Developing and renovating a retail shopping center is no easy task. Although developing a shopping center may be rich with opportunity for potential owners and investors, it is equally rich with risks, challenges, and threats. In order to ensure success, you’ll want to mitigate those risks, avoid the threats, and curb any challenges before they impact your progress. That may be easier said than done, but by involving your retail construction partner in the process as early as possible, you will be setting yourself up for success.
We referred above to your retail construction partner, and we use this term because it is imperative that you view your construction firm as more than just a contractor. Partnering with your retail construction firm from the very beginning helps ensure a safe and profitable venture. The following points explain why it is important to include your contractor early on:
Goal Feasibility and Attainability
Partnering with your retail construction firm in the early stages of the process is invaluable when it comes to the development of goals, especially in landlord-tenant relationships. With various parties relying on successful and timely completion of the project, it is essential that the goals and timelines are all specific and realistic. Involving your construction partner in the pre-construction phase ensures that all of the goals and timelines are set in a manner that ensures quality and safety. A partner with experience in retail construction within that market introduces a valuable “constructability” perspective, allowing for the creation of a “master schedule” — which will prove to be vital in both short-term and long-term goal attainment. Your construction partner can determine whether project goals are attainable within the allotted budget and timeline in a way that architects, engineers, and other pre-construction partners cannot.
You are bound to encounter problems throughout your project. Many problems, however, can actually be avoided by bringing your contractor into the mix early. There are various logistical, environmental, and local challenges that arise throughout a retail construction process, and having an experienced contractor involved in the pre-construction phase can actually limit your exposure to such problems.
Public utilities always seem to cause delays and other issues for construction projects. Proactive planning for such problems will allow the project timeline to continue unobstructed. The longer lead time you give your construction partner, the easier it will be for them to forecast and prevent problems.
Unexpected costs can be draining on a construction project, both fiscally and emotionally. Inviting your construction partner into the project from the start will help you avoid these drains. Costs can come in a variety of shapes and sizes; there can be penalty costs for not hitting agreed upon timelines; there can be unexpected change orders; and there can be opportunity costs, such as missed rental income.
Partnering with your construction firm early on in the process will help limit your exposure to unexpected costs, and ensure that timelines are hit for the good of both the tenant and the landlord. Having a true partner that is invested in maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship will also mitigate the risk of costly change orders.
Involving your construction partner early on will lead to a safer, smoother, and more cost-efficient project. The right partner will act as your quarterback throughout the duration of the project.
NEC welcomes new partnerships with developers, landlords and retailers looking to expand their presence in New England. Read our case study below on the value of bringing your contractors to the table early on.