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Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

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Old 06-15-2004, 12:26 PM
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Default Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

I am looking into a knew business venture. Currently I own a small Landscape Contracting business. Due to high overhead, too much competition, and other reasons, I need to make a move.

One of my biggest concerns is where to keep my equipment if I had to leave my current location. The area I work is very affluent and most towns do not allow commercial parking unless you own property in a properly zoned area. With the high cost of realestate/taxes, this is not an option. This in not only my concern but other contractors as well. Also I have no office, storage, electricity, or running water.

My idea is to develope a "mini" industrial park that will be built for the small to medium size business. A location to have an office, utilities, parking and small warehouse, loading dock. Size ranging fromm 1000 sqft to 4000 sqft. These can be used for holding inventory or fabrication.

Do you think this is a need that needs be met? I do not have the funds myself but do know someone with plenty that has expressed interest. Your opinion is appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:35 PM
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Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Put it in Ocean County and I'll take a spot or two
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Usually Re-zoning and Permitting will be your major stumbling block both procedural and extended time/delay wise.

Not to mention significant cash (non-borrowable cash) outlay for satisfying the said "Re-zoning and Permitting" process, with documents, experts, studies & usual answering of every Tom-Dick&Harry's concerns at planning/zoning review boards.

Call a developer in another part of the state you are in that has done the same that you will not compete with and ask him about his stumbling blocks.

My humble opinion.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

I actually just bought into such a development. This one is a condominium complex. The developer told me that he can't build the units fast enough. Several of the larger ones actually sold before he broke ground! The sizes in this development are 60x100, 50x80, 30x50 and 30x30. The 60 and 50' wide units have 16' ceilings while the 30' wide ones have 14' ceilings. They are going to break ground across the street for another development where the units are all under one roof.

I wouldn't waste too much time on trying to get a parcel rezoned. Some communities will work with you while others won't give a chit. A 15 minute phone call with the planner will give you a accurate idea of what you are facing. Ask him for a zoning map too. They are generally free and will give you an idea of where you should be shopping. Frankly, a development like this would be best in a industrial area. That way there will be few issues with neighbors. You can also get by with a metal building which is required to keep the costs down. You'll have some problems trying to break the whole min-storage stigma. These are definitely not min storage. People own them and are using them to loft a fledgling business.
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Old 06-15-2004, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Finding an affordable location is going to be the biggest trick. Where are you thinking and what kind of rents do you think you could get.
There are places around with a similar concept. I know a few up in Booton, Zuckerburgs in Saddle Brook, and Fairfield is littered with them.
Call me later, Im interested to hear what your thinking.
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Old 06-15-2004, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Price of land is prohibitive. I am in your area, and the land cost makes this type of venture tough to pull off. As you have stated, the towns have all kinds of prohibitive laws, the land sellers want huge prices for their property, every inch of space in North Jersey is bringing in prices that are unafordable for the small contractor to pay, that is why most small contractors are always trying to store equipment at their homes, telling the town they are not running a business out of their garage, hoping the neighbors don't complain. most developers are demanding $ 15 to $25 per sq. foot for space. At 15$, 3000 sq. feet costs $ 3750.0 per month, + cam's and Taxes, = $ 4,500. per month? big rent for not a lot of space. Tantrum is correct, there are quite a few Industrial parks around, and even though they are very cheap, they have a hard time keeping tenants. You might look at leaving your equipment in Saddle Brook if necessary. PS, the "Highlands Act" is only going to make it more difficult.

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Old 06-15-2004, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Here in Sarasota and surrounding communities, these type complexes are very hot items.
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Old 06-15-2004, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Retail/warehouse complexes like that here in Los Angeles are in high demand... there are lots of small businesses that need two offices... or a entry/office @300 sq ft... with about 1700 sq. st warehouse behind.. they average about 1.50 to 1.75 per sq. ft... especially if they have frontage for advertising... The return is good because it costs almost nothing to make warehouse space compared to living space... plus.. there aren't the headaches of Landlord/tenant laws when it is residential.
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Old 06-15-2004, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

Reed, you have a decimal place off. A pole building costs around $30 per square foot to build.
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Old 06-15-2004, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: Small Contractors/Business Owners, I need your opinion

As a small contractor, I would have loved to rent something like that in the first few years of my business (own my building now).
I think any of the trades would hop on something like that.
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