Three Ways to Move Development Projects Forward During a Pandemic
Some developers and municipalities have decided to hit pause, others are keeping on track, and a few are accelerating work where possible. Here are three steps to move projects forward.
1. Don’t Wait to Get Back to Normal
When we first shifted from working in offices to working from home, there was a tendency for people to push meetings to “when we get back.” Many organizations are opting to go ahead with previous plans as much as possible—just virtually. It’s important to stay connected with clients and partners to keep projects moving and look for opportunities to accelerate design. There is no shortage of work to do, so I encourage clients not to wait for things to be perfect. For example, with the Las Vegas strip closure, some projects in that area have been expedited since lanes are closed all day, rather than just at night.
2. Know Your Jurisdiction
An important part of keeping things moving is the submittals and permitting process. Permitting has gone largely unchanged, as there’s widespread agreement that stopping that process could be devastating. Submittals, on the other hand, have changed and are increasingly being accepted online. Most agencies are working reduced schedules right now, so it is important to check submittals regularly. We track the process changes for each agency and keep on top of them daily. The more we understand the process for each agency and department, the better we can serve our clients.
Additionally, we are carefully monitoring the new guidance for safety at construction job sites, which will likely change protocols for the foreseeable future. This has helped keep our Las Vegas Raiders Stadium project on schedule. There’s a feeling that construction in general—especially on projects like stadiums—is important to both the economy and morale. As construction is still underway, there are increased efforts to ensure all workers are respecting new guidelines such as social distancing.
Despite staying on schedule, we’ve still experienced some disappointing consequences during this pandemic. The Las Vegas Raiders were supposed to host the 2020 NFL Draft, which would have been a monumental event for Las Vegas. We’re glad to know it’s re-scheduled for 2022 in Las Vegas and we will be ready for it then!
3. Over Communicate and Prioritize Your Projects
My recommendation for developers is to keep in touch with your consultants and ensure there is clear direction on what you want to accomplish. This communication will ensure a smoother transition to the new normal. For consultants, checking in with clients right now certainly isn’t perfect, but video calls are a great way to connect. It’s been fun getting to know everyone’s families and pets over this past month!
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