Where the Four R's Prevail

By Dean Barber

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When I first heard the words “location, location, location,” coming from a real estate broker, it was maybe 30 years ago and I thought, “Now how clever is that? He about sums it up.”

But that catchy phrase doesn’t sum it. The truth is that you may have the best strategic location for a given project, but if the pieces of the puzzle don’t come together, then you are not the right choice after all.

If a manufacturing client for example wants an existing 100,000-square-foot building with 32-footing ceilings and you don’t have anything close to it, then you are not in the running. Or let’s say we are looking for a 50-acre certified site where all the proper due diligence has been performed so that we can hit the ground running on a fast-track basis. If you don’t have it, we’re looking elsewhere.

Then again, you may have a great building or a site that fits the bill completely, but there is that one factor which you have no control over, which invariably gets you scratched. It’s a cruel world.

As a location investigator, which is what I ultimately am, I can tell you that the site selection process transcends location alone. So many factors are at work, which is why companies should not try this on their own. A mistake can be costly, even put a company in peril.

Last week, I wrote about how infrastructure was a basic building to commerce and an essential ingredient to site selection. I lamented how infrastructure in this country is getting old and rickety and how we need to invest in ourselves if we are to remain a competitive force.

A Place of the Four “R’s”

I just came from Memphis this past week. Here I found a lot of the basic building blocks in place – an air cargo hub ranked second in the world, five Class I railroads and three intermodal hubs, a convergence of highways, and a major port along the Mississippi River.

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