The stage need not be set. We’re all in the middle of COVID-19 and lockdowns. Thankfully, some deals are moving ahead, but many more are being “pushed back,” and understandably so. How the market “comes back,” we’ll see, but there are ways to prepare on the Due Diligence front while we wait. It’s nothing fancy or earth-shattering, but these due diligence items are useful once the escrow kicks back in. Plus, items can be conducted without coming in close contact with others.
Review Documents in a Due Diligence Folder. These review documents might include the offering memoranda, brochures, previous environmental studies, surveys, maps and regulatory information. They provide a context of the transaction and relevant background to help kick off due diligence.
Conduct Historical Research. A property’s history is the crux of an environmental review. Depending on the property location, historical aerial photographs can be accessed online, or acquired through national environmental database companies. The same is true for city directories, fire insurance maps and topographic maps, which provides valuable information regarding the previous history and operations conducted at the property.
Review of Regulatory Files Online. A regulatory review typically identifies whether the property is listed on a regulatory database, required for an ASTM 1527-13 compliant Phase I. These listings include Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTS), USTs, Wells, Drywells, RCRA Generator Status/Violations and State and Federal Superfund site listings. Physical regulatory file reviews are often required to obtain the specifics needed, but an online review helps identify potential red flags.
Conduct Owner and Site Contact Interviews. We realize direct communication is tricky right now, especially if a project is not yet in escrow. But if parties agree, an interview with a property owner, site contact or other appropriate parties is not only part of the due diligence process, but it may provide helpful information.
Guess what? You are now well underway. When the spigot gets turned back on, you are prepared to move with valuable information in hand. The McGovern Group provides high-quality environmental and building due diligence across the United States. Do you want to keep your finger to the pulse while we wait for this lockdown to finish? Call us for a friendly conversation.