Selecting the right site for a new media production and workspace facility is crucial for companies investing in their long-term future and embarking on a large-scale capital project.
Careful site selection sets the foundation for successful design development and build-out phases of a construction project. Before acquiring property or signing a lease, companies must consider several critical factors that directly impact the quality of a production facility. Relative to typical office or workspace build-outs, production facilities are significantly more expensive to build and can take far longer to complete, since they are often thought of as two projects in one, starting with site build-out and following with media commissioning.
Space requirements for production facilities are also very different from workspace considerations, often requiring high ceilings and expansive, uninterrupted spans to accommodate studios, or close proximity to power and data demarkation points to accommodate the significant demands of a large-scale facility. These requirements may make less traditional spaces attractive for media companies, such as repositioned mall spaces, big box stores, or warehouse/intermodal facilities.
- Location and Accessibility: Consider proximity to transportation hubs, major highways, and public transportation to ensure convenient access for employees, clients, and suppliers. Also evaluate the availability of nearby amenities that could impact productivity and quality of life for the same stakeholders, such as restaurants, hotels, and retail spaces.
- Infrastructure and Utilities: Assess the site’s infrastructure, including power supply, water availability, sewage systems, and telecommunications infrastructure. Adequate utility connections are essential for smooth operations.
- Space Requirements: Determine the space for your workspace and media production requirements. Consider factors such as office areas, production studios, post-production facilities, storage space, and future expansion possibilities.
- Zoning and Regulations: Ensure the site is appropriately zoned for your intended use and complies with local regulations, building codes, and permits required for media production activities.
- Environmental Considerations: Evaluate the site’s environmental factors, such as proximity to protected areas, flood zones, or other natural risks. Consider sustainability goals and assess the potential for eco-friendly initiatives.
- Security and Safety: Ensure the site provides adequate security measures to protect valuable equipment and assets. Evaluate the safety protocols, emergency exits, fire suppression systems, and compliance with safety regulations.
- Acoustic Isolation Considerations: For media production facilities, analyze the acoustic properties of the site to minimize external noise interference. Evaluate the need for soundproofing, sound isolation, and control measures.
- Technical Infrastructure: Evaluate the availability of robust internet connectivity, network infrastructure, and technology infrastructure required for media production activities. Consider the scalability and reliability of the infrastructure.
- Talent Pool and Labor Market: Assess the availability of skilled labor and proximity to educational institutions offering relevant programs. Consider the local talent pool and potential for attracting talent to the area.
- Cost and Financial Considerations: Evaluate the overall cost of the site, including leasing or purchasing costs, property taxes, maintenance fees, and potential incentives or grants offered by the local government.
- Market Presence and Image: Consider the site’s reputation and alignment with your company’s brand image. Evaluate the potential impact on your company’s market presence and the perception of clients and stakeholders.
- Expansion Opportunities: Assess the potential for future expansion or adaptation of the workspace and media production facility. Consider the availability of adjacent land or nearby properties for potential growth.
- Local Support and Community Engagement: Evaluate the support of the local community, availability of local vendors, and networking opportunities. Consider the potential for partnerships and collaborations with other businesses in the area.
- Disaster Preparedness: Assess the site’s vulnerability to natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods. The availability of backup power systems, emergency response infrastructure, and disaster recovery plans also helps navigate unexpected manufactured disasters and errors.
- Regulatory and Tax Considerations: Understand the local regulatory environment and tax implications, including business taxes, sales taxes, and incentives provided for regional businesses.
- Transportation and Logistics: Evaluate the site’s proximity to transportation and logistics networks, including airports, seaports, and distribution centers. Consider the ease of shipping and receiving goods and equipment.
- Local Workforce Development Programs: Researching local workforce development programs or initiatives supporting skill development and training for the media production industry can help attract and retain talent.
- Cultural and Diversity Considerations: Consider the local culture, diversity, and inclusivity of the surrounding community. Assess how these factors align with your company’s values and the potential impact on employee satisfaction.
- Future Development and Infrastructure Plans: Research plans for the surrounding area, such as infrastructure projects, commercial developments, or residential growth. Assess how these plans might impact the site’s desirability and accessibility.
- Expert Advice and Consultation: Seek advice from professionals experienced in site selection, real estate, and media production facility design. Engaging experts can provide valuable insights and help navigate complex decisions.
This list is robust but not exhaustive, and every company will have a different set of priorities that drive decision-making. We cannot underestimate the importance of carefully considering these factors informed by the company’s near (5-10 year) and long (30+ year) term strategic plan.
Companies typically engage real estate brokers or construction cost managers to help guide this process since they bring an understanding of the market and construction process. But we have learned through our own client engagements that success comes from a closer understanding of a company’s internal operational strengths, corporate priorities, and opportunities for growth.
As Client Representatives who are embedded in a company, understand the company’s operational capabilities and are aligned with the executive team from a project governance perspective, our consultants are able to help leadership teams navigate the requirements definition and site selection stages of a project, and continue to augment the leadership team’s ability to properly manage the design and build of a facility during the entire lifecycle of the project.
REAL ESTATE & CLIENT REPRESENTATIVE CONSULTANTS
Daryl Twitchell | Managing Director | New York
Iain Paine | Managing Director | New York
Tim Lemmon | Managing Director | New York
Inderpal Singh | Managing Director | Detroit
Gina Chute | Director | New York