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(Updated May 2016)

Successful site selection begins with the basics - traffic flow, market analysis, property size, and zoning restrictions, among other factors. However, site selection considerations for a restaurant differ widely from those for warehouse properties. Learn the basics, and then venture into site selection for office, retail, restaurant, hotel, and warehouse properties, in this regularly updated Field Guide. (A. Scoulas, Information and Project Specialist)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

Site Select​ion Basics

Quality Lease Negotiation is a 3-STEP Process, (Franchising World, July 2012). E

Tips for Choosing a Business Location, (U.S. Small Business Administration, 2011).

Choosing a Location for Your Business: There's more to consider than just cost, (, 2011).

Location Decision Making: The Case of Retail Service Development in a Closed Population, (Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 2011). E

Site Selection for Office & Retail Properties

Inventive Site Selection and Development Best Practices (Shopping Center Business, Jan. 28, 2016).

An Application of Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in a Real World Problem of Store Location Selection (Advances in Management and Applied Economics, 2015). E

A Multiple-Attribute Decision Model for Retail Store Location, (Southern Business Review, Summer 2012). E

Retail Site Selection Factors in a Post Recession Economy, (Trade & Industry Development, July 21, 2011).

Demystifying the Corporate Real Estate Process: The Retailer's Perspective, (Real Estate Issues, Spring 2010). E

Site Selection for Restaurants & Hospitality Properties

Site selection secrets for restaurant tenants (Fast Casual, May 4, 2016). 

Choosing a New Restaurant Location, (Food Service Warehouse, 2011).

Real Estate Brokers Offer Vital Site-selection Skills, (Nation's Restaurant News, July 9, 2012). E

Focus on: Real Estate Tools, (Chain Store Age, Jan. 2013). E

Site Selection for Warehouse Facilities & Labs

Plot Plan Design: Process Requirements (Chemical Engineering, Jan 2015). E

An Update on Company-Financed Research and Development Credits: A State-by-State Comparison, (The CPA Journal, Jan. 2013). E

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Complete Guide to Locating and Profiting from Emerging Real Estate Markets (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The dynamics of property location (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Resort development, (Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2008). NAC 1800 Ur1rd1

Developing active adult retirement communities, (Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2001). NAC 1800 Ur1sd

Developing retail entertainment destinations, (Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2001). NAC 1800 Ur1dr

Developing sports, convention, and performing arts centers, (Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2001). NAC 6880 Ur1d

Multifamily housing development handbook, (Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 2000). HD 1377 Ur1mh


Urban Land Institute – ULI provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI is an independent global nonprofit supported by members representing the entire spectrum of real estate development and land use disciplines. 

Site Selection – The Magazine of Corporate Expansion & Area Economic Development

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to the Retail Property Market

Field Guide to Investing in Real Estate

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.