We provided in-depth consulting services involving the master planned ski and golf resort known as Tamarack in west-central Idaho. Following early success the resort filed for bankruptcy following a sea change in the real estate market beginning in 2006. Our services facilitated a creditor’s case strategies and evolved to include damages claims for alleged breach of contract.
JPC was engaged in the bankruptcy of a hospital and related real estate in Chicago. It was alleged that instructions given to appraisers at the time a buy-or-lease option for the campus real property was to be exercised inappropriately but effectively predetermined the results, which resulted in significant monetary damages. The case involved extensive forensic work. Our opinions were successfully presented in federal bankruptcy court in Illinois.
Construction Defects-Related Damages
We were engaged to rebut the testimony of a local expert in a resort condominium development in Sun Valley, Idaho in which delay damages were claimed in conjunction with alleged construction defects. Our preliminary findings reduced the damaged claim by 75 percent immediately, and upon completion of our work, which undermined the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion in total, a settlement ensued in which no delay damaged claims were paid.
We best serve our clients through a high level of integrity and impartiality. Inevitably, valuation and appraisal-related experts do their clients a great disservice in taking and attempting to defend untenable positions.
In a takings matter for a new highway project, we served as both the valuation and rebuttal experts, successfully educating a Utah County jury that the 40-acre property from which the government took a strip of land was raw acreage and not the fully developed lots the opposing appraiser claimed the property to be.
We were engaged to appraise numerous properties in Northern Utah and Southeastern Idaho affected by the new 345kV Populous to Ben Lomond transmission line installed by Pacificorp. Three cases were resolved in court proceedings. A primary issue of the cases was whether development would be precluded within 1/8th to ¼ mile of the new corridor, as opined by the property owners’ appraiser. We provided expert testimony in successful support of our opinions that development can and does occur adjacent to transmission line corridors.
General Real Estate Damages
We were engaged as rebuttal experts in an alleged breach of contract matter involving a large master planned community in Utah County in which significant monetary damages were claimed due to project delays. We identified through methodical research of the public and proprietary record numerous reasons for delay superseding the alleged breach of contract claim. Our findings showed that the alleged breach of contract claim did not play a material in the project’s delay and ultimate failure, which facilitated our client’s favorable settlement of the case.
Controversial Public to Private Land Transfers
We were asked to value the surface rights associated with a portion of Main Street, a publically-owned street located adjacent to religious facilities owned by the LDS Church in downtown Salt Lake City. The intended use of the appraisal was to assist in the sale/purchase of the street from public to private ownership. The transfer would eliminate the right of protest on that property, and the church’s commitment to allow public access nevertheless precluded certain other activities such as smoking and drinking on the land it would own. Because individuals and groups regularly used public areas for purposes of protest, the proposed transfer was controversial, with accusations made against us for “attempting to place a value on free speech.” Our findings were presented to the Salt Lake City Council, and the transfer was successfully completed. Our land valuation, rather than a free speech valuation, was the basis of a successful negotiation for the acquisition of those surface rights.
We were asked to review appraisals conducted by other appraisers of a beautiful ranch property near Park City, Utah. The appraisals were used to support a charitable tax donation of land proposed for conservation through a perpetual easement. We were also engaged to analyze the IRS’s review that denied the claimed tax deductions. We identified mistakes in the IRS review that resulted in the acceptance of a portion of the deductions that had been denied.
JPC was involved in the appraisal of many dozen properties for conservation groups, most predominantly The Nature Conservancy, but also Trust for Public Lands, The Grand Canyon Alliance, and Southern Utah Wilderness Association (SUWA), providing fair market value appraisals that properly compensated property owners willing to see their property to be preserved into perpetuity for the benefit of future generations.
Unitary Property Tax
In Utah, intangible property is not taxable. We were engaged to value as a unit the tangible real property of an international telecommunications company, to allocate a proportionate share to Utah, and to address the intangible nature of spectrum. Our opinions were successfully presented in district court in Utah and confirmed by the Utah State Supreme Court.