Ground lease assignments can be complex
but rewarding for appraisers who enjoy a challenge
and can make the most of limited resources
by Peter Haapaniemi
Ground leases have been around for a long time — in fact, “since the feudal era,” says Trevor Hubbard, MAI, SRA, a senior appraiser with the U.S. Navy in San Diego.
Back then, he says, a king would own land and local
lords — landlords — would manage the property. “The
landlord leased the land to tenants who plowed the fields
or operated a shop, and then collected the money for
the king,” he says. “So the concept has been around forever
and a day. Yet it’s usually not very well understood.”
The One World Trade Center tower in Manhattan
anchors the World Trade Center site — land that
is owned by the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey and leased to developers.