Determining Project Viability: Residual Land Valuation and Predevelopment Task Management

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June 13, 2013
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Live Online
Online DC United States


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How does a developer know whether a particular piece of land is affordable for a specific project? What specific areas of information should a developer investigate after site control is achieved? How does a developer manage risk by addressing project uncertainties before they become expensive problems?

The business terms (price and timing of payment) for acquiring land for a development project are the most important decision that a developer makes because it is the only decision in the development process that the developer has complete discretion over making; if the project cannot financially support the terms, then the developer does not acquire. Determining whether a project can support the terms of acquisition requires a systematic approach to gathering information and anticipating project implementation issues. After achieving site control, the developer focuses on areas of project risk, continually evaluating whether the chances of success warrant proceeding further and how to implement the project most cost-effectively. If the risks are too high or future implementation measures are shown to be too expensive, the developer needs to abandon the project and treat expenditures up to that point as a loss.

Attendee Takeaways

* Understand how to evaluate the economic viability of a real estate project using a hurdle rate that reflects the construction period and absorption characteristics of the project.

* Understand how the development plan for a piece of land and the costs of development determine residual land value and why acquiring at no higher than residual land value is critical for project success.

* Understand what “due diligence” areas of information need to be investigated after site control is achieved and how information in these areas will determine whether to proceed with, renegotiate, or abandon the site acquisition.

* Understand how to create a management plan with tasks and budgets that anticipates implementation early in the project planning before they become expensive.

This webinar provides fundamental information about how to evaluate and manage the economic viability of a real estate project to developers as well as planners, designers, architects, lenders, builders, attorneys, accountants, marketers, engineers, public officials, and environmentalists.


Charles Long
Charles A. Long Associates
Berkeley, California

Charles A. Long is a developer specializing in mixed-use infill projects, including acquisition, entitlement, consulting and development. He has 37 years of diverse experience in local government and development with an emphasis on economic development, finance, management, and public-private partnerships.

He served for eight years as city manager in Fairfield, California. Since 1996, he has worked as a consultant to public and private clients on development and management. He has held interim positions for several cities in finance, redevelopment and management, including Interim Town Manager of Mammoth Lakes and Interim City Manager of Pinole and Hercules, California. His assignments have been diverse including negotiating development agreements, writing redevelopment plans, pro-forma analyses, strategic planning, economic development, organizational development, capital and financial planning, budget reform, base reuse and alternative energy development. He has overseen over $600 million of public financing in his career.

His work on development is focused in California with an emphasis on public-private partnerships and mixed use infill.

Mr. Long is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and, within ULI, a member of the Public Private Partnership Council and a faculty member of the ULI Real Estate School, teaching both in the US and internationally. He has worked on fifteen ULI Advisory Panels, most recently chairing a panel in Dallas, TX and is the recipient of the 2012 Robert M. O’Donnell Award for distinguished service in the advisory program. He is co-chair of the Sustainability Committee for the San Francisco District Council and, in that capacity, initiated several reports including recommendations for streamlining California’s environmental review process and a directory of financing sources for building efficiency. He is also building a program called Real Estate 101 for Public Officials, training a volunteer faculty to teach public officials about how to do public private partnerships. He is the author of the book, Finance for Real Estate Development, published by ULI in April 2011 and winner of the 2012 National Association of Real Estate Editors Silver Award.

Mr. Long has a BA in economics from Brown University and a Masters of Public Policy from U. C. Berkeley. He served in the U.S. Army as an infantry platoon sergeant.

Registration Fee

Members: $125
Nonmembers: $165
Govt./nonprofit: $100