Los Angeles Permit Expediter: 5 Things to Know about Expediters in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Permit Expediter: 5 Things to Know about Expediters in Los Angeles

Permit expediters pop up in larger metro cities and play an important role in the development process, however, Los Angeles permit expediters face different concerns than most other places. In this article, I will explain the 5 key things you need to know about permit expediters in Los Angeles. I warn you, this is a glimpse behind the curtain so read at your own peril.

  1. One-man bands: Some permit expediters have an LLC associated with them and seem rather large. However, in Los Angeles, many permit expediters are one-man bands that run all their projects. In other cities it is commonplace to have permit expediters that work independently, however, in Los Angeles, one-man bands are problematic for multiple projects. If you have a shopping center with three or four tenants, at the very least, you are facing competing priorities as more complex tenants will get the bulk of their time which results in longer wait times overall. Beware the one-man bands by asking to tour their office or have a meeting with some of their key project managers. Larger firms are all too happy to have visitors tour their offices or even tag along during meetings.
  2. Price points: Because of how many permit expediters work in Los Angeles many permit expediters join bidding wars and win the project but can’t afford the person working for them. This often results in that person working too many projects which means too many priorities, bad treatment of employees, and bad perception. When you sign your name to a cheap permit expediter you associate yourself with their representation to the city as well as to their employees. Beware too convenient price points in the city of Los Angeles for permit expediting.
  3. Bad reputation: If you’re new to developing in Los Angeles it may be tempting to use almighty Google and as long as they’re nice to you choose that firm. However, upon doing your due diligence and asking around you may find that different permit expediters have a reputation with tenants, developers, and even the city itself! Once, I heard a city official make fun of a permit expediting company for their high turnover rate! What does that tell you? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes when it comes to vetting your permit expediter in Los Angeles.
  4. Knowledge of Los Angeles Programs: Los Angeles Building and Safety is not for the faint of heart, and if a permit professional is just breaking into the Los Angeles market you face a credible risk. There are many different programs in Los Angeles and your project could qualify for an express counter check, an expedited review, or even over-the-counter approval! But, if your permit expediter isn’t knowledgeable about the different programs of Los Angeles you could be wasting precious time.
  5. Knowledge of Los Angeles Geography: Just because you work in Los Angeles doesn’t mean you are acquainted with the quirky neighborhoods and areas burgeoning all over the place. If they aren’t familiar with the neighborhood you’re developing in how will they be able to defend your project to the city? They don’t need to visit the site, although I normally do, but they should at least know how the different neighborhoods interact with each other and view themselves. Authenticity is increasingly important to consumers especially in Los Angeles so communicating that narrative to the city is essential on the part of the permit expediter.

In closing this brief article, I want to emphasize how important it is to understand the nuances of Los Angeles, especially as a permit expediter. One could argue these points are important as a permit expediter in general, just interchange the name Los Angeles with any major city, and I would totally agree! Understanding these 5 principles will save you time, money, and heartache.


About: Permit Advisors, Inc. is a nationwide permit expediting, entitlement, and consulting firm based out of Beverly Hills, CA. We have established relationships with municipalities nation-wide and implement time as well as cost-saving strategies to efficiently complete projects. We provide a project management team to ensure every aspect of the project is given specific attention while maintaining open communication between the jurisdiction, consultants, and our clients. We serve retailers, architects, landlords, tenant coordinators, contractors, and franchisees nationwide in the hotel, retail, restaurant, mixed-use, multifamily, entertainment, grocery, and logistical plant development industries. Contact us today for a consultation at www.permitadvisors.com.

Nov 7, 2016 By admin