The world of land and real estate development is one full of densely written agreements and contracts.  Before signing anything, you should be fully aware of the complexities, requirements, and limitations of any development agreement.  There are many elements you and your lawyer should look out for, and clarify before anything is finalized.

Here is a summary of some of the detail often included in a development agreement.

What a Development Agreement Is
A typical development agreement occurs between a landowner and a developer.  In its simplest form, the owner agrees to supply the land upon which the developer will build.  It is not, however, the same thing as a construction contract.  The developer is responsible for all the steps leading up to the construction of whatever is to be built, including all the upfront planning and obtaining of permissions for the build.

Master Form Development Agreement – There’s No Such Thing
Every development agreement is unique, and should not be confused with a construction contract.  There are often many specific requirements within in the agreement which need to be satisfied; these could come from:

  • The landowner themselves
  • Lenders
  • Prospective tenants
  • Government, at various levels
  • Environmental considerations
  • Health and Safety authorities

There is often a considerable amount of pre-work and research required prior to the signing of any development agreement.

In addition, there are also other considerations which must be confirmed or complied with before any work can commence; these may include:

  • Access to the development site and away from it
  • How the site functions after completion
  • Long-term issues regarding use of the land and future changes to it

It can be a very complicated process.  Long before any notion of shovels in the ground, you should have a qualified law firm, with experience in land development agreements, and contract law in general, to assist with the development of your vision for the property.  Every detail should be worked out well in advance, so that neither you, nor the landowner, is surprised or disappointed somewhere along the way.

Bring us your questions regarding Development Agreements or any other area of real estate or contract law.  We deal with them all the time, and we would be happy to help.

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