Rosalie Roszak is a certified general real-estate appraiser. Here is her letter to The Explore on the "Basis School Land Appraisal."
Land appraisal in Steam Pump done properly
In reference to your article concerning the Basis School land trade, and the recent appraisal completed in anticipation of this trade, as a practicing commercial real estate appraiser for 30 years, I disagree that the appraisal for the parcel is "flawed."
The questioner does not appear to have full knowledge of required appraisal practices and procedures.
A parcel of land designated as "open space" does have value, despite its open space designation. Clearly, it does not have the same value as a property which could be directly developed as commercial uses. This parcel is however part of a larger commercial development. Such an open space parcel could be used as part of the open space requirement for a larger development, and free up land which is commercially zoned, for additional development. Alternately, it could add an open space amenity to a larger commercial development.
An open space parcel located along Oracle Road has a different potential usage and potential value than a property that is in the middle of a residential development, or in more remote undeveloped areas.
All appraisals are required to address the concept of "highest and best use." It is standard appraisal practice, therefore, to consider the commercial use potential of the vacant open space parcel.
Properties designated as open space, or other uses such as large lot residential, etc., have sometimes been rezoned, as any observer of Oro Valley and Tucson area development knows. Thus, a competent appraiser is mandated to consider a potential alternate use in evaluating a property.
It appears that this procedure was followed in preparation of the appraisal, based on the information provided.
The appraisal also appears to have considered the open space zoning designation, in arriving at a value conclusion certainly below the most recent area sale of the Basis School site. Thus, the appraisal appears to have followed standard and required appraisal methodology.
Rosalie Roszak, Oro Valley
The writer is an Arizona-certified general real estate appraiser. — Ed.