Old Seward Highway Retail Property

Anchorage

1970

The company's first commercial property investment was a speculative freestanding retail property on Old Seward Highway in Anchorage, Alaska.

After completing several large land subdivisions, the company’s first commercial property investment was a vacant property on Old Seward Highway in Anchorage which had become available when a successful bicycle shop outgrew the space. This section of the Old Seward Highway retail market enjoyed high traffic counts and has become the defacto ‘auto-row’ of the area.

The property had a retail building featuring a three bay garage, a quanset hut, and a small house. We remodeled the house and used it as Walsh Investment Company headquarters for a few years until we outgrew it. We leased the garage to an autobody repair company, and quanset hut to the Federal Aviation Administration which used it to store plane crash evidence.

After successfully adding value to the property through these leases Walsh Investment sold its interest to one of the Limited Partners.

Investment Thesis

The area had a lot of as-yet unrealized potential at the time. There were several other new properties under-development nearby and we were able to acquire the property with existing buildings at below the cost of new construction.

Lessons Learned

Our first experience as a commercial property landlord also provided our first experience with tenant relations, rent collection challenges, and the value of having a creditworthy tenant when it comes time to finance or refinance your property.