Real estate development is a complicated capital-intensive process.
There's a lot you need to know and do before you put a property under contract or close on a property to develop:
First you need to do a quick feasibility exercise to determine if the project will work financially.
Start with the potential gross income to determine the value. Then, work backwards subtracting development costs, building costs, commissions, and interest expense.
If the project looks feasible from a financial standpoint, the next step is to check with the city or county planning and zoning department. This is to get an idea if your concept will work, if you can build what you would like to build and the requirements for all approvals including:
You also need to check with the utility companies to learn availability and cost estimates from them for:
Check if you must install any:
Check DOT requirements for access, stop lights and permits, traffic studies, DWQ requirements for permits, permit fees and time frames.
Once you understand what you can build and what is required with permits and infrastructure, talk to civil engineers, architects and commercial general contractors that do the type of projects and build the type of buildings you want to build. This is so you can get an idea of costs, time frame, and requirements.
This is a brief and broad overview of how the development process works what's required before you get too far down the road or purchase a property.