Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mark Massie Assignment

Then and Now: Grail Fernwood Shell Oil Company Appraisal

By: Joshua Tabers

Although this is the Mark Massie appraisal assignment, the appraisal report that I studied was done By Grail O. Fernwood, a colleague of Mark Massie, in 1961. The property was a 120’x150’ parcel on the southwest corner of Palm and Bullard Avenues in Fresno. This appraisal was done for Shell Oil Company and their interest of building a service station. At the time, the parcel was just a vacant lot and the area surrounding it was farmland. To the east and northeast was developed land. At the north east corner of Palm and Bullard there was already a functioning service station and the lot on south east corner of Palm and Bullard had been approved for a service station. An appraisal was done for the value of the land and also for the value of the property with a service station.

5783 N Palm Ave, Fresno, CA 93704  Grail Fernwood used the sales comparison approach method for his appraisal. The appraisal for the land value was $3,000 which was based on the prices of other properties with consideration of the conditions of the property. The property needed minor grading and had good drainage and visibility as well as accessibility to gas, water and electricity. For the appraisal of the proposed service station, Fernwood looked at the selling prices of 10 different service stations that sold in past years. He also looked at the asking prices of 7 different service stations that were on the market at that time. Along with that, he researched 8 different service stations that were being leased with 1 of them being the service station on the north east corner of Palm and Bullard Avenues. With all of this information, Fernwood came up with an appraisal for the proposed site to be valued at $45,000.

Through countless research, I was unable to find any evidence that Shell Oil Company carried out the service station on the southwest corner of Palm and Bullard Avenues. Currently, there is a Valero Gas Station on that corner with the property that Grail Fernwood appraised nearly 53 years ago. Since there is currently a gas station on that same poperty Fernwood appraised, it is fair evidence that Shell Oil Company built their proposed service station. Although the highest and best use for this property was not requested for this appraisal, a service station may have been its highest and best use since there is one there over half a century later.

According to, an estimated current value for the property is $1.51 million with the value of the land being $470,456. The last selling price was $780,000 which was on March 7, 2001 and the last major renovation was in 1989. The property value of $1.51 million seems high compared to the last sale and also what other gas stations in the area are selling for. At the current inflation rate of 3.96% the property would have been appraised at $360,983.25 and the land value would have been $24,065.48 which are much lower than what the values estimated today. This property value would have increased by 418% which would have been 8% per year. Although this is, improvements and maintenance on this property would make this amount lower.



Grail Fernwood: Shell Oil Company Appraisal.

Ratterman, Mark R., MAI, SRA. The student Handbook to The Appraisal of Real Estate, 13th edition. 2009.



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