Municipalities do not conceal what is most important for potential investors. According to Katarzyna Ufnal, Chief Specialist, Project Management Department in Szczecin City Hall, “they are mainly interested in purchasing land with technical infrastructure and good transport connections”. She also adds that the investors most often ask for land with areas ranging from one to several hectares, the price and the possibilities of development.
Land preparation is a must
Many municipalities do not see the need for investments in land if there is no specific customer who is interested in investing there. Such actions may lead to a situation where a potential investor, having a specified project deadline, initially rejects a real estate offer that does not have adequate infrastructure.
„Time is important for many companies here, so by doing some of the work earlier, such as the adoption of a local plan, talks with network managers about the possibilities of infrastructure development or agreeing on the access route to industrial areas, municipalities can significantly shorten the time to prepare the land for the construction of the facility and effectively keep the investor”, explains Agata Zając, JLL.
One of the most important aspects is an efficient road infrastructure and the availability of all utilities. “The road designed for lorry traffic to serve a warehouse or production facility is a must”, continues Agata Zając. In the case of municipalities that cannot afford to equip their land with infrastructure, it is recommended to consider at least the road construction project or the route to be taken and to develop a project for the construction of a water supply and sewage system. This can save a potential investor months of preparation.
Obtaining information from utilities providers about the possibilities of local development or regional plans, such as the construction of 110 kV lines or a new main transformer station, may be an additional advantage. This is particularly important in the case of production customers, who often have a higher demand for electricity than the entire municipality.
The complete set of information for the investor
Therefore, many municipalities have an active policy of attracting investors, expecting new jobs and economic activation of a given region. One of the perfect examples is the preparation of Trzebusz and Dunikowo investment zones in the vicinity of Szczecin, dedicated to industrial and warehouse functions.
Under this project, a complex development of investment areas (electricity, water supply, sanitary sewage system, rainwater draining system) was carried out, including their connection with the communication system of the A6 motorway and the city of Szczecin. The project was delivered in mid-2014.
“The municipality of Szczecin has prepared a total of 61 ha for investments in the Trzebusz and Dunikowo zones. The first investors appeared already in 2017”, says Katarzyna Ufnal from Szczecin City Hall. Only in 2019, another 220 properties with a total area of almost 100 ha were prepared for sale by the city.
Another example of model activities is Rawicz. The municipality located on the route between Wrocław and Poznań offers tens of hectares of investment areas developed to different standards. The area of 8 ha is already prepared for the construction of a logistics park, and the local plan for an industrial area of more than 100 ha is being developed. The properties are located right next to the 36 national road and about 4 km from the S5 expressway junction.
According to the JLL expert, “The municipality has prepared a local spatial development plan for the investment areas, and its actions in the process of developing subsequent plans show that it is very flexible in relation to the needs of investors”.
In order to meet the investor's needs, the municipality of Rawicz has also prepared technical specifications and information from the network operators about the possibilities of delivering utilities to the planned areas of economic activity, which saves the investor several months at the start.
Knowledge is a key to success
For a potential company intending to invest on a given plot of land, the security of the transaction is extremely important, i.e. minimizing the risk of buying land that does not meet all the specified criteria.
“Practice shows that when an investor does not know enough about the land and the data collection is going to take several months, he directs his attention to other land which already has full technical and legal documentation in place. Providing comprehensive information about the potential of a given property can help in convincing the investor to make a decision”, concludes Agata Zając, Land Development Manager, JLL.
At first glance, site preparation may seem like a very complicated process. However, it is worth to go through this process in order to attract investors with a well-prepared plot of land.