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Construction Costs and Lead Times – A Whole New Ballgame

Written by Wes Combs, Vice President, Project Development Services

shutterstock_164555747eWe all cross our fingers our client’s won’t ask the question “what will construction cost and how long will it take?”, but we all know that’s the first question they’ll ask, the correct answer can only be “it depends.” Your response to their inquiry hinges on a multitude of factors, and trust me, the last thing you want is to get caught short. A simple, “it depends,” and a series of follow-up questions will best prep you before stepping up to the plate with an answer.

Is your client dreaming of a second generation space which has ceiling grid, tile lights and above ceiling MEP already in place? Or rather, are they looking at a first generation space which will require all above ceiling MEP as well as finishes? Do they want a standard office or a new and modern space with open ceiling polished concrete floors, lots of glass walls and collaboration areas?

Due to the boom in recent construction, municipalities are unusually overwhelmed with permit applications. Permits that would have taken a week or two in the “good old days,” can take up to six weeks to get through the city. If that shift is not enough to blow an anticipated schedule, wait until you see the lead times on products before blindly swinging at your answer. And be sure to factor in other potential long lead fast balls like lighting, specialty glass, flooring and furniture, which could take upwards of 12 weeks for delivery. With the technological integration into the construction industry, production timelines continue to vary specific to each project and each market. Keep your estimate game on track by taking the early swing, ask questions, and quantify schedules and potential long lead items.

WesCombs temporaryWes Combs is a Vice President for Project Development Services at Cushman & Wakefield. PDS provides comprehensive development and project management services for owners and tenants.

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