Statement on 2006 Real Estate Activities
January 5, 2007
is a statement about Appalachian Land & Conservation Services real
activities in 2006, by Appalachian’s president & CEO, Josh First.
2006 was a very good one from the standpoint of providing client
as public affairs, government affairs, and a variety of real estate and
resource management consulting services.
For a company that does not actively market itself
or mine RFP’s, but
which relies instead on word-of-mouth references among a select and
clientele, Appalachian did extremely well.
a core mission of
Appalachian is conservation development, and the active pursuit and
of sensitive lands; on this score, the company was unable to deliver
2006. Of special note is the last-minute
failure to acquire a 2,200-acre estate with parcels in five counties in
south-central Pennsylvania, which had been the focus of Appalachian
fall of 2005 (a very strong real estate year).
Appalachian had been approached by the estate as
sole purchaser, and in
turn offered conservation easements on critical tracts from the estate
regional land trust. That land trust in
turn decided that it alone wanted to acquire two key parcels from the
estate. This situation placed us in the
position of being in competition with an organization with which
supposed to be coordinating. Despite
having invested a full year in due diligence, planning, and fundraising
acquire the entire estate, Appalachian was persuaded at the last minute
conservation leaders to relinquish its interest in the land and to
land trust to acquire the parcels it wanted.
No other significant conservation real estate
contemplated, and so none were completed.
situation raised the unanswered question about just how far a
company with non-profit values can go without eventually competing with
partners. Other challenges have included
our occasional inability, for several reasons, to find a non-profit
donated conservation easements, or to bargain-sale conservation
land trusts (which insisted on full donations).
Appalachian grows and matures over time, we hope to find ways to bridge
gaps and avoid the pitfalls inherent in our unique business model. Otherwise, we would become just another
bottom-line-driven developer and real estate investor group, and that
who or what we are or represent. In
2007, our combined conservation values and commitment to robust profit
drives us on to new horizons and exciting, rewarding projects.”
President & CEO
Land & Conservation Services Co., LLC