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BLOG | The Impact of Natural Disasters on Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Superstorm Sandy was a powerful storm that slammed the east coast in the fall of 2012.  It devastated the northeast coastline which now remains forever changed.  In New England alone, it caused nearly $400 million in damages while costing New York City $19 billion. Post Super Storm Sandy, FEMA; the Federal Emergency Management Agency, cast a rather generous net when determining flood zones in a given area.   While towns closest to the coastline are naturally the most susceptible, cities and towns more inland have to face a plethora of issues as well.  Randy Vidal, senior partner of Vidal/Wettenstein, encourages commercial and industrial property owners looking to sell to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Am I in a flood zone?
  • What classification of flood zone am I in?

With a basic flood policy for commercial and industrial property owners starting at several thousands of dollars, could you afford to not ask these questions? Determining you’re in a flood zone is not a difficult process.  FEMA’s website has a tool that can show you flood zones based on zip codes.  However, it is important that prior to placing your property on the market, you confirm you’re in one to decide whether or not flood insurance is needed.  Vidal recommends hiring a civil engineer to conduct an elevation study.  As real estate transactions are a lengthy, expensive and often time sensitive process, these preemptive measures will save the seller and buyer lots of money and stress in the long term.

Randy Vidal is a senior partner at Vidal/Wettenstein LLC, a brokerage specializing in commercial, industrial and investment properties.  The firm will be celebrating its 50th year this October.