Permit Expediter Perspective: Hotel vs Multifamily
We’ve seen the recent case studies with innovative developers are renovating hotels into low-income multifamily housing, and I’m here to give you a permit expediter perspective. First, I will go describe how to permit each a hotel and multifamily to give you a taste of the complex city processes you are going into. Then, I will describe the pros and cons of converting one into the other. My hope is in highlighting the components of these types of developments you gain perspective from a permit expediter.
The first thing to know about getting hotel permits is to understand the city landscape you are developing in. For example, the City of Los Angeles offers tax incentives to bring hotel developments into the city as part of their continued support of the tourist business the city has to offer. The problem lies in finding space to either: a) convert into a hotel or b) demolish and rebuilt into a hotel. In either case you are looking at a change of use permit, at the very least. At most, you will be looking at a demolition permit, shell permit, change of use permit, the tenant improvement permits, and the permits associated with mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Be aware of the city and county regulations for hotels and if there are incentives to develop there. When in doubt ask your permit expediter.
In a similar way to hotels you need to understand where the city and county you are developing in stands on multifamily projects. In areas where there is a housing shortage you may find yourself the prettiest development at the party, so to speak, however the city may mandate a percentage of the housing be allocated for low-income housing. Gentrification has turned into a bad word in most regions of the country and voters are more and more voting to restrict luxury housing developments. Be aware of the city’s needs and be prepared to negotiate deals to even begin the permitting process. Additionally, you may find yourself wanting to utilize mixed use capabilities for your project. Again, be sure you understand how intensification works in your chosen location. Traffic studies, noise and light pollution studies, and pedestrian traffic are considerations the local city council take seriously when approving change of use permits and conditional use permits. When in doubt ask your permit expediter.
Converting One Into the Other
Now that you have an understanding of the entitlement and permitting basis for hotel and multifamily projects let’s talk about converting from one into the other. Using a former hotel to develop a multifamily housing is an efficient use of space and time, as well as being socially trendy at the moment. City councils are looking on these type of developments positively as they help ease either the housing needs or economic needs for local residents. Permitting-wise you will most likely need change of use permits, building permits, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits. Lastly, you need to take parking structures or spaces into consideration. How are you going to handle more consistent residents? This is really the curveball when converting spaces as you will need additional entitlements for parking.
As I draw this article to a close I want to make mention that this article only scratches the surface of such projects. For more specific information and fuller consult give me a call and let me do a due diligence report for you. These are complex and exciting projects that help grow the local economy while allowing folks to live, work, and play in their chosen neighborhood. And, as always, when in doubt ask your permit expediter.
About Permit Advisors: Permit Advisors Inc. is a complete permit, entitlement consulting, and expediting firm based out of Beverly Hills, Ca. We go beyond just submitting plans, as you may have experienced with previous expediters. We have established strong relationships with officials of many municipalities and have numerous time and cost saving strategies that we implement to efficiently complete projects. We aim to secure all permits as quickly as possible! We keep track of all the different aspects of the permitting process and make sure that the project is being given full attention by everyone on the team. We responsibly update clients and ensure that lines of communication are open between the Jurisdiction, the consultants and the client at all times. Contact us today for a consultation www.permitadvisors.com.