With the demand for multifamily housing rising and vacancy rates decreasing, many developers and investors are choosing to renovate existing properties in addition building to new construction. Typically, this construction takes place in populous urban areas that contain apartment communities with high occupancy rates. As a result, contractors and developers are increasingly contending with the challenges of working in populated environments, including smaller job sites, dense traffic, material storage issues, preventing damage to surrounding structures, and mitigating community impact. When addressing these issues, communication is crucial. A good contractor must work closely with local governments, property management companies, and members of the community to ensure a successful project.
Working with the Community
Tenants and property owners are inevitably concerned when they learn about a new project being planned in their neighborhood. Naturally, there are questions about traffic, accessibility, property values, working hours, and more, but always at the forefront of everyone’s concerns, are noise and construction debris.
A failure to reach out to community members and provide an open forum for addressing any questions or concerns regarding a project can lead to residents and local governments actively fighting to change, stop, or even prevent a project from being built. Establishing an effective community-outreach campaign is vital to the successful completion of urban projects.
Open Lines of Communication
In addition to talking with local residents and business owners, it’s also important to have clear lines of communication with the local government and municipalities. Often, redevelopment projects have to deal with the problems left behind by the former owner, which can range from environmental issues, construction defects, and community mistrust. Even parcels of land with no prior development can become problematic for county and city governments who have to be sensitive to environmental and community impact issues.
The Less Intrusive, the Better
Finally, a key component of working in an occupied neighborhood is to keep construction as quick and unintrusive as possible. It’s often necessary to modify construction schedules and deliveries to coincide with residents working hours, usually from 7am to 5pm. In business parks, construction is often limited to nights and weekends, so as not to inconvenience businesses impacted by the construction.
Any good contractor takes pride in a clean and orderly jobsite, but this is especially important in urban areas, where a discarded nail could easily inconvenience someone by causing a flat tire.
It’s also important to consider traffic. Road closures, movement of heavy equipment, and coordination of material deliveries need to be carefully scheduled for off-peak hours and proper notifications need to be made to the surrounding community. Last, but not least, the proper safety precautions should always be assessed and applied to the unique challenge of each project.
For more information about Live Oak Contracting and our experience working with redevelopment and high occupancy projects, call us today at (904) 497-1500.