This is where vanity – even in resource-rich development companies – will trump good business practices. Money is spent on a ‘profitable’ dream, architects are hired, surveyors are sent out, permits are pulled – purchase and sell contracts are completed based on ‘promises; and then comes the review by boards and commissions.
The abutters are horrified at your dream and the city is upset.
If you are a homeowner, you’re upset they don’t share your sense of value.
If you’re a developer, you’re upset their nosing about is going to cost you money and make you lose your profit margins.
Either way, all of this could have been avoided by seeking out abutters to explain what you are planning to do and to approach the boards and commissions with pre-permitting concepts before you spend money on architects, consultants and engineers.
In the case of Toppan’s Lane, the developer has spent ALL THIS MONEY and now the hospital, the preservationists and the residents on Toppan’s Lane want major changes in access roads, parking and building configurations.
The developer has a choice – swallow the mistake, lose money and in return, gain respect from the abutters, the city and the citizens; or fight them in court and generate huge ill-feeling for years to come so you can keep your profit-margin and make your investors happy.
A tough choice that never needed to have been made with a little humility, a little reality and a little extra time.
May this be a lesson to locals, outside developers and those pondering future projects!