Why is the Sequim Valley Airport for sale?
The Airport is currently owned by Sequim Valley Airport Inc., a Washington Corporation, and has 26 shareholders. These shareholders have expressed a willingness to sell which would simplify and streamline the corporation. The Sallee Family owns the largest portion of shares and has managed the corporation since the beginning of the airport. They have enjoyed developing and operating this beautiful facility but after 36 years are looking towards retirement.
The new buyer or majority shareholder will need to be individual or organization that shares the vision of continuing to provide a high quality, valued airport to the community along with a desire for further profitable development of this beautiful facility. This development might include a possible restaurant, event center, hangars, corporate hangars, and aviation related business.
How does the Sequim Valley Airport make money?
- Airport access fees from Discovery Trail Farm and adjacent property owners
- Discovery Trail Airpark Property Association Fees
- Fuel sales
- Big hangar rent
- T-hangar association dues
- Tie down fees
- Overnight fees
- Landing fees
- Auto parking fees
- Road maintenance access fees
- Tiny house rental income
- Property sale income
- Event income
- Click here to see the Public Financial Statement
What kind of government related uses or events are held at SVA?
- DART training and disaster food distribution
- USCG and US Army training
- US Border Patrol
- Sheriff’s Department
- Fire Department training
- Forest fire fighting operations
- Civil Air Patrol
What kind of local or community related uses or events are held at SVA?
- Local and out of town pilots
- Farmland preservation and home sites in partnership with Discovery Trail Farm Airpark
- Various ambulance and air ambulance medivac companies
- Blood transportation companies
- Animal rescue flights
- Angel Flights
- Air cargo
- Air taxi service
- Flight instruction, aviation education and not air balloon flights
- Aviation fuel buyers
- Experiential Aircraft Association
- People attending events such as Olympic Peninsula Air and weather webcam for travelers
How did Sequim Valley Airport come up with the listing price? How was the fair market value determined?
- The fair market value of a commercial property like the Sequim Valley Airport had very unique parameters that made valuation particularly challenging. There are very few similar rural airports in the continental U.S. that can be compared to the features, location, climate, and flight characteristics, and there are fewer still that have sold in recent years. Some that have sold were privately owned and attached to a private residence. Several approaches were taken to arrive at a comprehensive and what is believed to be a reasonable appraisal approach.
- The value of the property was examined as thought it were single family residential use only, and while it is commercial and not SFR, the value of 40 acres at what may be $100,000 per acre would place the value at $3.5 million without airport approval, site preparation and improvements. Residential properties in the area have sold for more and less, but it is hard to find any SFR lot that has any kind of mountain view like this location does, for less than $175,000, regardless of whether the lot is one or five acres.
- The value of agricultural property on the east side of the airport is valued much less than residential, but farm land that can be developed is worth much more to a developer.
- The value of the airport improvements since it was built in the 1980s are estimated to be between $1 million and $1.5 million.
- The greatest value attributed to the fair market value of the airport today would include approval from the county and state regulatory agencies, the engineering and surveying, the extensive runway and flight easements and approvals, including public hearings and restrictions over nearby properties, the licensing and certifications necessary, all of which would take years to accomplish. Obtaining Airport Overlay District zoning and airspace protection is another large component to consider. The reality is that today such an airport would almost certainly never get approval.
- The airport has substantial room for improvements and expansion, including more hangars, event centers, restaurants, and a possible extension of a runway, all of which increase the value of future returns on investment.
- Future grants from the State are in the pipeline for various improvements, and the value of two grants on the books include one for $95,000 and a later grant for $400,000. While these are not guarantees at this point, state grants to private airports are part of regular state budgets, and substantially increase the value of the airport in the future. Such grants help reduce airport maintenance costs in the years ahead.
- Finally, as a general statement, to find this much land available in this perfect location and climate, and to get approvals and to make the improvements necessary would be virtually impossible today, even if an investor had $10 million.
How does an investment in an airport compare with other investments?
- Investing in a rural airport is not a simple matter of comparing rates of return on other commercial investments. If maximizing an ROI is the goal, investment in a warehouse in Tacoma or buying rental housing is almost certainly going to beat a rural airport as an investment.
- The SVA is ripe for expansion for the right group who has a passion for flying and wants to own an airport in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States, and has the wherewithal to plan more hangars and other revenue sources, like a restaurant or event center. This would be a long term investment plan, and most certainly not an investment for someone who wants to place funds and earn the highest return possible in the short term. There are other better investments if that is the goal.
How many acres are available for future development?
- There are approximately 35 acres with many acres that have yet to be developed on the north side of the taxiway and existing hangars, and on the south side of the runway adjacent to the Discovery Trail.
Can the runway be extended in the future?
- There is an agreement for a 1,000 foot extension of the runway in the future, however, that is not included in the estimate of fair market value today. Final government approvals for the extension, which would seem very likely, would increase current appraised value.