It would be nearly impossible to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and not notice that construction is booming right now. The question now isn’t whether it is happening, but how developers can take advantage of it in the smartest possible way. As a construction consultant in California, we have worked on countless construction projects in the Bay Area, and we have seen firsthand what works and what doesn’t. Here are the five key things we’ve learned about how to succeed in the Bay Area construction boom:
- Think long term: Everybody is going to want to go after the hot, up and coming neighborhoods, especially here the ultra-trendy Bay Area. But before any of those neighborhoods were popular, they were largely considered dead space. If you are willing to put in the foresight, you can find the next up and coming neighborhood before your competitors, meaning you will get a great price on the property and be one of the first developers to complete a project there.
- Quality matters: With the high demand for real estate in the Bay Area, it is easy for developers to want to cut corners in order to create property cheaply and quickly. But in the long run, quality is what will help you succeed. This real estate boom certainly will not last forever, but buyers’ and renters’ appreciation for sound construction will.
- Mixed-use: Mixed-use real estate is all the rage across the country, but developers in the Bay Area have barely scratched the surface of its possibilities. With most developers going after the housing boom, office and commercial space in the Bay Area remains low, and this is a great way to kill three birds with one stone. Additionally, a lot of tax credit and other federal funding opportunities present themselves in the mixed-use sector.
- Maintain charm: If you are converting an old, worn down property, it can be tempting to tear it down and build something super modern. But keep in mind that part of what people love about the Bay Area is its charm, and you can get even more for your money when you invest in preserving it. This is especially useful to keep in mind if you are building in a very urban area, as buyers usually come to San Francisco and Oakland for two things: convenience and charm.
- Be flexible: Finally, the construction boom is growing more and more powerful all the time, and new neighborhoods are being discovered seemingly every month. A smart developer keeps their finger on the pulse of the construction boom, and is willing to be flexible based on what is popular and what is in demand.