© 2018 Sterling DiSanto & Associates LLC 

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OUR CASE STUDIES

REAL ESTATE PROBLEMS SOLVED

 RUSSELL STERLING

MANAGING MEMBER

MAI, AI-GRS, CRE, SCGREA

As one of the principals of Sterling DiSanto and Associates, LLC, Mr. Sterling is directly involved with valuation assignments involving a wide variety of conventional and complex real properties, serves as litigation support to both public and private clients and manages the firm’s overall operations. 

Mr. Sterling began his appraising career in 1979. He earned the MAI designation of the Appraisal Institute in 1985 and the CRE designation of the Counselors of Real Estate in 2006. In 2016 he was awarded the Appraisal Institute's AI-GRS General Review Appraiser Specialist designation. Mr. Sterling also holds the CTA designation as a New Jersey State Certified Tax Assessor. 

Over the years Mr. Sterling has had the opportunity to appraise just about every type of property found in this area for many different purposes. In addition to conventional appraisal assignments, he has assisted clients with other types of valuation such as appraisal of leasehold and leased fee interests, fractional interests, conservation easements and retrospective appraisals. Litigation Valuation is a specialty and Mr. Sterling has taken on complex eminent domain, land use and tax appeals cases. Consulting assignments include assistance in evaluating development proposals for redevelopment sites, impact studies for property adjoining landfills, industrial uses and power lines as well as impacts of proposed zone changes. In addition, Mr. Sterling has been retained to review appraisal reports for lenders, attorneys and government agencies, including a term as Review Appraiser for Middlesex County, NJ. 

As an active member of the Appraisal Institute, Mr. Sterling has served on the local, regional and National level including a term as President of Metro New Jersey Chapter as well as a term on the National Board of Directors of the Appraisal Institute from 2008 through 2012. 

Mr. Sterling has qualified as an expert witness in the New Jersey Superior Court, New Jersey Tax Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the NJ Board of Public Utilities as well as various zoning and planning boards and commissions. He has been a Court appointed appraiser in many real estate disputes such as partnership dissolutions and divorces. He has also served as an arbitrator and as the “third appraiser” in a number of real estate disputes. 

He is approved to provide appraisals for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), NJ State Agricultural Development Commission (SADC), New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Highway Authority, New Jersey Transit, the Army Corps of Engineers and is also “Yellow Book” qualified to provide appraisals for Federal land acquisition.

 CASE STUDIES

PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS

When our clients call us they rarely ask us to simply estimate the value of a property.  There is always a reason or a story behind the request.  Most of the time they are asking us to solve a real estate problem.  They need advice.  Using our research, analysis and experience…we provide just that.
 

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES
 

CASE 1

A corporation with significant land holdings needed guidance in evaluating the impact of a municipality’s new zoning ordinance on their future development plans. The town wanted to inhibit development in certain areas of the town by allowing an increase in development in other parts of the town. The mechanism to do this was a TDR – Transfer of Development Rights opportunity in their zoning ordinance.  The TDR would allow an increase in development potential for the “receiving” site if the owner of the receiving site purchased the development rights of various “sending” sites.

The client wanted to know if it was financially feasibility and practical to purchase land in the Township’s designated conservation (sending)  areas in order to obtain development credits for the parcel they already owned in the receiving area.

CASE 2

A Fortune 500 company owns a large research farm that they no longer utilize.  They wanted to know if it made sense to sell the property under its current zoning or to voluntarily restrict future use to agricultural use and sell or donate the land.

CASE 3

A government agency had condemned a commercial property on a major highway for expansion of the roadway. The agency hired an appraiser as did the property owner and the parties were about to go to trial.  The attorney for the agency hired Sterling DiSanto & Associates to review and critique both appraisals, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each side’s case, and make recommendations based on his findings. 

 

The assignment included fact checking all the data in both expert reports, analyzing the different methodologies, and evaluating the reasonableness of each appraiser’s valuation.

CASE 4

A restaurant is owned by several family members.  They were in the process of negotiating a long term lease extension.  Some of the family members were not comfortable with the way the negotiations were going.  They hired Sterling DiSanto & Associates to provide guidance, backed by solid market data, in order to negotiate from a position of strength.

CASE 5

A large urban redevelopment project had received a real estate tax abatement many years ago as an incentive to redevelop a particular area.  The tax abatement called for a payment in lieu of traditional real estate taxes based on a certain formula.  The abatement was about to expire and the partner needed an analysis to see if it made financial sense to extend the abatement or return to the traditional real estate tax structure.  Sterling DiSanto & Associates was retained to perform this analysis and present the various scenarios available.

CASE 6

A major pipeline company needed to acquire a 20 year license to install and operate a new pipeline through State preserved parkland.  Sterling DiSanto & Associates was retained by the pipeline company to meet with the Department of Environmental Protection to explain the proposed route, the property rights being acquired as well as the valuation methodology for a 20 year license and how it differed from an easement valuation.

CASE 7

The owner of a shopping center was presented with a proposition from the supermarket anchor of the center.  The supermarket wanted to expand their space by 20,000SF.  If the owners of the shopping center would not agree to the expansion, the supermarket would not exercise their upcoming option to renew.  To expand would require removal of several satellite stores and loss of rental income from those stores. 

 

Sterling DiSanto & Associates was retained to evaluate different scenarios, including evaluating the Highest and Best Use and Market Rent of the undersized existing supermarket space as well as estimating Market Rent and anticipated income for the entire center if the expansion took place.