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Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

With all the vacant land in Clark County, you’d think businesses wanting to move...

Give More 24 results:  1,842 donations, $431,994 raised

Give More 24 results: 1,842 donations, $431,994 raised

Give More 24!, a 24-hour fundraising event organized by the Community Foundation...

WSU medical school initiative could benefit Clark County

WSU medical school initiative could benefit Clark County

Officials at Washington State University believe the time has come to pursue an ...

A debate of value: NW Packing and Port of Vancouver negotiations continue

A debate of value: NW Packing and Port of Vancouver negotiations continue

NW Packing, a part of Neil Jones Food Co., is troubled by their negotiations wit...

Manufacturers investing in the future

Manufacturers investing in the future

Invest in what you do. That is the mantra of many Southwest Washington manufactu...

Biscuits Café to open East Vancouver location

Biscuits Café to open East Vancouver location

Plans are underway to start construction on a Biscuits Café at the Eastside Spec...

Innovation & Manufacturing

Manufacturers investing in the future

Manufacturers investing in the future

Invest in what you do. That is the mantra of many Southwest Washington manufacturers this year, as they pour significant investments into new facilities, equipment and infrastructure.

Take ProTech Composites, for example. This carbon fiber manufacturer grew sales 57 percent last year and projects 30 percent growth this year. Jeff Olsen, ProTech Composites president, said that the company is on tr...

Real Estate & Development

Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

Available light industrial property scarce in Clark County

With all the vacant land in Clark County, you’d think businesses wanting to move here would have no problem finding a location. It turns out that’s not the case.

According to industry experts, there is a shortage of ready-to-use sites for light industrial purposes, and a demand that isn’t being met.

“The problem we have is a lack of infrastructure on many properties that would be suitable for li...

News Briefs

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awards $250,000 to Children’s Center

Children’s Center has announced a $250,000 grant award from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The grant was awarded in support of the local nonprofit’s capital campaign for a new facility, currently under construction in east Vancouver.

Spotlight

Columbia Hobby Distribution experiencing explosive growth

Columbia Hobby Distribution experiencing explosive growth

Who wouldn’t want to turn their hobby into a hefty paycheck? That is exactly what Stephen Tingwall, CEO at Columbia Hobby Distribution, did.

In 2004, Tingwall started selling hobby collection supplies on eBay. These supplies include storage boxes and display cases for collectibles such as coins, stamps, comics, trading cards and autographed baseballs or football helmets.

“The company started out...

The real estate developer’s recipe for success

It may be odd to talk about how one might approach development activity when we are in the depths of a real estate market abyss, unless we discuss the issues for purposes of enabling a company to better prepare itself for times like these in the future.

It may be odd to talk about how one might approach development activity when we are in the depths of a real estate market abyss, unless we discuss the issues for purposes of enabling a company to better prepare itself for times like these in the future.

The Federal Reserve is engaging in such proactive preventative measures, proposing now to adopt rules cracking down on shady lending practices in an attempt to prevent a future mass mortgage crisis.

Never mind the hypocrisy of the Fed’s recent liberalization of its own lending practices that will certainly cost all taxpayers dearly in years to come – bailing out investment firms, Freddie Mac and other institutions … but enough about the Fed.

Real estate developers can, to a degree, determine their own fate. I asked an officer of a successful residential development company how the company is doing amid the current slowdown, and he replied, “Better than most of our competitors. We should survive – we’ve made it a policy to never borrow our equity.”

You might ask, “What did he mean by that?” In essence, he meant that they project realistic end-product sales prices for their proposed projects or lots, determine realistic land acquisition and construction/development costs and having determined the prospect for profit margin between the realistic sales price and realistic costs, they limit their borrowing to the costs – or less.

They do not, as some foundering contractors and developers may have done, build a “reasonable profit” component into the loans they obtain similarly to the way a residential lot owner’s loan for construction of his own house would include funds for the reasonable profit of his hired builder.

Successful developers do not see the bank loan as their end game, disbursing funds from it for new Cadillac Escalades for each of their family members and counting on 100 percent lot sales to pay off the bank before the loan matures. Their end game is the sale or lease of the developed property for profit – profit being the amount of money they take in from sales over and above their loans and other costs.

Projecting sales and profit takes real skill, planning, and self-control. It is more than pitching a project’s value to a bank at the project’s maximum potential value based on escalating lot prices in an upswinging market, borrowing the maximum amount possible and assuming the debt will be covered by prompt sales – which in manic times appear infinite. Project pro formas should not be substituted by blind trust that the bank’s crystal ball is accurately forecasting the project’s successful payoff of the debt.

There are various methods for evaluating a proposed development and limiting risks. It is conservative borrowing, however, that seems to distinguish the surviving developers – not superior salesmanship to a banker who may, himself, be running to the Fed for a loan, having guessed wrong on projects before.

David W. Meyer is an of-counsel attorney with of Bullivant Houser Bailey PC. Meyer can be reached at 360-737-2301 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Opinion

Focus Column

Lurking dangers in purchase and sale agreements

Lurking dangers in purchase and sale agreements

Many who purchase real estate put faith in their broker to correctly complete “form” Purchase and Sale Agreements (PSA)....

An update on the Clark County office market

An update on the Clark County office market

As seemingly with most businesses and families, the commercial office market in Clark County has made it through the rec...

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