types, but specialize in build to suit developments. The process for a build to suit involves using strategic due diligence and property entitlement practices so that construction can run as smoothly as possible. Furthermore, there are eight main sectors of commercial real estate developments: multifamily, office, industrial, retail, hospitality, mixed use, land, and special purpose. Some developers specialize in only one type of commercial development, which is why it’s important to do some research and choose a company who has worked with like-clients. 


Commercial developers seek and buy land to prepare it for construction. They help draft legal documents and secure financing. Handling this process on your own can quickly become time-consuming and frustrating if you’re not sure what you are doing. An experienced commercial developer will assist you during this process to ensure your build to suit is maximizing its functionality. An exceptional developer will have a strong network of business connections and plenty of resources at their disposal. Take a look at the developer’s project portfolio to determine if they will be a good match. Get an idea of the developer’s project track record, and examine their professional network. We’ve come up with six questions to ask a commercial developer before you decide to work with them. 


Get a grasp of the developer’s timeline and make sure it complements your own overall expectations for completing your build to suit. Development setbacks can happen, so make sure you and your developer are prepared if your build to suit runs into any issues. A developer’s timeline should already be built out with deadline projections. There are typically more challenges early on in the development process, but as a project progresses and hurdles are overcome, navigating obstacles becomes easier and less frequent. The early development stage involves conducting a marketing analysis, environmental site assessments, surveys, and acquiring permits and land. Always plan at least two steps ahead, and understand that not every project makes it past the planning period. The second stage involves construction, project marketing, and pre-leasing. The final stage is occupying the property, which includes adding the final touches such as landscaping, leasing, and property management services. 


Needless to say, the development process can be very complex. Communicating effectively with your developer will help your project run smoothly. Make sure you set the tone and provide clear expectations ahead of time. A good developer will let you know proactively if the project hits any roadblocks by providing you with progress updates consistently. So, find a developer who knows how to balance the communication between you and the contractors, without inundating you with every little detail. They should provide you with concise information, while keeping you on a need-to-know basis so you can focus on your business. 

There are many advantages to hiring a developer for your build to suit project. We understand choosing a location isn’t always a “one size fits all” solution. If you’re looking to expand your business’s footprint and have more questions about build to suit development projects, contact us here