Special Purpose Buildings

Comprehensive Appraisal of Special Purpose Buildings in California


At PM Appraisal, we offer expert appraisal services across a wide array of commercial property types. Special Purpose Buildings or Properties represent a unique category that demands particular attention due to their distinctive characteristics. Backed by our wealth of experience and industry-specific expertise, we provide accurate, comprehensive, and trustworthy appraisals for these properties.

Understanding the Special Purpose Property Category

Special Purpose Properties are designed for a specific use, and converting them to another use often requires substantial renovation or even demolition. They are usually unique in design, construction, or layout, making them unsuitable for anything other than the use for which they were initially built.

The value of a Special Purpose Property is usually dictated by its ability to efficiently perform its intended purpose. Market demand for the property’s specific use, location, condition, and construction quality also heavily influence its value.

Types of Special Purpose Buildings

Special Purpose Properties cover a broad spectrum of building types, each catering to specific needs. Here are some examples:

  1. Churches and Other Religious Facilities: These buildings are designed specifically for worship and other religious activities, often featuring unique architectural elements.
  2. Schools and Educational Institutions: These properties include elementary schools, high schools, colleges, universities, and specialty training institutions.
  3. Hospitals and Medical Facilities: This category includes hospitals, surgical centers, and specialty medical facilities like dialysis centers and imaging centers.
  4. Theaters and Concert Halls: These buildings are designed for performing arts and often include features such as stages, dressing rooms, and acoustically engineered spaces.
  5. Museums and Galleries: These properties are designed to display art or other items of interest and typically include features like controlled lighting and climate control systems.
  6. Sports Facilities: These include stadiums, arenas, gyms, swimming pools, and other facilities designed for specific sports.
  7. Airports and Transportation Hubs: These buildings serve as central locations for transportation services.
  8. Data Centers: These properties house computer systems and related equipment, often requiring high-security measures and climate control.
  9. Government Buildings: These properties are used for various governmental functions and often have unique security and functional requirements.
  10. Power Plants and Utility Structures: These properties are used for power generation and distribution.

Best Ways to Appraise Special Purpose Buildings

Appraising Special Purpose Properties requires specialized knowledge and techniques. Here are some of the best ways to appraise these buildings:

  1. Cost Approach: This approach is often the most applicable for Special Purpose Properties as it considers the cost to construct a similar building. It takes into account the cost of land, labor, materials, and entrepreneurial effort.
  2. Income Capitalization Approach: If the property generates income, this approach might be used. It involves estimating the net income that the property produces and converting it into a value using a capitalization rate.
  3. Sales Comparison Approach: This approach may be challenging for Special Purpose Properties due to the lack of comparable sales. However, it can provide valuable insights when suitable comparables are available.
  4. Functional Utility Analysis: This analysis evaluates the building’s suitability for its intended purpose, considering factors such as layout, design, and installed equipment.

At PM Appraisal, our appraisal team understands the nuances involved in assessing the value of Special Purpose Properties. Leveraging our expertise and employing the appropriate valuation methods, we deliver comprehensive, reliable appraisals that enable our clients to make informed decisions about their special purpose properties.