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The Surveyor Plays an Important Role in Commercial Land Development


An essential part of land development for commercial purposes is engaging the services of a land surveyor.  Although each development project is unique, the service provided by the surveyor is critical.  Working with the engineer’s/architect’s plans, the surveyor stakes the ground to correctly locate buildings, fences, roads and utilities for the construction crews.

As they plan their commercial development, investors should meet with the architect, civil engineer and surveyor to convey their vision for the project making sure everyone shares the same understanding.  The surveyor plays a key role in commercial property development.

Typically, construction begins with the Engineering Design Survey requested by the civil engineer responsible for project design. Working closely with the civil engineer, the surveyor collects the as-built site conditions surrounding the envisioned project.

The surveyor will pull together all of the features impacting the project design to answer these questions:

  •  Are neighbouring streets in good condition?
  • Does the sidewalk need replacing, what is the gradient and is it ADA compliant?
  • Is there existing driveway access from streets to site?
  • Is any water, sewer, electric or gas service already available at the site?
  • If there is fencing or walls at the perimeter, what is their condition?
  • Are there any indications of underground contamination or dumping?
  • Does the slope of the land preclude development?

Using this information along with photos and public records from local agencies, the civil engineer will complete a workable project design.

After submitting the design and getting local agency approval, the engineer pulls a gradient permit to begin construction.

The surveyor completes a rough grade of the project to allow grading and site preparation such as slope construction, building outlines, parking areas and roads.

The next phase, site layout staking, usually begins with the underground segments including storm drain and sanitary sewer lines staked for drainage to street.  The surveyor also stakes out water, electrical and other utility lines.

After installation of underground utilities, the surveyor stakes the land for building construction, curbs, gutters, catch basins, planting areas, drains, etc.

During the construction staking, local agencies commonly request the surveyor to certify that a certain facet such as handicap ramp or building shape complies with the approved engineering plans.

Professional services are key to successful development.

Our Commercial Investment Team is able to secure significant capital towards investment in commercial properties through established relationships with local and national investors. Please contact us for information.


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