What are Pre-Development Services?

Brokers and developers are constantly fielding development ideas and receiving tips on prospective properties, buildings, and land. Sift through these and find the best opportunities by engaging MAPS’s Pre-Development Services.

The problem

There are hundreds of development, redevelopment, and adaptive reuse opportunities, and it’s time-consuming to research the necessary details on each site before considering an acquisition or joint venture.

Solutions & services

Our custom real estate and CRE technologies quickly analyze properties to find financial incentives, discover potential issues, to enable developers and brokers to rapidly review high potential sites. MAPS planners and designers can also collaboratively create feasibility studies and site programs.

Services include:

  • Site & Development Vignettes & Studies

  • Incentives Checkup

  • Incentives Optimizer

  • Site Selection

  • Information Retrieval & Research

  • Custom Mapping

  • Urban Asset Valuation

  • Value Add Property Search

  • Aerial Drone Photography

MAPS also offers a complete Pre-Development Package to developers and asset managers, which includes an existing conditions report and zoning & entitlements assessment. MAPS can additionally perform feasibility studies to assess the potential for adaptive reuse, as well as all of the services below.


Site & Development Vignettes & Studies

Work with MAPS’s team of urban planners, zoning rule experts, and designers to develop a site program or conduct a feasibility study. We draw upon our design experience, code knowledge, best practices, and access to vast data resources.

Past projects include:

  • Calculating the rooftop area on single-family houses that could potentially hold a solar panel array; the resulting GIS map shows the location of all attached and detached single-family houses and aggregated the rooftop area by using footprint data

  • Bronzeville housing study to show the number of existing renter-occupied and owner-occupied homes, in addition to rents and mortgage data, to assess the need for new housing on a large development site – read the study

  • Assessment of affordable housing requirements (ARO), available subsidies for multi-family housing, and potential density bonuses for a redevelopment site in Logan Square



Incentives Checkup

This service is exclusive to MAPS and shows a property’s potential eligibility for 20 location-based financial incentives for various kinds of development. Incentives Checkup is ideal for new construction developers, but it also provides insight for value-add developers, brokers, and property owners. Each incentive includes information on who provides it and what kinds of property, businesses, or construction projects it applies to.

Our Incentives Checkup looks at the location’s potential for TIF grants, Enterprise Zones, New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), and now Opportunity Zones.

Incentives Checkup also helps residential developers find optimal locations to apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and score high against the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) Qualified Allocation Plan.

MAPS can describe how and where FAR (density) bonuses can be obtained, including Transit-Served Location (TSL/TOD), industrial corridors, and the Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus.

Opportunity Zones

Using your set of criteria, MAPS can find the ideal Opportunity Zones for your project or investment. We can overlay a dozen other incentive types, as well as look at demographic and market information. MAPS has created these analyses so far:

  • Create an “address book” and map of public and private universities across the United States, including Puerto Rico, that are in Opportunity Zones

  • List all residential parcels and properties in Chicago that are in Opportunity Zones, including their Ward, Community Area, and current Zoning

MAPS also has an Opportunity Zones educational seminar that we can present to your firm’s staff.

Incentives Optimizer

Get a map and spreadsheet of properties in Cook County where you can maximize the number of incentives available based on your site program or use. We’ll ask you how you intend to develop a site (residential, mixed-use, commercial, industrial), and if you have a target area of Cook County in mind. Incentives Optimizer is powered by Chicago Cityscape and is available exclusively to their Enterprise clients and to clients of MAP Strategies consulting.

Both of our incentives services help clients mix and match data to find neighborhoods and properties within Opportunity Zones in which to invest their Opportunity Funds.



Site Selection

MAPS has powerful, Cook County-focused software that helps quickly find an ideal location for a new building or business, which can be optimized to find locations based on desired financial incentives, as-of-right zoning, and other criteria. Development and redevelopment opportunities are not always visible in the city, and our tools efficiently uncover properties that wouldn’t appear on property listing websites.



Information Retrieval & Research

As part of due diligence for an existing property, it makes sense to acquire and understand as much information as possible. MAPS can help you obtain existing and historical:

  • Older building permits and plans

  • Grants of privilege (GOP) and driveway permits

  • Violations from all departments (transportation, sanitation, business and food licensing, and buildings). MAPS can also assist in resolving violations, and removing inaccurate, outdated, or closed violations from a building’s record.

  • Right of way conflicts


Custom Mapping

A sample of the maps that MAPS has made:

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  • Medical cannabis district maps of Illinois

  • Parcels within Opportunity Zones in Chicago, complete with information about the property type, assessed value, ownership, and current zoning district

  • Colleges & universities in Opportunity Zones nationwide


Urban Asset Valuation

MAPS has an exceptional mapping and database platform that makes it easy to analyze all land in Cook County quickly, and find adaptive reuse, redevelopment, and new development locations. Identify assessed values and tax liabilities, and opportunities for financial incentives stacking. Determine other liabilities including TIF districts and Special Service Areas.


Value Add Property Search

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Our exclusive mapping technology has found tens of thousands of small, multi-family buildings that can, under current Chicago zoning districts and zoning rules, expand by one or more units.

We’ve also located the thousands of single-family houses that are located in multi-family zoning districts.

Engage MAPS to prepare a map and spreadsheet of these buildings based on your specific search criteria (ward, community area, or ZIP code).


Aerial Drone Photography

MAPS has a certified commercial drone (sUAS) pilot who is available to photograph and film prospective properties, construction progress, and buildings in the leasing stage.


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