Springfield, MO

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Location choice tied to type of business, demographics

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by Ann Bucy

SBJ Contributing Writer

When determining where you're going to place your business, location is an extremely important consideration.

"In the retail business, it's critical to your success," said Steve Coller, president of Commercial Property Group.

"You also want to watch out for traffic count how many cars are driving by how accessible the property is, that you have the appropriate signage and what the immediate trade area is," he said. "Some kinds of businesses don't want to be near their competition."

To help in researching where you should locate, some perspective can be provided by the city's Public Works Department. Staff can tell you what future construction projects are planned for the city (especially useful information if your potential site would be cut off

from traffic during road construction), and the city and state both maintain traffic-count maps that will tell you what kind of traffic you'll have in front of your business.

Barbara Beyer, CCIM, is the owner of Beyer Commercial Realtors, and she's been working in real estate since 1985, focusing solely on commercial properties.

"An investor has a goal, whether it be a cap rate or an internal rate of return," she said. "I want to help them achieve their individual goal."

Beyer said the location of the property has to fit the needs of the business. "It's about what's good for the business," she said. "It's a lot less emotional than when you're looking for a house."

She said that for retail stores and shopping centers, what's important is visibility, accessibility, the right demographics, the traffic mix, the tenant mix and being located at a major intersection.

For industrial space, having access to highways is important, according to Beyer. "You want to be where tractor trailers and other big vehicles can come in and out easily. It's also important to have access to utilities and, if you're a distribution center, to be convenient to your customers."

"Location should serve a function no matter what kind of business it is," she said.

Gregg Stancer, the managing broker at CJR Commercial Group, formerly AmerUs Commercial, agreed that retail businesses depend on demographics to succeed at their business.

"They depend on demographics, while those seeking office space, which is driven by local managers and employees' desires, look

at the attractiveness of a particular area," he said. "Those looking at manufacturing space are interested in the price of

the ground, what utilities are available, and that there's access to the major highways."

According to Stancer, national companies have a set criteria for their site selection processes. "For example, the Blockbuster Video and Rio Bravo Cantina stores near the Wal-Mart Super Center on Independence," he said. "You'll find that kind of grouping nationwide where those businesses are all together."

He added, "The regional or local companies can look at traffic count and try to distance themselves from their competitors."

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