Development Consulting and Management

Citywide Building and Development offers a broad range of services in real estate development and building. As a Development Consultant or Manager, we typically get involved in a project in the conceptual or planning stages and assist from financial feasibility to execution. This may include Construction Management services also.

Whether you need assistance with the entire process or you just need an expert to supplement your efforts, we can help. A few of the areas we provide service include:

Proforma Development and Feasibility
Acquisitions and Due Diligence
Due Diligence, Planning and Budgeting
Obtaining Government Approvals
Contract Preparation and Negotiations
Design and Engineering Management
Construction Management

Real Estate Development and Due Diligence

Citywide Building and Development utilizes our extensive experience in each real estate acquisitions, development and construction. We have extensive experience in conducting thorough due diligence prior to any acquisition to mitigate the uncertainties associated with a real estate acquisition. We provide a personalized level of service relying on significant experience. More often than not, clients can expect that Citywide has faced a similar situation or hurdle to overcome in a real estate acquisition and/or its development.

Citywide offers the most diverse range of types of real estate and construction types including mixed-use, retail, hospitality, residential, apartments, condominiums, office, restaurants, medical facilities, subterranean garages, office condominiums, public works, historical renovations, seismic retrofits and extensive site improvements.

Construction Management

Citywide Building and Development offers construction management services. In conjunction with Calegari Law Corporation , our services can include construction contract preparation and negotiation. Clients benefit from a seamless approach from contract preparation and negotiation through construction. Citywide and its management have been involved with construction in Southern California since 1989 and are familiar with local contractors and building practices.

Following are some of the areas of focus as your Construction Manager:

Construction Contracts
CPM Scheduling
Estimating, Value Engineering
Cal OSHA Complaince, Safety
Change Order Negotiation
Production, Cost and Quality Control
Insurance Procurement

Common Questions

1What is the biggest risk area in real estate development you've seen in your experience?
The biggest risk in real estate development, besides the uncontrollable which is the market, is clearly construction and cost overruns. When you figure that hard construction costs on average account for two thirds of a development budget, one has to figure how to control costs. This is best accomplished by tested contracts, complete and fully detailed plans, good coverage in your subcontractor bids, regular review of critical path method schedules and dealing with issues timely as they arise.
2How does it help clients to hire an attorney who also provides development consulting and construction management?
I think clients benefit by receiving professional services from both a construction management perspective and a legal perspective which helps mitigate risks. I was fortunate to start my career in development and construction by working for a “top 10” real estate developer and general contractor and then becoming a general contractor in the 1990’s. I grew up in the construction trades. I went to law school after working in real estate development and general contracting after being frustrated with paying large sums of money to attorneys, which ate up my company’s profits. Litigation should always be the last option. Most disputes that arise in construction can be resolved through negotiation and timely handling of any issue(s).
3What is mixed-use development and why is it so popular?
Mixed use development simply refers to two or more independent uses in the same development. This could be residential and commercial, office and retail within the commercial context or a host of a variety of different uses. The complications arise not so much in the physical construction, but rather the entitlements and legal issues. This is particularly true if a homeowner association is involved. With less open land available and a migration to urban infill projects, mixed-use development will continue to increase. I have been involved with mixed-use development since 1989. Mixed-use development can be challenging, but at the same time on of the most gratifying forms of real estate development. We utilize our extensive experience a mixed use development to help others learn from our mistakes.
4What is the greatest lesson(s) you have learned in real estate development to share with others?
The greatest lesson(s) I have learned relate to due diligence, planning and the cyclical nature of the industry. First, there is no substitute for thorough due diligence and good planning in any real estate development. If there are any unknowns or uncertainties when deciding to move forward with an acquisition for real estate development, it is better to walk away. It is better to lose a small sum of money in due diligence as opposed to getting into a bad deal that could cost much more later. Second, I would shy away from development projects that tend to span longer durations of time. This is not to say that a development that takes several years to entitle is a bad deal, but rather there is more risk because you become exposed to more market fluctuations like what we say in 2008. The market is beyond one’s control, however, it seems you can mitigate some of the risk exposure by pursuing developments with a shorter durations.
5Why is there so much construction defect litigation in California?
California is considered the hotbed for construction defect litigation and has been since I got into the business in 1989. It has changed with legislation over the last 25 years, but any builder should understand that a residential project in California will end up in construction defect litigation. In essence, it becomes a cost of doing business. It really becomes a question about mitigation of damages through building quality construction projects. The unfortunate reality is that legislation in California has precipitated plaintiff attorneys to find homeowner associations in California within the 10 year statute of repose within which to bring construction defect actions. With significant experience in defending construction defect actions, we understands the quality control and procedures that are necessary to deter or mitigate construction defect actions in the future.
6What is the Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development from University of San Diego and how does it apply to your work?
The Professional Certificate program at the University of San Diego (USD) is so valuable from both a learning experience and networking with others in the local development community. First, I think it is always important to stay connected to education. No matter how long we have worked in an industry, there is always more to learn. Having gone to USD for my undergraduate degree, it was fun to go back over 20 years later and continue my education. Second, the instructors in the courses are all involved in some form of real estate and provide great practical hands-on experience that I have been able to utilize as a benefit to clients. Lastly, it has been a great opportunity to establish relationships with other professionals in the local real estate community.