What A Deal

Boundaries Are Approximate But Very Close

Apparently, Knoxville developer and land wizard, Richard Eisenbach has gotten a little sensitive about some of the publicity he has received over the land deal he made with the Loudon County Board Of Education. At a recent BOE meeting, Mr. Eisenbach produced a flyer giving his side of the story as he sees it. If, as Mr. Eisenbach stated, he didn't "have any sweetheart agreements, kickbacks, nothing," then Mr. Eisenbach owes no one any explanations. He simply made a very lucrative business deal. Mr. Eisenbach and developers like him are in the business to make money, that's what they do and there is nothing wrong with that. The only unanswered question for Mr. Eisenbach is, who or what is Safe Harbor LLC? Safe Harbor LLC, first reported at vanshaver.com "Something Stinks Part II" was listed in the deed as "Qualified Intermediary" lending many questions as to who are the owners/officers of Safe Harbor LLC and why was it necessary to create an LLC just for this deal?

The tougher questions would be for the BOE. A look at the newly platted property would seem to indicate that the BOE for some reason agreed to allow  Mr. Eisenbach to retain unquestionably the best area of the entire property with more 321 road frontage than the BOE. A total of 22 acres. A walk around the property quickly reveals why the property is less than prime land for development. All of the land is very hilly with deep valleys. There is no flat land. the steeply undulating land might not be such a problem for residential development, however site preparation for an education complex will be challenging at best and very costly. The cost of site prep must always be factored into any type development. The water and sewer line are on the opposite side of 321 which will be costly to reach and tie on to. The sewer line in the area is a high pressure system which will require additional construction and maintenance to utilize.

Consider the location. Currently, the area of 321 where the new BOE land is located is virtually undeveloped and may stay that way for years. But at some point the area will develop. Given it's commercial/industrial potential, it's likely that corridor will develop accordingly. The BOE property could at some point be surrounded by businesses and developments that could be less than conducive for an educational facility. There is also a natural gas pipe line running through a portion of the property. And for what it's worth, the property is in the Lenoir City Limits.

By anybody's standards, Mr. Eisenbach backed into what could only be considered one of the greatest land deals ever. Mr. Eisenbach stated that he had spent at least $100,000.00 on the property. Given that to be the truth, he still clears a pretty hefty profit. But the instant profit is small compared to the 22 acres he retained for future sale or development.

Did the BOE get a great deal on the property as Mr. Eisenbach claims? Did anyone use inside info to make a buck? Did the BOE use the tax payer's money wisely on this deal? Will this turn out to be a good site for a school? These questions and others may have to wait on time for answers.

The BOE might consider the statement made by Mr. Eisenbach that they got the property at 20% below market value. In this case they could sell the property and make themselves about a half million profit and find a more appropriate plot of land for their future school buildings.

Plat Of Property

Some Photos Of The Property