SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Interim Marketing Strategy for Sale of Ward Cove
Property To Be Considered by Assembly


December 20, 2010

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly will hold a regular meeting tonight at 5:30 pm in the Assembly Chamber located at 1900 First Avenue, Suite 144. On the Assembly's agenda tonight is an interim marketing strategy for the sale of Ward Cove properties for consideration. At the December 6 Assembly meeting, several Assembly Members encouraged a more aggressive approach to the disposal of the Borough’s Ward Cove properties at an Assembly meeting on December 6th. In response, Ketchikan Borough staff conferred with various real estate professionals to learn about options for actively marketing the Ward Cove properties until the subdivision process has been completed, and perhaps to continue with the disposal of the subdivided properties of Ward Cove.

The marketing strategy the Borough staff is recommending for the consideration by Ketchikan Borough Assembly tonight is to contract with a real estate firm as an exclusive listing agent for the property. It is the Borough staff’s opinion that an exclusive listing may be more productive than the other approaches because of incentive and continuity of the marketing operation within a single entity. This arrangement would be different from the agreement the Ketchikan Borough had for the sale of the 16 mile properties and the Reid Building. That contract was an open listing agreement with all of the real estate companies in town. That type of agreement does not give the participants the level of incentive to aggressively market property to the same degree as an exclusive listing would.

• Contracting with a real estate company in an exclusive listing agreement is expected by the Borough staff to result in the following:

• The Borough will be given opinions of value for the property as it exists now, as well as the parcels to be created through subdivision.

• The Borough and realtor will combine resources to develop a marketing package suitable for distribution to potential purchasers nationally and globally. The primary resource the Borough will provide is mapping.

• The realtor will use its marketing expertise and resources to focus exposure efforts for maximum effect, such as with identified industrial property seekers, working waterfront property seekers, and those who have special interest in the attributes of Ward Cove.

• Individual companies that have been identified as having a potential interest in the property will be contacted to solicit interest such as off-shore oil companies (e.g. Shell oil), shipyard interests, or rare-earth mining interests.

• Prior to the Borough receiving an offer, the prospective purchaser will have their financial abilities verified to ensure the capability exists to purchase the property.

The Borough staff proposes to the Assembly that the obvious question is how to choose among the local companies. To answer that question, staff solicited input from the real estate companies in town and came up with the following list of criteria for choosing a successful proposal:

• Does the candidate have any credentials or affiliations specifically for marketing commercial and industrial properties? Examples could include membership in the Society of Office and Industrial Realtors or accreditation as a Certified Commercial Investment Member.

• Is the candidate part of a national or international Multiple Listing Service? Staff feels this is critical to have national exposure.

• What is the candidate’s budget for marketing the property, is there any cost to the Borough and what is the amount?

• What is the candidate’s marketing plan, to include the methods to be used.

• What is the proposed commission rate?

• How familiar with the property is the candidate?
What experience does the candidate have in successfully marketing industrial property?

As proposed, the pool of candidates would be limited to those within the Borough. The contract will require Ketchikan Borough Assembly approval, but Borough staff believes the process could be accomplished quickly.

In addition to listing the property with a real estate company on an exclusive listing basis, Borough staff identified two other options. One, which was argued to be a better approach by one real estate firm, would be to enter into an open listing agreement with all of the licensed realtors in town. The argument for taking this approach is that it would avoid any concerns over the selection process. It was also argued that, because Ward Cove is a community asset, the community approach of using all the realtors to marketing would be beneficial. Additionally, by having all of the real estate companies working together, they would all have be equally educated on the property and the requirements the Borough has for accepting an offer. This would prevent an offer that does not meet the Borough’s criteria from being submitted by a non-listing agent. It should be noted that, of the real estate professionals contacted, this approach was less favored than the exclusive listing alternative. Like the exclusive listing approach, staff believes a contract for this alternative could be put in place quickly.

The second option would be to contract with the services of a national or international real estate marketing company such as Colliers or Grub and Ellis. Several organizations exist that specialize in the marketing of commercial and industrial property. The primary advantage of such a firm is the potential for greater market exposure. That said, staff is not convinced a local realtor could not provide comparable services. In addition, marketing Ward Cove will, in many ways, require the marketing of Ketchikan. Borough staff believes that a local realtor will be in a much better position to market Ketchikan than a non-local company would be. At this time, staff does not recommend using a realtor not located in Ketchikan.

Ward Cove Subdivision

Disposal Option: The marketing strategy outlined above would be used until the subdivision process is complete. Once the subdivision has been completed and the newly created lots are ready to sell, a new strategy will be implemented. Staff anticipates development of that strategy with the assistance of the listing real estate company, and the presentation of alternatives to the Assembly well in advance of the subdivision’s completion.

Comments Regarding Subdivision

On December 10, Rob Holston sent an email to Borough staff suggesting a public process on the subdivision. Holston believes input should be solicited from realtors and other interested parties to discuss improvements to the property such as access, roads, power, water, and sewer. Similar comments were delivered by Mr. Holston at the December 13 Assembly meeting. Staff’s current efforts reflect the Assembly’s direction to subdivide Ward Cove into parcels consistent with the design approved by the Assembly in a work session on August 16 and to do so at the minimum cost for improvements. An excerpt from the minutes detailing the direction provided by the Assembly to staff is attached. The subdivision and improvement design staff is currently pursuing are the result of several public meetings, including one with the real estate community, and one to solicit input on lot design from prospective buyers. Staff does not believe that any additional meetings on the Ward Cove subdivision design would be helpful, and absent specific Assembly direction to the contrary, does not plan to hold additional design/concept meetings. The Planning Commission meeting for the Final Plat would be a public meeting, but outside of that one, staff does not have any plans to hold additional meetings to solicit input.

Borough staff submitted in its agenda item to the Ketchikan Assembly for its consideration at tonight's meeting, a caution that changes to the subdivision plan at this point could cause significant delays in the process to complete the subdivision, and will likely result in additional contracting costs. Should the changes be significant, the platting process would have to start over with a new Preliminary Plat consideration by the Planning Commission.

The Assembly will consider the proposal and decide if direction will be given to the Borough Manager to solicit proposals for an exclusive realty listing of the Borough’s Ward Cove properties. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm in the Assembly Chambers (White Cliff Building). The meeting will be televised on GCI, KPU local channels and will be webstreamed live by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough.


On the Web:

Agenda and Information Packets

Live video stream of current meeting


Source of News:

Ketchikan Gateaway Borough


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