Services of the Piedmont Companies
The Piedmont Companies is the nation’s premier developer of Goodwill facilities. Piedmont has developed over one million square feet of retail, office and warehouse space for numerous Goodwill organizations located in the Southeast and Southwest over the last fifteen years. The company has an extensive set of dedicated employees, specialized tools and accumulated experience that can take the risks, fears and surprises out your Goodwill’s next development project.
Employee Skill Set
Every Commercial Developer with Piedmont has at least seven years experience with the company in their respective role. Some of the skills that define a Piedmont Commercial Developer include:
• Project Financial Analysis
• Preliminary Site Design
• Thorough understanding of commercial buildings and construction procedures
• Knowledge of interior and exterior finishes
• Experience with the unique features of a Goodwill retail facility, such as drive-through design, processing room workflow and loading dock design.
• Experience overcoming use restrictions
• Accomplished project management
• Experience using mapping and demographic software
• Negotiation abilities
A Piedmont Commercial Developer usually devotes at least one third of year of work to each project (0.33 FTE) before the project begins construction. An inexperienced, but very knowledgeable, employee may take two to three times this amount of time.
Piedmont has acquired tools and created templates to facilitate the design and management of a Goodwill retail project. Piedmont owns a license to use the SitesUSA retail site selection program. SitesUSA is the premier demographic and mapping software package for the retail industry. The program includes a complete demographics package, a customizable mapping package and the ability to provide maps based upon demographic criteria. In addition, Piedmont has also purchased the SitesUSA Trade Area Toolkit and Market Optimization modules to add further power and flexibility to the program.
Several Piedmont employees have CAD and graphic design skills that allow them to create preliminary site plans.
Templates created from years of experience are used to extend the powers of Microsoft Office. These propriety templates are used for Loan Applications, Project Financial Analysis and the forms and letters required to complete a project.
Microsoft Project is used to manage projects. In-house templates provide a complete set of ordinary tasks and their related order, importance and placement on the critical path of a project.
Commercial developers also make use of publicly available sources of information such as GIS systems, Geospatial programs and real estate databases in their market analysis and site selection processes.
Territory Analysis and Studies
Piedmont Companies uses the most advanced demographic mapping software to identify areas where your next location will be the most successful. We will work with you to identify the demographic variables that best identify your customers and then use those variables to create a map that identifies the areas that hold the most promise. Then our team of real estate experts will search promising areas to find the very best location for your facility.
Dynamic and interactive mapping provides the objective core data to support our associates’ local market knowledge, industry insight and strategic relationships. Experience, research and instinct combine with analytics to create dependable collateral critical to real estate decision making.
Location analytics is the newest moniker for something that used to be called spatial analytics, geographic information systems (GIS), or just mapping software. People are more comfortable with viewing data on a map, and when they see patterns, they want to understand them – that’s location analytics. So location analytics is really about dynamic, interactive mapping.
Through location analytics, GIS provides the objective core data to support our associates’ local market knowledge, industry insight and strategic relationships. Experience, research and instinct combine with analytics to create dependable collateral critical to real estate decision making.
Method and process:
• Meet with our Piedmont team to understand goals and objectives
• Develop a complete and accurate understanding about the project
• Evaluate the resources and manpower necessary to achieve the goal
• Deliberate and create a critical path with target deadlines
Location analytics product output comes in many forms:
• Visually-depicted products (maps and aerials) or reports
• Site characteristics
• Traffic counts
• Market optimization analyses
• Market characteristics
• Competition studies
• Demographic Characteristics:
- Demographics Based on Radii, trade area or drive time
- Thematic shading
- Density shading
A Piedmont Commercial Developer uses many skills in identifying the best site for your next retail facility. We can work with you to correlate your current store performance with the surrounding demographics to identify key elements that drive your stores success. Those important demographic elements are then used in the SitesUSA program to identify the locations in your territory that hold the most promise for a new location.
Once these areas are identified, Piedmont starts researching the available real estate for the site that has the best combination of price, utility availability, traffic counts, visibility, ingress/egress, proper zoning, retail synergy and traffic patterns. The information will come from many different sources and requires experience in filtering through the data to get to the truth about each site.
Piedmont will prepare reports on the best sites and give your management team a tour of the most promising ones at your convenience.
The Piedmont Companies offers financing options for Goodwill Industries retail facilities that it develops. The Piedmont Companies can tailor a financing plan that will provide ownership of new retail facility and preserve precious organizational capital.For more information, click on our Financing page-> Financing
We can offer financing options, serve as your owner’s representative or provide services that meet your industrial needs.
Design/Build Consulting Services
Piedmont’s knowledge and experience with Goodwill projects shortens the design phase and improves the final design for a facility. During the site design and property assessment phases of a project, Piedmont’s knowledge and experience add these items to the mix:
• Experience in placing Drive-Through Donation for the best traffic flow and donor visibility.
• Designing truck docks for proper ingress/egress of the trucks, employee access and limited customer visibility.
• Processing room design experience aids in the donation processing workflow by maximizing the flow of merchandise through the donation drive through, truck dock and retail interfaces.
• Review of civil and architectural preliminary designs has resulted in reduced costs for site work and infrastructure construction.
• Value engineering suggestions by Piedmont based on the final design plans before and during the bid process have resulted in significant savings on many projects.
The final building design can benefit from Piedmont’s extensive experience of Goodwill retail facility development. Piedmont can recommend exterior finishes that are easily maintained, cost effective and visually pleasing. When selecting interior finishes, you can rely on your Commercial Developer to discuss the costs and benefits of various flooring, ceiling and HVAC systems. Knowledge of current construction and design costs allow Piedmont to keep architectural construction costs well managed.
Starting with sending out bids to General Contractors and ending with a Certificate of Occupancy, Piedmont’s construction management group keeps the project on time and within budget. Piedmont provides change order management that explores every possible alternative to an expensive change that a General Contractor may propose. Piedmont is often able to save more than its fee in managing change orders alone.
Some examples of change order management that resulted in large customer savings:
• Saved over $250,000 on a drug store change order sprinkler system by investigating alternative water lines from the municipality and finding an alternative sprinkler system subcontractor who designed a more efficient system than the one identified by the General Contractor.
• By handling the negotiations for power locations and installation between a commercial subdivision owner and the local utility company, over $32,000 was saved in utility infrastructure costs.
• Savings of over $8,000.00 were realized when a change order was reviewed with the determination that the change order occurred due to a design error. Client was advised that the cost should not be approved and paid. The design team covered the cost of the design correction.
• Savings of over $30,000.00 were realized by petitioning governmental authorities to delete requirements for HVAC roof top screening based on sight line photographs of the project.
• Most recently Piedmont assisted a client by working with the GC to provide VE savings and in excess of $800,000.00 on their corporate office project.
Piedmont works diligently to deliver a facility to you on a timely and cost effective basis. Your executive staff time will not be consumed by managing a project. Choosing Piedmont can minimize your risk in developing a new store and allow your staff to do what they do best. The staff of Piedmont Companies looks forward to serving your real estate needs!
Managing a development project is much like managing a construction project; you have to know who does what and when do they do it. For example, which needs to be completed first, a geotechnical exploration or a workable preliminary site plan? Without that knowledge, a lot of time and money can be wasted.
Another aspect of Project Management for commercial development is coordination of the many design and engineering professionals that all play roles in a project. A commercial developer is the single point of contact for all of the professionals on a project. He/she is responsible of keeping this group all working together and headed toward the goal line.
Regular reporting of development/construction progress keeps your management team informed of the project’s progress and updated delivery schedule. This reporting can be delivered in emails, hard copy or on Web sites, however you prefer.
• Site Lighting is an item that typically does not fall under the general contractor’s care, custody and control. Site lighting can be purchased or leased from the local utility company. Piedmont handles obtaining the site lighting agreements, easement negotiations, etc. for items such as these.
• Sign variances – Due to the knowledge of Goodwill operations, in several municipalities, we have obtained sign variances allowing Goodwill to properly identify their retail, job link/training centers and the donation areas.
• Piedmont has a proprietary method of evaluating General Contractor bids to search for efficiencies developed by contractors and to identify items that were missed and will result in bids that are artificially low. By utilizing our services during the bidding process and keeping costs down during construction, there were over $500,000 in savings realized on a Goodwill project. Goodwill saved significant building expenses which earned Piedmont a time-and-savings bonus for the project.