How do you value land or a building that you are thinking about putting a multi-family building, say 30 units.
What is the land worth? How do you appraise it as it has no income?
Many investors will buy real estate subject to approvals, if they can get the land approved for a certain amount of units.
An investor may offer $30,000 per unit as they will back into their profits. Taking into account the money involved in getting approvals such as the attorney, architect, traffic engineer, land use expert, possibly environmental guy (LSRP).
Once this process is done it becomes easier to put a price on the land and the development project as the price per unit becomes more valuable to a developer that doesn't have to speculate on how many units the zoning board is going to approve or spend 6 months to 2 years in the zoning board.
If you are new in real estate it is a great idea to attend these meetings so that you can learn the process of development and what developers actually do besides for the obvious of building a building. This is a great behind the scenes view of the risk that is taken.
I personally was involved in a project that took almost 2 years to get approved and the town ultimately turned down the development. Think about spending two years while paying taxes on the properties and all the experts to appear at the towns meetings and not getting approved.