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Why zoning is a key concern when looking for commercial real estate

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Real Estate

Many businesses rent commercial real estate initially because they are unsure of their needs or their company’s chances of success. However, organizations with a track record of success or substantial funding may decide to purchase real property.

Buying undeveloped or underdeveloped property is a clever way to acquire real estate for a business at a fraction of the cost of brand-new commercial facilities. When someone in a decision-making position at a company finds a plot or property in the right location and at the perfect price, they may want to move aggressively to acquire that real property. However, not all real property can serve a company’s intended purposes. Verifying the current zoning for a property is crucial before committing to any kind of transaction.

Zoning limits business operations

Northbrook, Illinois, like most other municipal authorities in Illinois, has carefully zoned local real property. There are areas where businesses can engage in industrial operations, like manufacturing, and there are other locations where commercial or retail business operations are a possibility. There are also areas that are residential or agricultural and are there for not currently appropriate for business development.

Those in a position to purchase real property on behalf of a business sometimes make a big mistake by assuming that they can change the zoning at a property. They assume that a few documents are all it takes to use the property in the way that they desire. Contrary to their expectations, either rezoning a property or obtaining a variance is a very lengthy and unpredictable process. The chances of success depend in part on the location and how the community perceives the proposed rezoning or variance.

The business must submit documentation explaining the reasoning behind the request for rezoning or a variance. Requests typically require a lengthy review, often including community feedback. If the proposed rezoning or variance would affect property values or the quiet enjoyment of real estate by those already invested in the region, a business’s requests are unlikely to succeed.

The unfortunate truth is that there is never any guarantee of success when a business needs to rezone a property to fully use it. Therefore, executives and business owners need to plan carefully when looking at real property to avoid a scenario in which they purchase property that they cannot use the way that they intended. As such, learning more about zoning in real estate use laws may benefit those hoping to acquire commercial property in the Northbrook area.