Every Urban Villages development is unique. When we engage in a new venture, we start with a clean canvas. Our due diligence is thorough and local. Our financing is stable and aligned. Our designs are responsive to the neighborhood context. Our partners are selected for their specific expertise and experience. Our management is integrated within the community.
Every Urban Villages project starts with a deep dive into research analytics. We study the history of the area and build a contextual narrative. We determine the highest and best use for a particular property based on both market demands and community needs. We move forward only when we have built a complete understanding of the particular site and the surrounding neighborhood.
Strong partnerships are critical to a successful real estate development project. Throughout the project lifecycle, we build lasting relationships with the local municipality, neighborhood groups, and other governing bodies. This allows us to lean on the expertise of local leaders and integrate their advice and ideas into our projects. As a result, our communities are invested in the process, and our interests are aligned.
Nature inspires. Whether it’s a hike down a mountain trail or working the soil on a farm, our senses are enlivened by nature. When we begin designing a project, we start with the human perspective. How will our tenants and guests interact with the building? What will they see? What scents will envelop the room? How will the materials feel in their hands? What sounds will resonate through the halls? What flavors will tease their palates? By focusing on the human perspective, we ensure that our projects are built to inspire and enliven people and businesses alike.
Once a building is brought through concept design, we begin an in-depth cost-estimating process to develop a strong basis for underwriting the project. This allows us to consider cost-savings measures early in design and complete detailed stress-test analysis on our financial projections. With a strong and well-vetted pro-forma in hand, we begin discussions with potential debt and equity partners to determine the best possible long-term fit. In structuring the final partnerships, we ensure that our interests and expectations are aligned and the project is financially stable to endure potential market shifts over time.
With the project’s capital stack secured, we begin pursuing entitlements in earnest. We embrace the process and work closely with local planning and building departments to make sure that we remain on track. We bring in the most experienced legal advice early in the process to ensure that we are mitigating entitlement risk and avoiding costly mistakes. Once permits are secured, our dedicated project execution team works side by side with our architects, contractors, engineers, and other specialty vendors to keep the project on budget and on schedule. Our organizational structure and processes provide a successful framework to usher the project through construction and deliver outstanding results.
Well before construction begins, our operations team gets to work. Our asset managers play an integral role in selecting mechanical systems, guiding design decisions, and determining our target market. We draft a detailed business plan so that the budget, the process, and the team are all prepared prior to opening. With concept design in hand, we begin preleasing in an effort to fill the building before completion. With commercial properties, we start with a leasing plan and a preferred tenant mix to focus our team and narrow the pool of potential occupants. While most brokers simply post a vacancy and wait for tenants to contact them, we engage in a concerted effort to seek them out directly. In residential projects, our team focuses on place-making efforts and building partnerships with neighborhood amenities to ensure that even the very first tenants in the building feel right at home.
Commercial real estate is typically a very financially stable investment. However, market cycles move property valuations, rents, and vacancy regularly over time. Most major losses in real estate occur when a property owner is forced to sell an asset in a down market. However, when market conditions are strong and the right opportunity arises, disposition can provide excellent returns and free up additional capital for the next exciting project. Our team maintains strong relationships with the brokerage and investment community and regularly tracks buying and selling opportunities for all assets under management.