When you consult with us and we show you land parcels, we’ll be showing you hand-picked pieces of California that we consider to be in the path of development. We’re invested in the very same areas, and we’ve gotten to know the land in Los Angeles County such that if it’s in the path of development, we think we can tell. So, what characterizes land in the path of development in California? Here are a few of the parameters we use to determine that.
• The natural features of the land are appropriate for development.
Before we consider a parcel, we look at its topography and the accessibility of water. Is the land flat and dry enough for developers to build on it? Is the water supply nearby? If not, is it easy to irrigate the land, not just in times of plenty but in times of water scarcity as well? Although Los Angeles County is near a port, freshwater can be difficult to find. Access to freshwater is a foremost consideration before we make any purchase.
• It is easy to expand into the land.
Although roads, electricity supply centers and other essential utilities may not be available, there needs to be a feasible way to build them. To understand whether it is possible to expand into the land, we consider the land itself, surrounding areas, and nonmaterial aspects such as government regulations, natural resources, and animal and plant life.
• An urban center is nearby.
Our choice of land banking in California made this part simple. Land in the path of development in California (or anywhere else) must be near a metropolis, so we chose Los Angeles County. One of the most important cities to the U.S. economy (and the most important in California), Los Angeles is still growing to accommodate technological progress as well as population expansion.
• Commercial and residential development is happening on the edges of the surrounding suburbs.
A seemingly insignificant area of land quickly becomes important when the cities and towns that surround it begin to expand. Before we recommend real estate to clients, we research what’s happening in the suburbs that surround it. If industries are moving outward, schools are building new campuses, and individual residents are building houses, that land is in the path of Los Angeles development.
• The information comes from a trustworthy source.
How do we do our research? Physical research is done in person or by our speculators. For other aspects of our land banking research, we consult city governments to ask about community plans that may be in place. We get as much information as we can from industry leaders in energy and transportation, but we also consult smaller businesses to discover their expansion plans.
These five criteria help us determine whether a piece of California land is in the path of development. Only after satisfying them do we recommend parcels to our partners, clients, and fellow investors.