Development is slow – BRANDON DONNELLY


Whenever we submit a development application for a new project, we typically get a ton of inbounds from people who are looking to sell us something, partner in some way, or buy/rent space in the development. These can be positive connections and we have completed deals based on these sorts of inbounds.

But what is clear to me is that many people do not understand the development process and how long it takes to actually bring a new building to fruition. By the time a development application is filed, it is not uncommon for the developer to have already been working on the project for at least a year, and oftentimes longer in the case of more complicated projects.

And after the application is filed, it is not uncommon (at least in this city region) for the approvals process to take another few years. We have projects that are on year 7 and we still can’t put shovels in the ground. This is a bit of a unique situation, but even still, when it’s all said and done, a “typical” mid-rise or high-rise project could take 7-10 years from beginning to end. And sometimes longer.

A decade is a long time. So it’s no wonder that low-rise sprawling cities with permissive land-use policies tend to have more elastic housing supply. Quicker builds. And quicker approvals.

I say all this not because I expect everyone to understand how the development process works. I’m saying it because maybe if more people knew how long everything takes, they’d be more open to streamlining the delivery process and to encouraging the construction of more missing middle housing.

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