It is a thrilling prospect to take a large piece of property and turn it into something the entire community can enjoy. If you have plans to take a piece of inner city property and turn it into some type of recreational center, that is a really good idea. There is certainly more than one property for sale in bigger cities that could use a fun and safe place for everyone to go and enjoy some activities. Before you get started, here are a few things you need to know about this type of real estate purchase and intended development project.
What Zoning Permits Will You Need?
In general, if you just need a commercial zoning permit prior to purchasing the property, you are in good hands with most of the land available within city limits. However, if your intended use of the property involves animals and recreation in some way (e.g., a horse riding arena and horses for rent, a petting zoo, etc.,), then you may need an agricultural permit as well. Most cities may not allow you to add or convert a property to agricultural use such that you could create a horse riding stable and arena or petting zoo, which is why you should look into this first.
What Activities Do You Hope to Offer?
Are you going to install an indoor pool in this community recreation center? Maybe you want to have a room dedicated to art and a kiln or two for firing clay projects? Really get a good idea of what kinds of activities you intend for this center to offer, because it will dictate the size of the property you will need to purchase. Also, consider the possibility that you may not find a large enough horizontal piece of property for construction, and that the community center may have to fit into a given property space vertically (i.e., several stories up instead of several rooms on a single story layout).
Will the City Approve of Your Development Plan?
People with big dreams like yours do not know or even realize that a development plan to construct this community might be rejected by the very city in which they want to build this center. You can buy the property with intentions to create something great for everyone, but if the city does not approve your development plan, you will have to edit your plan or take it in a new direction. Sometimes it is better to investigate what the city building and planning commissioners would approve of before you buy property.