Settler’s Bay Subdivision

Wasilla

1977

The Settlers Bay Subdivision development project was a 200 acre land platting and permitting project in Wasilla, Alaska

The Settler’s Bay subdivision is located in Wasilla, Alaska approximately 40 miles north of Anchorage. The area eventually became a bedroom community for those escaping ‘the city’, a farming center that boasts enormous produce during the long summer days, headquarters for the Iditarod Race in winter, hiking, fishing and gateway to Mt. McKinley in the summers. Sara Palin made Wasilla her home and famously stared down the Russians across the border to single-handedly keep the US safe from foreign invasion.

Keystone Development, the real estate development arm of Walsh Investment Company, strategically accumulated 200 acres of raw land from multiple property owners over a period of 6 months.  We completed the surveying, soil testing, and site design work required to complete the platting and permitting process. Rather than continue with full build out of roads and utilities we chose to sell the subdivision to one of our Limited Partners, Tipton Development Company, who developed it further with Settlers Bay Golf Course and residential properties named Fairway Estates.

Investment Thesis

At the time Senator Ted Stevens was championing the Knit Arm Bridge proposal to build a 1.7 mile bridge across the Cook Inlet to connect Matanuska-Susitna Borough to Anchorage. If approved, the bridge would dramatically increased the value of land in the Borough and Keystone Development made this investment to capitalize on the excitement around future appreciation.

Lessons Learned

The Knit Arm Bridge proposal stalled for many years and later became infamously known as "The Bridge To Nowhere" at the national level. Although the bridge was ultimately never built the investment generated significant ROI and serves as a reminder to "Always sell on the news!"