Four Ways to Control Costs While Delivering Spectacular Amenities

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With the recent impacts of COVID-19 on rent collection and cash flow, cost control is top of mind for property owners and developers these days.

Once the crisis has passed, cost control will remain a priority, in lockstep with delivering unique and welcoming destinations that offer amenities that resonate with tenants and visitors.

While we may be in various stages of an economic shutdown, eventually companies will return to their offices, customers will begin to revisit their favorite retail destinations, and the built environment will come to life with people once more. When that time comes, controlling costs will be just as important for commercial real estate stakeholders as it was during lockdown. Truth be told, cost control is an essential part of design/build strategy, especially in today’s high-cost environment.

To that end, it’s important for developers and property owners to understand how to work with companies like OTL to create distinguished amenities for their projects that also provide cost efficiencies.

Here are four strategies that OTL recommends for controlling costs while delivering extraordinary amenities that keep tenants, customers, and visitors coming back for more.

1. Work with amenity companies early in the game.

The most impactful strategy developers can implement to control cost is to bring in all partnering companies as early in the development process as possible.

By ensuring that all entities are effectively working together from the beginning, the developer can avoid costly changes that arise when these companies join late in the process.

Early collaborative planning allows the entire team to work together to determine exactly what is needed and in what order, which can save hundreds of thousands of dollars down the line.

2. Hire teams who are current on modern cost-saving processes.

Improvements to traditional design and development procedures are constantly being achieved. Amenity companies that are up-to-date on these processes and adept at implementing them help keep costs in check.

For example, amenities such as water features require pumps and other equipment which, in the past, would be placed into in-ground vaults. Today, many of OTL’s projects utilize cutting-edge submersible pumps and equipment, reducing the size of the vault or equipment room needed and minimizing below-grade plumbing.

Working with companies who are current on advanced techniques for incorporating amenities into a site plan helps control overall project costs in a meaningful way.

3. Look for strategic sustainability procedures.

Ecologically sound measures are good for the environment as well as the project’s budget.

OTL is actively implementing cost-control on all projects through strategic sustainability. Energy-efficient pump drives can maximize efficiency, while green technology – even something as simple as LED lighting – can help owners and developers save on electrical consumption and costs.

Asking amenity companies about their sustainability measures is a wise procedural safeguard against out-of-control costs for all projects.

4. Consider controlling costs through design.

Today’s developers are best served if they seek out design/build companies that can work with them on specific design solutions to meet their budget.

For example, OTL has observed that choreographic show fountains are on-trend and can actually be more affordable than interactive water features with play areas that people walk through and touch. Much of that cost comparison is due to water treatment – interactive fountains require complex sanitization systems in compliance with health department regulations and ongoing monitoring, while choreographic fountains create crowd-pleasing effects and require simpler filtration systems.

The right design/build company will gain an understanding of the budget from the beginning and develop a design that embodies the stakeholders’ vision while also delivering cost control, as well as a host of bottom-line ROI benefits throughout its lifetime.

While the pandemic has moved cost control to the forefront of concerns for real estate stakeholders, there are ways of approaching property amenities that will help them save money in the long run.

By bringing amenity companies in early and hiring teams like OTL that are savvy to current cost-efficient techniques, use sustainable measures, and know how to control costs through design, developers and property owners can keep their project budgets in check while delivering amenities that continue to attract tenants, customers, and visitors well into the future.