Feasibility Analysis for Your Next Project

We were recently asked by a client to see if the project they wanted to build on a site would work and roughly how much it would cost and I thought it might be helpful to our readers to know what information is important and how the process works.

Starting with the address:

1. We go to the local zoning boards GIS site and download the zoning map for the site.

2. Download their zoning regulations.

3. Look up how is it classified, what is allowed, how much parking will you need.

4. What are the setbacks and landscaping buffers.

After looking up this information we were able to determine that of the roughly 1 acre of site he was considering buying about 35k sf would be available for parking and building.   The next step is to strike a balance between how much building you put up and how much parking it will require.  He was interested in doing a sit down style restaurant or banquet hall, both of which had fairly high requirements for parking.    Without going into excessive detail we were able to calculate that approximately 1/3 of the site could be building and the other 2/3rds would need to be parking.

For his area, we then used RS Means to figure that his building including design and contractor costs but excluding land and utility costs would run about 200/sf.  So for a 10,000 sf building with 108 parking spots at 1500/a piece and roughly 6000 sf of landscaping at 5.00/sf we came to a number around 2.2 million.

Here are the calculations in more detail:

10,000 sf Restaurants

3,500 sf of kitchen/back of house/storage etc

6,500 sf of dining/60sf/parking space = 108 parking spots

300sf/space = 32,500 sf of parking

42,500 sf of built area total

Building: 10,000*200/sf =2 million

Parking: $1,500/space* 108 spaces= .16 million

Landscaping: @6,000sf *$5/sf =30k


At this point the client was able to factor in the land costs and a contingency for the other soft costs and decide if he felt the project was feasible based on the cost of servicing his debt, profit etc.

Please contact me if you have a site you are interested in doing a feasibility study on your next project.

Bill Foster



Article Categories

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.