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When a business is looking for a site, location is key. Zoning, title, environmental factors, and geographic areas are all critical and concrete factors that come into play. Buyers and lessees must understand the exact uses and restrictions assigned to the property. Local authorities segment land into zoning districts that define what can be built, how buildings are used, and how they relate to other buildings.

If the property zoning fits and there are no issues with the title, environmental factors, and geographic area, the next step is to decide if the location matches your business needs. Here are five things you should consider to help you find the right match for your business in our current market.

1. Does it fit the needs of the business? Enter the process with a list of priorities. In our current market, you must know what things are essential, preferences, and not necessary. This will help your broker filter listings and better negotiate once you have settled on a process. For example, is outside storage a priority? If so, how much space is necessary? Does the property provide growth potential if you see the possibility for business expansion? If a dock door or drive-in is needed, does the building have one? Would the landlord create one if it makes sense to the property?

2. Do traffic patterns meet your needs? Would neighbors provide needed foot traffic? Convenience may be essential for some businesses. Others may benefit from not being surrounded by high-traffic areas. Whatever your needs, be sure to look at traffic patterns in the area. Surrounding tenants such as corporate headquarters or large retail businesses can often help smaller businesses thrive, as they bring people and business to the area.

3. Is it around other businesses that complement your business? Are there businesses close you want to avoid? A legendary and very popular brew pub opened in my neighborhood recently. Now, a restaurant opened across the street. The area is more popular due to the magnetic draw of similar businesses. They complement each other and benefit from their mutual successes.

4. Can your business be seen? You want your visitors to find you, so having a property that is easy to get to, has strong visibility, and good signage may be critical. Effective signage gets you noticed and conveniently drives traffic to your business. Your broker can discuss sign options available for each property you are thinking about and negotiate with the owner.

5. Does your vision align with the neighborhood and submarket demographics? Analyze population growth, employment numbers, targeted wages, and supply and demand. It’s also helpful if there is a market driver, like major employers, retail and hospitality options, universities, airports, entertainment facilities, etc. Neighborhoods or business districts might have a particular theme, like an arts district, corporate center, antique district, or sports hub. Your broker can help you understand the data on a particular market and see if it aligns with your vision.

A property’s location is a critical component for the success of your business, especially if you are an out-of-town investor or expanding business. Given our current market, it helps to have an open mind, a knowledgeable broker, and all the necessary information to make the right deal for your business. I’m here to help if you have any questions (612-788-1552 or

Jeff Salzbrun is the owner and broker of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in many sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.

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