Past pages, Jan. 31, 2011: Falling land costs set builders for rebound

The cover of the January 31, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

The cover of the January 31, 2011, edition of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly. NNBW File

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week in 2021, we will feature snippets of stories that published a decade ago to provide readers a 10-year perspective of business news in the region. This week’s stories first published in the Jan. 31, 2011, edition of the NNBW.

Falling land costs set builders for rebound
A parcel of residential land in Northern Nevada that sold for $37.44 million in late 2005 sold for $3.88 million less than four years later. Another tract that sold for $11.4 million in early 2006 sold for $670,000 in late 2009 — losing 94.1 percent of its value in the meantime.

Gut-wrenching as those sales — and others like them — undoubtedly proved to be for the sellers, they’ve established a platform for the region’s homebuilding industry to begin its recovery one of these days.

Here’s why: New homes need to be price-competitive with existing homes. Builders can’t make that work with high-priced land they purchased at the height of the housing boom.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Where buffalo roam, skies are not cloudy these days
Demand for buffalo meat is up, retail prices are rising, and Reno’s Flocchini family wishes that buffalo calves grew up faster so their ranching operations could catch more of the updraft.

But the Flocchinis, who played a key role in building that demand through three generations of leadership of the National Bison Association, think the current market is different from the boom-and-bust cycle that has troubled buffalo producers in the past.

For one, demand is far more stable, says John Flocchini, who manages the family’s buffalo ranching operation in northern Wyoming and will spend part of his time this year as president of the Colorado-based National Bison Association.

— Page 1, by John Seelmeyer

Umpqua Bank: Deposits growing in Reno, loans still a struggle
Six months after Umpqua Bank entered the Northern Nevada market, the Oregon-based bank is holding its own in the fierce battle for deposits.

And like nearly every banker in town, its staff struggles to find well-qualified borrowers to help build its portfolio of business and commercial loans.

Umpqua Bank, headquartered at Portland, came to Northern Nevada through its acquisition of the banking operations of the failed Nevada Security Bank, a hometown institution that sank under the weight of the collapsed market for real estate.

Since, Umpqua has grown its deposits in Northern Nevada by about 4.5%, says David Funk, senior vice president and regional manager of Umpqua’s Nevada operations.

— Page 4, by John Seelmeyer


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