5 Ways to Create More Value in Commercial Development Projects

Crain employee smiling while holding an iPad on a construction site

Every developer or owner wants to maximize the value of their commercial development projects. As a general contractor that prioritizes honest and intentional business practices, we approach our work by putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes. We’ve been in the game long enough to recognize the pitfalls that can decrease the value of a project. We’ve also learned that collaboration with architects and leaning on the expertise of subcontractors is key to maximizing the value. 

Our systematic approach to construction and development is one of the ways we set our projects up for success before the first shovel ever hits the ground. Our pre-construction team reduces costs, minimizes delays, and identifies alternate solutions to increase the overall value of a project. This has become an increasingly important way to help project owners who are navigating rising commercial construction costs avoid the new obstacles our industry is facing, such as work shortages and supply chain issues.

At Crain, we’ve had the opportunity to work with owners from hospitality groups, auto dealerships, and small business owners on a variety of new construction and renovation projects. While each project is unique, there are a few common best practices that project owners are implementing to create more value during the construction project. 


5 Ways to Create More Value in Commercial Development Projects

1. Invest in Energy Upgrades that Save Money in the Long Run

It is always important to think about the future, especially when you consider that upfront construction costs only make up between 10% to 20% of the lifetime cost of a commercial building. Value-added pre-construction services can help you find ways to make your commercial buildings run more efficiently.  

The good news is that there are a number of ways to improve a building’s efficiency and incorporate a sustainable construction approach into your project. Considering your building position, windows, lighting choices, and energy management systems are all ways to create more value in your project. 

2. Be Open to Alternatives 

Product choices and materials used in a project have become an increasingly important cost factor. These details can make all the difference in how much time and money are saved on a project. Crain works proactively to help our clients identify the most cost-effective solutions for their projects. In some cases, they might not even realize alternative options are available. 

3. Optimize Construction Scheduling and Workforce Needs

Constructibility issues can quickly escalate the cost of a project. Savings can often be found when commercial builders optimize construction scheduling and workforce needs to reduce downtime and unproductive tasks.

At Crain, we’ve found that it’s helpful to identify value-added options, constructibility issues, and project needs early in the process. But it also continues throughout the life of the project. We believe it’s important to collaborate with stakeholders across the project—from owners to subcontractors—throughout the entirety of a project. 

4. Consider Walkability and Transit Factors 

Walkability and transit are two increasingly important value factors—especially for urban development or tight-site projects. It’s important to consider how your project integrates into the environment and find ways to optimize the experience for the end users, whether they are tenants or customers. 

Research has shown that higher levels of walkability are correlated with better real estate performance for both commercial and residential properties. Additions such as lighting or new walkways are also low-cost upgrades that will pay off when it comes time to sell your commercial property. If applicable, consider how you can optimize the walkability and transit approach you take in your project. 

5. Don’t Overlook Amenities and Small Improvements 

The amenities that a commercial building has to offer can be a helpful way to establish differentiators and increase the value. Of course, the size and location of your building will determine how feasible incorporating these amenities are, but they have the ability to significantly increase property values if they are included.


Maximize the Value of Your Next Commercial Development Project

Value engineering can occur at any phase of a project, but it is most effective when used in the early stages of construction. We like to see our clients and friends take this approach because discovering opportunities and challenges for the property is so advantageous for your pre-construction planning. As an experienced general contractor, we can confidently assess the infrastructure that’s already in place at your site and generate ideas about how to make your project even more valuable.

Contact our team to learn about the specific ways we can help you create more value in your next commercial construction project.

Related Projects

5 Timeless Construction Principles We’ve Used Over the Past 90 Years

2023 is an exciting year for our team at Crain as we celebrate our 90th year as a commercial construction firm in Nashville. Over the decades, the Crain name has been known for a commitment to quality, integrity, and doing business in a way that puts relationships first. While our focus has shifted from building...

Crain's Commitment to the Next Generation of Construction Talent

Labor shortages and the need for training the next generation of construction talent are well-known issues across our industry. According to the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), the United States had 430,000 open construction jobs in 2021. At the same time, a survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)...

Nashville Commercial Construction Trends & Insights for 2023

As a construction company entering our tenth decade in Nashville, we’ve seen our city change significantly over the years. While we take pride in knowing Nashville and staying ahead of trends within the construction industry, we don’t have a crystal ball that can anticipate all the factors that will impact our city. Given the unpredictable...

Executive Spotlight: An Interview with Jim Pedigo, CFO at Crain Construction

As the CFO of Crain Construction, Jim Pedigo was initially hired in 1985 by Lewis Rankin, former CEO of Crain Construction, to replace Crain’s bookkeeper at the time. Taking the position at Crain is a decision that Jim looks back on as one of the best he’s ever made.  “Crain is a great place to...


We partner with organizations to invest, give back and make a positive impact on the communities where we live and work.


Get the latest Crain Construction Blogs and interesting insights about our projects and community endeavors here.

When you’re ready to build, we’re here for you

Reach out to start a conversation with our team.