There was little demand for undeveloped entitled residential land in Lee County as new permit activity and new starts had dropped to less than 20 units per month in the first quarter of 2010. The availability of many comparable raw land entitled projects and partially developed projects put tremendous downward pressure on land values.Financing for acquisition and development for this type of project was almost non-existent and reduced the prospective buyer universe to cashinvestors / land bankers.
Commercial Property Southwest Florida investigated the asset. The subject was a 50-acre parcel zoned for 216 dwelling units. We determined the current zoning ordinance is set to expire in the near term. We advised the client to extend the entitlements at minimal cost for two years and preserved the value of the asset.
By successfully targeting alternative users (an ALF and a hospice) rather than builders, we were able to obtain two full price cash “quick close” offers. After qualifying both offers, we presented a recommendation to Regions which was accepted. In spite of a very weak market and an out of favor product mix, we were able to successfully market the asset and as the client requested, close the transaction by the end of the first quarter of 2010.
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