Land Use Analysis and Development Consulting

My firm works with Mission-Based Organizations to help them evaluate their real estate holdings and specializes in providing comprehensive reporting on land use alternatives that typically result in enhanced value and income. Through this analysis, we provide a menu of options as well as all of the pertinent information your organization needs to make educated decisions regarding your property holdings.

I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you and quickly present our services and share some of the success stories we have had working in this very specialized area.

I have provided some web links that will give you a sense of the work we do with Mission Based Organizations and specifically the Sisters of the Holy Family (SOHF) in Fremont whom we are currently working with on their 15 acre convent property.

Here is a link to our initial press release for the SOHF: Here is the link to the dedicated website we created for their property in Fremont: I encourage you to visit the photo gallery and the virtual tour that provide a window into their stunning property.

I would be happy to provide references for the SOHF as well as other Catholic organizations with whom we have worked. The most recent ones include The Salesian Society, The Dominican Sisters and St. Bartholomew’s Parish.

We also work with a network of non-profit affordable housing builders and have had success partnering them with organizations that own property and share a desire to provide for the needs of Seniors and those less fortunate. Here is a link to a recent project of this type:

Alan Cerro
22551 Second St. Suite 255
Hayward, CA 94541
(925) 250-4289 Fax: (925) 380-6718 web:

The “Brave New World” of Commercial Lending

Today, investors large and small are looking to purchase real estate at discounted rates (especially compared to the last decade). As people and businesses continue to struggle while defaulting and leaving their properties, investors are presented with buying opportunities that will be looked back upon with either regret or as a stroke of genius.

Because banks have an increased ownership of real property (also known as Real Estate Owned, or REO), due to foreclosures, their lending guidelineshave become somewhat subjective and lack uniformity. In today’s uncertain environment, investors seeking financing for income producing properties can expect to pay at least 20% of the purchase price towards a down payment. Banks are often requiring down payments of 30% to 40%. Typically, banks will require a larger down payment when the borrower has unfavorable credit scores, unverifiable sources of income or high debt. Increasing the down payment requirement is advantageous for banks because it hedges their loan from market fluctuations and reduces the likelihood of foreclosing in the future.

Engaging in the lending process early is a smart strategy for investors seeking financing. Investors can gain a clearer understanding of their purchasing power after meeting with a lender. Investors that know their price point are better equipped when searching for properties because they know how much building they can buy, how much cash they need to have for a down payment, and provides their real estate broker with realistic search parameters.

Despite banks changing guidelines and increased REO inventory, investors are still able to obtain favorable financing for income properties. Whether you are a seasoned investor or new to the arena,working with knowledgable lending and brokerage professionals will provide you with reliable information upon which you can base your investment decisions.

Land Use & Development Consulting Services for Real Estate Professionals

Opportunities & Constraints Analysis

Clearly identify and document the opportunities, constraints
and contextual influences affecting a properties highest and best use applicable
to many stages of the development process.

Development of Land Use

Analysis includes exploring all land use, municipal policy
factors, apparent site opportunities and environmental constraints relevant to
future use of the property. This results in the creation of yield studies and
site plans for potential development scenarios which are tested on a variety of
socio-economic factors. The development programs considered would include:
residential, retail, commercial, office, mixed use, recreation, agricultural
and/or the utilization of a conservation easement.

Feasibility Analysis

Compare and contrast each Land Use Alternative in a pro forma
using current market influences such as lease rates, sales prices, fees and
estimated development costs. Conduct gap analysis and economic feasibility
studies when appropriate.

Recommend Preferred Land Use

Create a comprehensive presentation of the recommended Land
Use Alternatives, and the accompanying Feasibility Analysis, for delivery to the
property owner. Meet and discuss the findings in order to jointly determine the
best course of action.

Vision & Marketing Support

Develop the project’s vision through the use of imagery and
written project descriptions in order to assist in developing an effective
marketing campaign tailored specifically for the preferred land use.

Entitlement Processing

Assess the viability of the Preferred Land Use Alternative with the local
municipality. Then lead or assist the processing, schedules, budgets and
contracts for local government approvals including Tentative Maps, Final Maps,
Design Review, Neighborhood Meetings, design team management and coordination,
staff design solution discussions, and public comment and expert testimony.

Our Mission to Real Estate Brokers

To provide Brokers and Real Estate Professionals with
access to specialized land planning and design skill sets that will both enable
them to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and enhance the sales price
and marketability of the property

For More information Contact

Alan Cerro

(925) 250-4289

Land Use Analysis and Development Consulting

Our clients that are landowners are often uncertain what they want to do with their land. By providing a comprehensive land use analysis and development consulting services, we partner with clients to help them understand the full range of options and to make decisions. More info

Land Use & Development Consulting Services for Builders

Land Planning

Provide Yield Studies in order to test various residential,
retail, commercial, office, mixed-use, recreation, agriculture and conservation
easement programs. Prepare site base maps for preliminary submittals.

Urban and Landscape Design

Develop the project’s vision through the use of imagery and
written project descriptions in order to submit preliminary and formal city
review applications. Prepare presentation quality graphics as necessary to
support the various stages of the approval process including colored sketch
plans, AutoCAD exhibits, Powerpoint presentations, land use diagrams, massing
studies and site section cuts.

Neighborhood & Site Context Analysis

Clearly identify and document the opportunities, constraints
and contextual influences affecting a properties highest and best use applicable
to many stages of the development process.

Feasibility Support

Provide site plan and architectural statistics for each
project alternative pro forma including site data, city fees, comparable housing
sales price scatter charts, and development cost estimates.


Locate and organize city, county, state and federal land use
policy factors relevant to potential land development proposals.

Environmental Services

Lead or assist the environmental permit processing,
schedules, budgets, contracts and mitigation plan approvals through local, state
and federal agencies including, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife
Service, Fish and Game, Regional Water, LAFCO, CEQA, NEPA and BCDC.

Entitlement Processing

Lead or assist the processing, schedules, budgets and contracts for local
government approvals including Design Review, Neighborhood Meetings, project
design and vision consultant management and coordination, staff design solution
discussions and public comment and testimony.

Our Mission to Builders

Efficiently and effectively support Builders and Land Development
Companies to evaluate, acquire and gain necessary approvals to develop land
profitably. Provide various development services as an outsource alternative to
Builders and Land Development Companies.

Alan Cerro

(925) 250-4289


Real Estate DictionaryEntitlement–The right to develop land with government approvals for Zoning density, utility installations, occupancy permits, use permits, and streets.

In essence, Land Entitlement is what happens with a project before a shovel of dirt is turned.

Entitlements are the backbone of any development. Entitlements dictate “what, where and how much” can be built on a particular property. The “what, where and how much”—have a lot to do with determining the value of a property. A property that has a large number of uses is typically more valuable than the same property with a very limited use.

Entitlements are a legal agreement with the governing jurisdiction to allow a certain development to occur on the site. Entitlements outline the density, function and setback requirements allowed for the property.

Typically, developments can only be financially viable if they can obtain a certain density or usage. Entitlements are the key to legally securing this right from the governing jurisdiction.

When reviewing a development application, a jurisdiction will consider potential impacts such as traffic and environmental risks as well as community acceptance of the proposed development. They will likely require studies from the owner as well as proposed conceptual designs of the project.

Applying for entitlements is a challenging process. Depending on the size of the project and intended use, entitlements can take from a few months to many years to obtain. This is in large part based on the complexity of the project and public acceptance of it.

Alan Cerro

22551 Second St. Suite 255
Hayward, CA 94541
(925) 250-4289 Fax: (925) 380-6718 web: