BellCornerstone was hired by Gannett Media on behalf of the Naples Daily News with two goals: to sell its 186,503 SF facility in Naples, FL, and to ensure the newspaper maintain its important presence in the community. This well-located and valuable property was estimated to be worth between $25-30 Million. The challenge for BellCornerstone was to maintain the integrity of the high price point amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BellCornerstone Approach
The real estate industry has been marketing properties the same way for decades but, with COVID-19, the world was on hold and the times required an entirely new approach to selling commercial property.
The uncertainty looming over the real estate industry resulted in many companies and investors putting a moratorium on their real estate decisions. This, along with the inability for potential buyers to physically tour the property, created new and unprecedented challenges. For these reasons, BellCornerstone invested over $100,000 in digital marketing, utilizing 3D model technology and LoopNet Platinum listing services to maximize visibility. Bell’s telecommunications team charged full speed toward a solution, making 3,599 phone calls, which generated 34 solid leads and multiple offers. This process was essential in creating a competitive bidding environment, which would drive the purchase price.
After negotiating all offers and selecting a buyer, Bell continued to facilitate the sale, working with the buyer and the county to gain approval for a critical zoning variance. Bell’s strategy and extensive collaboration with all parties instilled the necessary confidence that the variance would be approved post-sale and allowed the closing to occur as scheduled.
In a time when there were more questions than answers, the BellCornerstone team pushed through the uncertainty and found the best solution for the client. In less than nine months, the property was sold for $28 Million. The Naples Daily News was able to remain in place, while establishing a new and more efficient footprint in the building. This allowed them to maintain a consistent presence and location in the community, reduce operating expenses, and shift the burden of building ownership and management to the new owners.