Acquiring Right of Way From Commercial Properties – Access, Access, Access

By Pete Waldman, Esquire
Partner at Weiss Serota Helfman Cole + Berman

We have all heard the term Location, Location, Location in the context of valuing real property. In the same realm of importance as location is access. A major part of what gives commercial property value, whether it be a retail gasoline site, a shopping center, or a distribution warehouse property is access. It is essential as right of way professionals that we fully analyze the properties within the parameters of our proposed projects with access in mind.

What type of vehicles need to access the properties? How do those vehicles access those properties? Where do the vehicles need to go once they access a property? In the context of these questions is the project being designed in such a way that functional access will be maintained to the properties within the corridor of the project. These important design considerations should include not only driveways but internal circulation.

If we fail to consider these important aspects of functional access in the design of our right of way projects it can result in substantial increases in right of way costs (real estate and business damages), which can result in a proposed project not being feasible. Designing and Building better roads is essential, but it should not be done in a way that impacts the viability of properties along those roads. Remember Access, Access, Access as an essential part of your project analysis.