We have a broad experience in eminent domain appraisal assignments. Most of our customers in this discipline are public utilities and municipal, state, and federal government agencies that require land to improve the public infrastructure.
Infrastructure is a broad term that includes utility corridors, railroad corridors, border crossings, and state and federal highways. In our field of experience, we have appraised all of these land uses in Maine and Massachusetts. In most of these assignments, we work as a team member with an attorney and engineer. Our goal is to maintain just compensation for the property owner. When possible, we like to meet the property owners to understand their appreciation of their property. In addition, we meet with the appropriate town officials to note the positive and negative features of the property.
The principle of just compensation is “to fairly compensate” the property owners for the taking. We achieve just compensation by conducting a “before” and an “after” value of the property to keep the property owners’ equity intact. In addition to the value of the land, we estimate the contributory value of property improvements within the taking and severance damage when it occurs.
Eminent domain can be a stressful time for the property owners. Our experience with the taking authorities is that they want to treat people fairly. The scope of our appraisal assignments is to estimate market value. We achieve this goal and are still able to treat the property owners with respect.
The appraisal of strip malls requires the analysis of leases, market rents, vacancy rates, and competition from competing malls. This particular discipline requires the analysis of demographics and infrastructure.
Beyond the physical features of restaurants i.e. location, building size, site, parking, and quality; there other economic units that must be considered. These items include FF & E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) and intangible assets such as brand names etc.
INNS & HOTELS
Inns and hotels are valued based upon income, physical features, and competing facilities. Most inn owners pay close attention to their competition to be successful. This product requires us as appraisers to immerse ourselves in the industry to understand the economic forces that drive property value.
Even though gas stations tend to be small commercial properties, they have unique complexities to appraise. Theappraisal of gas stations is divided into the appraisal of the site, building, and fuel equipment. It has been my experience that inexperienced appraisers may overlook fuel equipment. In some cases fuel equipment may have a higher value than the building value.
We have appraised numerous auto dealerships over the years in multiple states. Our appraisal assignments included existing and new dealerships, and the appraisal of dealerships sites for highway expansion.
Our appraisal of office buildings has run the gamut from Class A to Class C buildings in urban and suburban communities. Our clients included local and regional lenders and the federal government.