By Taralinda Willis
The field of construction is highly regulated at the local level. In most municipalities, new construction projects must go through a lengthy process of presenting their plans to neighbors, local elected officials, and city staff for a variety of approvals before they can break ground.
At each step of the process, the project can get blocked or stalled by opposition from a voting body or the public or the developer could decide not to pursue the project because the local standards will make the cost too high.
But as the project moves forward, the owner will begin to solicit the services of a variety of vendors, from architects and civil engineers to commercial lenders and general contractors. To improve their chances of winning business from commercial developers, these vendors must pay close attention to the approvals process.
New construction projects go through so many levels of regulation and public review that it can be hard to gauge how much traction the project has at any given point unless you understand the purpose of each step in the process.
The following is a friendly guide to understanding the major public approval steps you might see a proposed new commercial development go through at the local level. Although each municipality has variations on this process, most cities and towns require a developer to gain some or all of the following approvals before breaking ground on a new project.
A good rule of thumb for the construction industry is that it is never too early to reach out to a project owner to offer your services. But as this guide makes clear, it can be a waste of everyone’s time to reach out after a project has reached a certain point. For example, there’s no sense offering general contractor services after the sale of a building or property is recorded in the county register of deeds because the developer will have likely lined up a contractor months ahead of time.
To make sure you find projects early enough in the process to offer your services, you need to systematically track the databases and notices that inform the public about proposed projects. The best way to do this is to use a custom tool for tracking municipal meeting agendas and minutes, especially if your coverage area includes more than one city or county.
Curate was developed from the ground up as an AI-powered business development solution for firms in the construction industry. Curate customers get alerts about every construction project in their coverage area as it moves through the approvals process by tracking local government meeting minutes and agendas.