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What is Site Plan Approval (SPA)?

Site plan approval is a development process that builders go through to have a site approved for new construction. After the process is completed and approved by the building department, the property has increased in value and is building permit ready and construction can begin. SPA involves many different professionals to get the final approval and depending on the size of the project, it can cost millions of dollars for final approval. The property will increase in value as high as 100% but the process can take years for large project or many months for a smaller project.

 

Most of my clients apply for SPA for infill construction projects for new homes but a few of my new clients are applying for commercial developments. Commercial developments often need rezoning too so a planner is hired to facilitate the rezoning. Other hurdles might develop such as after comments are received from the building department, they might ask for a archaeological dig for an ancient native burial site. A letter of credit for the full approval process. Client might need a new survey of the property boundaries, hypothetical appraisal reports for the new future value after SPA and future value for after construction is completed. Marketing firms are hired to pre-sell the space or lease the space before construction begins. Sometimes they presell the site before they even have SPA which is risky but I’ve seen that happen. Or alternatively they will have two site plan approvals on the same property being applied for at the same time. Just incase the one SPA isn’t approved, the back up application
will be approved and they can sell or build that plan.

INFILL CONSTRUCTION Site Plan Approval

This will require engineer, architect, survey and possibly rezoning if they client is building a semi detached project. The typical time it takes to get to the SPA will be about 6 months conservatively and the cost is on the average about $100K. When I am looking at financing the construction of the project, I need to know that it is SPA and permit ready. We will need the permit before we can release funds for the project.

COMMERCIAL Site Plan Approval

This process can take well over a year and the cost is well over a million dollars. Probably close to 2 million when you include the marketing firms involved. The property value will increase significantly and the borrower will have many options to finance the project.

MORTGAGE FINANCING for Site Plan Approval

I Finance Construction has successfully financed site plan approval for residential and commercial projects. IFC has a new lender that is looking for commercial deals and can fund up to 100 million for construction financing.

Suggested Links for Site Plan Approval in Toronto 

https://www1.toronto.ca/static_files/CityPlanning/PDF/guide_sectionD.pdf