Unbridled success is the goal for every sports-anchored commercial development. Packed grandstands, optimized facilities, busy shops, full restaurants, and hotels at capacity aren’t just the hope; they’re the expectation. But success with projects like these doesn’t just happen. It takes years of preparation, foresight, and execution. As a noted team executive once famously said, it’s a process, and you have to trust the process.

As a development advisor and project manager on a number of complex sports-anchored mixed-use projects over the years, process-driven environments are where we live. Trying to short-cut the process, cut corners, or avoid critical steps inevitably creates issues down the road and could ultimately result in greater expense and slower speed to market. That’s why we developed a structure that succinctly articulates the critical path to project delivery and simplifies the important stages of bringing successful projects to fruition. We call it the 5 Ps of Project Delivery. In this post, we’re sharing them with you.

1. Plan

Key Aspects:

  • Project Vision
  • Site Evaluation
  • Infrastructure Analysis
  • Financial Feasibility

This is where it all starts. In this critical initial phase, we engage with the facility owner to articulate the project vision, identifying key stakeholders, objectives, and expectations. We also support the owner in considering various sites and their respective attributes, including geographical, physical, and commercial. Finally, we analyze the initial financial feasibility and funding requirements necessary to realize the vision. What results is a clear understanding of the project’s feasibility, what it requires for execution, and how we’ll go about achieving it.

2. Prepare

Key Aspects:

  • Concept Design
  • Program Development
  • Cost Estimation
  • Revenue Projection
  • Funding Model
  • Community Outreach

It’s time to transition the project from vision to practical application. That means creating an initial development concept that will drive many aspects of this project-advancement phase. Together we determine the primary uses and physical requirements (the program), which will influence vital revenue optimization and operational efficiency. We then collaborate with the owner and community stakeholders to create an achievable funding and financing structure with revenue modeling as a foundation. We also support the owner in developing the project community narrative and provide critical guidance and expertise in identifying potential public funding sources as the foundation for a public-private partnership model. It’s a busy step, but a critical one.

3. Progress

Key Aspects:

  • Funding Approval/Completion
  • Land Acquisition
  • Project Team Development
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Permitting

It’s time to finalize contracts and commitments. Utilizing our finance relationships, we develop a final funding and financing solution that’s unique to the owner’s specifications. We also evaluate vendors and negotiate key project team contracts during this phase, including architects, engineers, and the general contractor. That often includes administering a bid process. Finally, with our project team in place and an agreeable project delivery method and schedule in hand, we lead the team through the production of final design and construction documents to ensure our owner’s objectives and operating priorities are preserved.

4. Proceed

Key Aspects:

  • Groundbreaking
  • Communication
  • Construction Management
  • Administration
  • Cash and Financial Management
  • FF&E Procurement
  • Staff Development

Having reached the construction management phase, our team transitions to serving as the owner’s expert eyes and ears. At this step we’re maintaining hands-on, day-to-day oversight of the project team, and anticipating and averting costly issues before they arise. By implementing project management protocols, we guarantee a systematic approach to project team and owner communication, schedule adherence, financial oversight, and project administration. Most importantly, we navigate problem resolution when it occurs, continually seeking efficiencies and opportunities to maximize owner resources, reduce costs, and deliver optimum return on investment.

5. Perform

Key Aspects:

  • Staff Development/Training
  • Naming Rights Advisory
  • Premium Product Optimization
  • Facility Systems Testing
  • Owner Occupancy
  • Grand Opening
  • Operational Support

It’s the final phase of the project. Time to cut the ribbon! Here we’re diligently administering the project close-out, final permit process, punch-list execution, and transition to owner occupancy. As experienced operators, we often participate in the recruitment and evaluation process for facility management executives and staff and support the owner in initial training and facility systems operation. If there are building services contracts to negotiate, we work with the owner to complete those and continue to represent their interests through occupancy, punch-list completion, and the settlement of all accounts.

It takes a team effort and years of hard work, but if you follow the 5 Ps, you can be pretty confident you’ll end up with a sports-anchored commercial development that’s smartly funded, meticulously planned, expertly executed, eminently profitable, and leaves a lasting legacy. In real estate, that’s the definition of success.