The Okanagan is a fantastic place to live and do business. We’re fortunate to have enough variety in lifestyle, with the various cities offering different commercial opportunities. In Vernon, where we conduct most of our business, there’s a growing need for commercial space due to consumer demand.
At the time of this writing, the Vernon real estate market is exploding with demand and supply is struggling to keep up. It’s an unprecedented imbalance. It applies to residential homes but also to commercial properties, which is our focus in this blog.
At Brentwell Construction, planning a seamless commercial project is something we do proficiently. Though, it does take some strategic planning! In the following paragraphs, we’ll detail the key points of focus in forging a commercial project and the benefits of a well-designed space.
It’s time to get Okanagan residents and business-people excited!
Location, Location, Location
When considering a location, you need to step back and consider the type of commercial client you’re designing the property for in the first place.
This task is more straightforward when it’s you intending to occupy the property. You know what business you’re in and who you want to serve, so you can safely move to the next step!
If you intend to build and lease the building, it’s essential to know what kind of clientele you seek.
Are you targeting industrial clients needing an abundance of floor space and parking? Or, are you seeking retail clients needing comparatively smaller square footage and perhaps some meeting rooms? Whatever the case, you must know your audience well.
Knowing who you intend to serve will determine your next steps, which concern zoning. Simply put, zoning bylaws are municipal regulations that determine how land, buildings and other structures are used. Researching zoning bylaws and their requirements will require a visit to your local regional district or city hall. Property can be rezoned from it’s original designation, but in such cases, it typically needs to align with the Official Community Plan. This can be a time-consuming step. It is most efficient to find property already zoned correctly.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of the areas of town with the zoning you require, you can move on to the next step.
There are some key considerations when determining your budget. It’s not easy, and the more flexibility you have in both budget and preference, the better. But these areas are a great place to start:
- What is the nature of the industry?
- How important are aesthetics and curb appeal to the eventual customers?
- How many employees will be needed to run a suitable business in your space?
- Do you have any hard construction deadlines that require consideration?
- Do you have any back-up financing options in case you go over budget?
First impressions matter, and to garner the respect you seek, you must cater to the intended customers. You can delve back into location considerations. For example, if 80% or more of your customers will be from Vernon, avoid looking too closely at Kelowna projects for inspiration. Those aren’t your people.
The more you’re able to connect with your customers before they reach for the front door, the more likely you’ll plan a reasonable budget.
Hire The Right Commercial Contractor
Most well-established construction companies will have the resources and skills to carry out your project, no matter how unique. Some companies even advertise this way. They prefer to market to the broadest possible audience and catch at least a piece of each. But from your standpoint, is this really to your benefit?
We don’t believe so. At Brentwell Construction, we know what we’re great at and who we’re the best fit to serve. Our team and its collective goals revolve around these directives. We base our organizational structure upon knowing what our customers need and want, and positioning ourselves to respond accordingly.
During this process, confirm the contractor has internal systems and standard procedures in place. With so many moving parts on large construction projects, communication and accountability are essential. We also recommend confirming the company adheres to strict safety protocols, minimizing your risk during construction.
You’ve gone this far in the planning process; now it’s time to be sure you’ve hired the right team for the job. We recommend the following steps in determining who you hire for your next commercial construction project:
- Ask the right questions, and more importantly, dare to ask the hard questions.
- Conduct due diligence and research company qualifications and project history. Do they have the portfolio demonstrating the expertise they claim?
- Do your homework. Ask around to any contacts you have, and perhaps reach out to former clients of the company you’re considering.
The construction company right for you should never be afraid to answer the hard questions. They owe you this courtesy.
Conclusion: The Benefits of Choosing The Right Company For The Job
Yogi Berra once said, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
There is an immense benefit to the above planning process when building a commercial space, including:
- Happy employees – Whether it’s your team occupying the space or someone else’s, you designed the space to foster their hard work.
- Increased productivity – You took the extra time to design the build mindfully, increasing the chances of a more productive workplace for future tenants.
- Budget adherence – With some extra foresight, you undoubtedly saved yourself many financial headaches that result from a lack thereof.
- Proud investment – In designing the space you intended to, you now have an investment to be proud of!
To know exactly where you’re going is to make the result that much more gratifying.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and hope you’ll consider Brentwell Construction for your next commercial construction project in the Okanagan.
At Brentwell, we work with a multitude of businesses at all stages of the commercial building process. Some get us involved before the first step above even begins! No matter your end goal, you can rest assured that we have the right team in place to get the job done right. We place a high priority on detailed planning and safety at every stage to ensure foresight and accountability. From renovations and expansions to complete new builds, we’re a commercial construction team you can trust.
Give us a call today to find out how we can help.
Thanks for reading!