Navigating Today’s Construction Challenges with Pre-Development

Navigating Today’s Construction Challenges with Pre-Development

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Construction management provides the building blocks for future cities. In difficult times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation rates, and ongoing labor and supply chain challenges, construction leaders must take stock of the strategies and solutions to guide clients through hardships and towards a pathway to project success.

A critical element for successful construction management is the pre-development phase.

Our approach to pre-development is collaborative and partnering with our key stakeholders and clients. We counsel our project partners in their pursuit of success by reviewing potential development sites and advising on critical matters such as pre-development budget forecasting, site analysis, scheduling, value engineering, and more. This crucial phase reinforces our commitment to accountability and transparency. While each site offers unique challenges, we have evolved our strategies to outline the following processes that lead to a streamlined and efficient service for our clients.

Cost & Schedule Certainty

UAG’s pre-development phase is driven by our ability to derive cost and schedule certainty for our clients. Budget forecasting begins long before construction commences and is an invaluable service for our project partners. With building materials up 35.7% since January 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, developers rely on our expertise to provide accurate construction budgeting for their developments. The ever-changing market makes it difficult to predict future pricing. Thus, UAG is often involved in the front end of the pre-development process to budget accurately, while evaluating proper contingencies and escalations, and provide schedule certainty with clear paths to the start and finish of each project. Open communication and cross-collaboration allow us to estimate construction costs even under financially stressed markets and supply chain challenges.


Local laws and building construction in New York City are evolving to reflect our community’s social, economic, and environmental well-being. Typically, a consultant is hired by the owner to guide LEED, Fitwel, material procurement, and construction waste, etc.  UAG employs an in-house sustainability project manager to facilitate our active pursuit of being more environmentally conscious and forward-thinking.  Currently, UAG is working on two high profile, sustainability conscious projects; 100 Flatbush, New York’s first all-electric tower in Downtown Brooklyn, and Halletts Point, a mixed-use waterfront development located on a former industrial yard in Queens, New York.

100 Flatbush, Under Construction

Image Credit: Selvon Ramsawak

Safety for Workers and Neighbors

Safety is at the forefront of everything we do at UAG. We provide a personalized approach toward safety by working with our hand-selected subcontractors and suppliers to ensure incident and injury-free operational success. A successful pre-development plan includes a strategy for safety measures leading up to and during the construction of a job site. The priority of our project partners, specifically our trade contractors, extends to the buildout of The Portico – a UAG-specific initiative to create a welcoming entry experience to instill a sense of pride and camaraderie around an organized job site.

Additionally, we care deeply about the people and communities with which we build and interact – we are intentional and compassionate in giving back to our community to create a more inclusive New York. We seek to create synergies between our projects and communities by limiting the adverse effects of a poorly respected job site, thus reinforcing our philosophy, people first.

Left to Right: 100 Flatbush Portico; Bronx Point Portico and Custom Mural Commissioned by Tats Cru

Image Credit: Selvon Ramsawak

Looking Forward to 2023

The last three years have brought unprecedented challenges to the construction industry, and most forecasts indicate they will remain in 2023. High inflation, extended supply chain challenges, and economic uncertainty will be driving factors moving forward. While there are many aspects to construction, all equally important, the pre-development phase is now more critical than ever. Constant and clear communication is essential and at the forefront of our relationships with clients as we head into 2023.

By Andy D’Amico, Founding President, and CEO of Urban Atelier Group

*Featured Image Courtesy: UAG

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