In 2021, Senior Managing Director, Arthur Schwertz, MAI, had the privilege of providing valuation services related to 45’ solid stone bridge piers for Estate Tax Purposes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sometimes our valuations push the definition of commercial real estate. These two, hundred-year-old bridge piers were originally built to support the Wabash Bridge which carried the Wabash-Pittsburgh Terminal Railroad across the Monongahela River. The piers were left standing when the bridge was torn down in 1948.
How do you value two piles of historic rocks in a river that have no land or property attached? We had to fall back on one of the most important questions of the appraisal process – Highest and Best Use. As they stood, they might not have had much financial value, apart from any dollar amount one might put into the historic and civic value of the monument. But just a few yards away, hundreds of thousands of cars pass every day on one of the area’s busiest highways. If you look at the value of these piers as advertising space, enormous business value is suddenly added – seemingly out of nowhere. Valbridge Property Advisors is comprised of a pool of expert appraisers with the knowledge and experience necessary to accurately value unique properties such as this, and we welcome the challenge.