There may be places in the United States where regulatory processes have not been affected by COVID and by remote work options, but Connecticut isn't one of them. The State of Connecticut unions took Governor Lamont to arbitration over his proposed RTO (Return to Office) schedule, and won the right to work at home four days a week. That means, as we found out in one recent situation, that some employees will only talk to the public on that one day they are present. If you are trying to get laws or regulations clarified, or speed up the permit process, you may be out of luck. Cities and towns vary in their rules, but some are still hybrid, or have limited public hours. The same problems apply with zoning and other issues needed to build in those municipalities.
A Solution in Retrofitting
All of a sudden, building from scratch may become a lot less attractive. Deciding to retrofit then may be due to timing, instead of cost. It is often easier to get exactly what you want in a building if you build it from the ground up. It can also be as expensive to retrofit as to choose new construction. However, if changing or repurposing it is a lot faster, that may be the way to go. So many businesses waited a long time--too long a time--during the pandemic, and need that new space right away.
Thinking outside the box
This means that sellers should not be deterred from listing properties that are not in the sweet spot of current trends. That diamond in the rough could be someone else's ticket to a quicker expansion. Buyers should consider options that are outside the box, and be willing to make concessions or trade-offs, in order to give their organizations room to grow.