Since 1976 our expertise has guided residential subdivision development, implementation of urban villages, low-income housing development, brownfield redevelopment, and bankruptcy workouts. Our analysts have spoken at the invitation of dozens of organizations, including the American Bar Association, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Census Bureau, the Japan Real Estate Institute, and the American Association for Justice.
Greenfield Advisors has the experience and capacity to meet a wide variety of client requests, from the appraisal of a single contaminated property to an assignment involving thousands of subject properties. Our mass appraisal experts are some of the best in the field and utilize state-of-the-art cloud computing to value a large number of subject properties, often numbering in the thousands. Supporting these appraisal assignments is our top-notch team of analysts, database architects, and statistical programmers who always approach assignments with a critical eye for detail. Greenfield Advisors utilizes its proprietary Automated Valuation Model (AVM) to provide clients with the right research deliverables based on the scope of work.
Handling and evaluating the completeness and credibility of thousands of individual form appraisals is no easy task. The Greenfield Advisors team has decades of experience providing not only appraisals, but also appraisal reviews. In the course of our work, we have reviewed tens of thousands of appraisals for compliance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as well as government-sponsored entity guidelines (e.g. Fannie Mae Selling Guidelines). Our automated review process quickly tells clients whether their appraisals are compliant with USPAP and good appraisal practice.
Ruel Williamson leads our tax assessment and auditing team. He is a nationally recognized expert in the field with more than 25 years of experience. Government agencies of all sizes have turned to Williamson when their tax assessment departments need new software, updated processes and procedures, and training.
In addition to valuation services, we can provide assistance to clients addressing the optimal use for industrial and brownfield property. In this way, Greenfield Advisors assists with economic development strategies for clients to assess the highest and best use for brownfield and industrial properties.
Real estate contract problems often lead to the most complex and expensive of business disputes. Greenfield Advisors is experienced in real estate partnerships, data licensing issues, best practices, and operations and can help to negotiate amicable resolutions based on a deep and thorough analysis of all involved assets. Should negotiations fail to resolve a dispute, our principals are prepared to testify authoritatively on a variety of contract issues.
Greenfield Advisors has a particular expertise in valuing minority or non-traded interests in private REITs to settle dissolution or share valuation disputes. These situations often combine valuing underlying assets and valuing privately traded security interests.
Our founder, Dr. Bill Mundy, PhD, CRE, MAI wrote the seminal article on stigma – “The Impact of Hazardous Materials on Property Value.” In 2007, The Appraisal Journal named it one of the “Nine Big Ideas” that influenced a generation of appraisers. Today our Chairman and Co-Managing Director, John Kilpatrick, PhD, MAI, FRICS, continues that legacy as the nation’s foremost expert on property stigma.
Contamination by any means can be devastating for the value of real estate. Beyond the costs of clean-up and monitoring that come with a contamination event, there are also possible impacts to the market of potential buyers, increased costs of living (for example, the need to import water), and depressed business economics, just to name a few factors. After remediation, the stigma of the contamination can continue to wreak havoc on a community.
The transfer or development of contaminated property also poses special complications for which we are uniquely prepared. The determination of the highest and best use of such property requires attention to both pre- and post-remediation possibilities and factoring in the economic and societal concerns with both paths. We understand tax credits and other programs, which provide valuable tools to brownfield redevelopers. In some situations remediation is not a complete solution, so the “best use” must consider (for example) a permanent monitoring situation. Only when the long-term effect of contamination is completely understood can the appropriate way forward be determined.
Corridor valuation is the process of estimating value associated with rights to corridor real estate. A corridor is defined as a strip of land used for transportation or transmission purposes, including rail, highway, electric, fiber optic, and pipelines. The corridor itself is a highly valuable highest and best use of the land. The task of the appraiser is to ascertain the value of the corridor, generally through mass appraisal. The measure of value in any corridor valuation is the value required to put a new easement together and acquire a corridor.
Greenfield Advisors has worked on a variety of corridor valuation projects through the years including fiber optic corridors, pipelines, and railroad corridors, including Rails-to-Trails projects. For these projects, we offer mass appraisal services to clients looking to establish just compensation owed to the property owner. We are most often asked determine the fair market rate at which the beneficiary, the user of a corridor easement ought to pay for that enjoyment. A recent win for a Greenfield Advisors’ client is the $130 million Missouri jury verdict in the Barfield v. Sho-Me Power class action. The class prevailed on its claim that Sho-Me Power, an electric cooperative, trespassed for more than 12 years by running fiber optic cable lines across nearly 800 miles of property without paying owners of 3,560 parcels of property.
A Rails-to-Trails project occurs when a railroad abandons a rail line and the right-of-way ownership reverts to the adjacent property owner. This all depends on whether or not the railroad had an easement or owned the land in fee-simple. In either case, the federal government often chooses to reclaim the right-of-way for rail-banking and, as an interim use, will transfer the possession, but not ownership, of the right-of-way to a local entity who will often develop a hiking or biking trail. If the right-of-way was only an easement, which is most common, the U.S. Government can take the land but it has to pay the adjacent property owners for the take. However, some of these old rail lines have titles that are not clear. Much of the title work is from the 1800s, and the railroads and the government rarely considered the abandonment of the easement. As a result, many of these acquisitions can get very complicated and require the services of a complex valuation firm such as ours.
For Rails-to-Trails cases, we offer appraisal services to clients looking to establish the just compensation owed to the property owner. Care must be taken when determining if any types of damages should be considered regarding a change in the highest and best use or the value of the property’s improvements. These changes can be caused by loss of use or function or the creation of a nuisance requiring a buffer or barrier to separate public use and private use. Additionally, we have provided consulting services and submitted expert review reports analyzing the methodology and general conclusions reached in the appraisal reports of other experts.
Typically these issues of uniqueness surround high-amenity locations such as beachfront or island tracts, pristine wilderness, or the vast ranches found in the western states. A remote island property may lack mineral rights or significant commercial prospects, but the scarcity and high demand for the lifestyle attendant with such land must be weighed accordingly. Greenfield Advisors has spent years compiling a comprehensive database concerning transactions and assessments of trophy property of all kinds, putting us in excellent position to provide whatever valuation services might be needed. We have leveraged this data on projects throughout the United States and across the globe.
In the rarest of cases even that isn’t enough. What do you do when amenities truly are unique? Monuments, registered historic sites, and structures or manufactured landscapes that rise to the level of art provide further challenges that can only be overcome with the sort of holistic analysis in which Greenfield Advisors specializes. Our work has seen through the noise of selling at auction and the complications of public hearings to make accurate value determinations of one-of-a-kind properties.
The impacts of contamination upon property owners can be debilitating and persistent. Early indications of a decline in U&E most often manifest themselves as a psychological burden concerning contamination. However, in each situation the affected parties will have unique levels of understanding concerning their circumstances. This differential in understanding adds a layer of complexity that must be overcome before accurate analysis is possible. Greenfield Advisors uses multiple approaches to model the problem from different perspectives and triangulate on a credible and supportable conclusion. This work is built upon “stated preference” methods that are used to translate individuals’ statements about their preferences into estimates of their willingness to accept compensation. These methods are economic techniques that can measure non-use values, and they require the use of purpose-designed surveys to collect data. Our decades of experience using survey research have given us an advantage in adapting these techniques for U&E analysis.
“I can’t believe it took us this long to make a change. So happy that we did. Numbers don’t lie.”
John Doe, Divi CEO