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elements FALL 2016

Numbers
Game:

Conquering the Odds
of a Fast-Track Project

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is constantly improving sustainability and reducing environmental impact at all of its restaurants in 18 states across the U.S.

152 sites. 15 states. 4 months.                 it would be a large undertaking with many     With such short project timelines, some
For a project requiring both                    surveyors involved. That’s why we began       survey field work was completed even
due diligence and survey                        to look at national companies capable of      before title policies were issued for the
services, those are some                        accommodating that kind of a request.”        sites. In the end, it was one of CEC’s largest
staggering numbers.                             Vorys’ prior history with CEC—and in          and most complex interoffice surveying
                                                particular, CEC Vice President and Survey     projects completed.
But that’s what was asked of CEC at the end     Practice Lead Jeff Miller—gave the firm       “When a decision is made, generally
of December 2015 by Bob Evans Farms,            confidence CEC could handle the request.      speaking the business folks want to get it
Inc. The food service, processing, and retail                                                 done as soon as possible,” remarked Minor,
company based in New Albany, Ohio, has          To meet the requirements and the tight April  adding that “CEC had a very difficult task
more than 500 full-service restaurants in       15, 2016, deadline for this challenging       given that the title insurance companies
the Midwest, mid-Atlantic, and Southeast        fast-track project, 164 team members from     and the buyers’ counsel were reviewing the
regions of the United States.                   15 of CEC’s 20 offices (9 of which provided   work product, providing comments, and
                                                survey services and 12 of which provided      reacting to others’ comments at different
Bob Evans was transitioning from the            environmental services) completed more        times. CEC was able to deliver in this
status of owner to renter on a number of        than 11,000 hours. Significant up-front       scenario, and we got the deal closed in the
its restaurant properties. Mesirow Realty       coordination of crews and office staff and    timetable the parties wanted.” ■
Sale-Leaseback, Inc., an affiliate of Chicago-  effective interoffice cooperation were the
based Mesirow Financial Holdings, Inc., had     keys to ensuring that aggressive timelines    The ALTA surveys had some additional challenges in
signed a letter of intent to acquire 152 Bob    were met. According to Andy McCorkle, a       that CEC was required to be licensed in each of the 15
Evans sites. Subsequently, National Retail      geologist and principal in the environmental  states to offer and perform land surveying.
Properties, Inc. out of Florida acquired the    practice of CEC’s Columbus office, “Everyone
rights to most of the sites. The Columbus,      was fully committed to getting this done.”
Ohio, law office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour
and Pease LLP had been engaged to assist        CEC performed Phase I Environmental
with the letter of intent, the purchase         Site Assessments (ESAs) on all 152 sites,
agreement, and other documents relating to      each an approximately one- to three-acre
the transaction.                                tract, helping Bob Evans manage potential
                                                liabilities and make informed decisions.
“We knew that we were going to require          CEC also performed ALTA Surveys on all
certain materials with respect to all 152       152 sites.
sites, and that we were going to need to
obtain those in a fairly short time period,”    “This endeavor presented some additional
said Dan Minor, a partner in the Columbus       challenges in that the requirements for
office of Vorys. “We also recognized that       surveys can vary from county to county as
                                                well as from state to state,” said Miller.
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