4 Tips for Strategizing Entitlements

07 December, 2021

James Thaon on NAIOP I.CON East Panel

In the rapidly changing land development industry, developers often face permitting and entitlement snags that can slow down or even halt their projects.

I recently joined a panel of industry experts at NAIOP’s I.CON East conference in Jersey City, NJ to talk about entitlement challenges and how developers can stay ahead.

We discussed the following four tips to streamline your entitlement strategy out of the gate.

1. Collaborate with your design team early – before you even start due diligence.

Consider sharing your vision, tolerance for risk, and anticipated timeline for your project with your design team. This enables your team to be true consultants that can strategize with you to help you accomplish your goals.

Looping in your design team ahead of due diligence kick-off allows them to help you develop a systematic approach to the research process. Seek your team’s help to determine how to allocate budget, establish realistic timelines, and identify important due diligence milestones – key factors which can impact your deal structure.

2. Perform thorough due diligence.

Once you establish your due diligence strategy, hold the team accountable for executing thoroughly. You should have a complete understanding of the permits and approvals required, realistic timelines, and anticipated challenges.

Your consultants should be well-versed on the codes and help you understand the local development environment, so you can enter your first meeting with the jurisdiction prepared.

3. Be open and honest with the jurisdiction.

Collaborate up front with local economic development groups, jurisdictions, and other governing agencies. It can significantly streamline your process. You could experience delays if you’re not completely forthcoming with your proposal.

4. Implement sustainability wherever possible.

Regulations around environmental issues are changing rapidly nationwide, and development and design teams should consider opportunities to preemptively incorporate sustainable solutions. Stormwater management, implementation of solar panels and solar-ready facilities, and installation of electric vehicle charging stations are particularly likely to be affected. Across Bohler’s footprint, our teams are seeing an uptick in LEED implementation requests from local jurisdictions. More investment companies are also requiring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies from their partners.

Across Bohler’s footprint, we help owners and developers navigate approval processes and create effective permitting strategies to keep projects moving forward.

Ready to strategize entitlements? Contact our team today.


About James Thaon, PE

As Branch Manager for Bohler’s Manasquan, NJ office, James leads a team of civil engineering professionals who help owners and developers act on opportunities to accomplish their most ambitious land development goals. With experience managing projects across all commercial, institutional, and residential markets, James leverages creative design solutions and strategizes entitlements to stay on track. Throughout his career, James has developed strong relationships with municipal staff and governmental agencies across New Jersey.

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