By Jack Stubbs
A large swath of vacant land in Pierce County sold late last week for a hefty sum.
On Friday, February 16th, 56 parcels of vacant land in Pierce County sold for $73 million, or approximately $1,303,571 per parcel, according to public records filed with Snohomish County. The buying entity was Beutler Exchange Group LLC, a 1031 exchange company based in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The seller was Charlotte, North Carolina-based Hancock Forest Management, a manager of timberland properties.
As a 1031 exchange company, Beutler Exchange Group will be the owner of record for the asset until it is passed on to another buyer at a point in the future, according to a source at Beutler Exchange familiar with the transaction. The property in question will either be a reverse exchange or an improvement exchange.
The property is comprised of 56 parcels of undeveloped individual parcels of designated forest land. Public records do not indicate a specific address for the parcels; however, the property is roughly four miles to the northeast of Eatonville. Rimrock County Park and Chop Lake are approximately two miles to the west of the property. Additionally, the property is roughly 25 miles to the south of Puyallup and three miles from access to Washington State Route 161.
Beutler Exchange Group LLC provides 1031 tax-deferred exchange services nationwide, according to the company’s web site. Owner and attorney Toija Beutler provides services pertaining to various aspects of 1031 to investors, real estate professionals, tax advisors and attorneys.
Hancock Forest Management is the property management subsidiary of the Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) and is one of the world’s largest timberland investment managers for institutional investors, according to the company’s web site. The company combines forest management techniques with environmental stewardship in its client services and focuses on the day-to-day timberland management services for HTRG’s investors on approximately three million acres across the United States and New Zealand. The company seeks to provide management at the property level, aiming to protect and enhance managed lands by maximizing the value of timberland for its individual investors, according to its web site.
The sales price of the 56 parcels is double that of another recent transaction for forest land in the vicinity of the Pierce County property. In December 2017, Hancock Forest Management sold another 21 parcels—also located within three miles of Eatonville—to Beutler Exchange Group LLC for $36.5 million.