The answer depends on your long term objectives, tolerance for risk, and the state of the market for existing space.
Carefully define and fully understand your needs, both short and long term.
Define the market for space in the area you desire. Determine how much space is available, and the terms and conditions under which it can be leased. This is crucial because you will want to ensure that your building can be priced in concert with the market.
Lenders have a careful eye on the market; they want to ensure they can go to the market and mitigate their losses in the event your business fails. Bottom line, the market will govern the amount you can borrow.
Yes, though lender underwriting requirements are far stricter than they were prior to the economic downturn.
Time, efficiency, and in the end, money. The process of development is both time consuming and risky, no place for on the job training or for first time decision making.
Compare it to the market. The market is the road map for the evaluation of real estate transactions.
Volume and fee income are not key to us. Our fundamental financial objectives are the creation of sustainable net income and long term value.