Highest and Best Use of a Site

Overhead view of multi-building facility appraised by Mosaic Property Valuations

This subject was a 38,000 square foot former religious facility that was in an economically unworkable situation between insurance requirements, FEMA requirements, and flood history. The property was already flood prone when the area suffered severe flooding ±10 years ago, and redevelopment required elevation of the entire facility. Subsequently, the complex was abandoned and, several years later, slated for green space. Meanwhile, vagrants moved in and complicated life for the surrounding residents.

Interior of room with area previously used as an altar with debris on the floor
Stripped walls and ceiling of interior facility

Sometimes changes in Highest and Best Use are forced upon us without warning, and when the numbers don’t work the end result can be large, blighted property in a residential neighborhood, as was the case with this subject. The children in the neighborhood need a place to play, not a complex of abandoned buildings. The loss of a blighted institutional property combined with the gain of a green space creates a value swing in the neighborhood, as local residents were quick to point out at the time.

Aside from some disturbing messages left on the walls by the temporary occupants, the inspection was uneventful and we provided values in accordance with the outlined scenarios. These projects are necessary in the fight to stabilize insurance premiums in Louisiana. They also highlight how the Highest and Best Use of a site in a flood prone area is often to remain vacant.

Tile wall with "What's Behind you?" spray painted in black

Read More on Our Blog