REDEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING SITES AND BUILDINGS MARK ELLIOT & DAVID KIRK This is an appealing course; land basis is fixed, so more density brings the same revenue opportunity for the owner as with the rest of the asset, with a very large component of the cost (land cost) excluded. However, this opportunity comes with other considerations and, if they are not properly addressed, traps, that must be addressed at the front end of any densification. If not, an owner can risk substantial impairment of the asset. The risks and issues for an owner to consider when it densifies, fall into 3 categories. Those categories are: what impact does zoning and land use have; what impact do the current leases in the asset have; and what impact do project wide, private covenants, conditions and restrictions have. Each of these must be addressed by an owner which desires to densify office assets. There are both practical and legal concerns to densification plans. Zoning and Land Use Restrictions Zoning and land use restrictions must be fully understood before embarking on a redevelopment project, as they could prevent or limit the scope of what may be done with the property, absent a timeconsuming and costly effort to change such restrictions. Current Zoning The zoning classification under which the property was originally developed, assuming it is still in place, must first be considered. Often, the property’s original zoning classification of limit the type and intensity of uses. This is typical of suburban office parks developed under a zoning classification appropriate at the time of development. For example, the original zoning of suburban office parks may limit uses to office and some accessory retail or restaurant space but prohibit residential development, standalone retail, or fullservice restaurant uses. In addition, parking requirements may be excessive in light of current conditions or the ability to share parking between newly contemplated uses. Furthermore, the maximum floor area ratio or other development standards may reflect a past era's approach and not allow for the contemplated density typical of today's mixeduse developments, particularly in areas that may be served by transit. Accordingly, the mixed use redevelopment plan may not be achievable under the current zoning. Rezoning the property to an appropriate classification may be the only path forward for the proposed redevelopment project. Such an effort typically takes several months; requires substantial resources for professional design, engineering, and legal assistance; involves extensive public involvement; and carries inherent risks.