KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- At first glance, it's but a ghost of a beef cattle farm.
A gravel road, links its more than 490 grazing acres.
Except that West Knox County's Kraemer-Ingram parcel, is its own pristine peninsula--just outside city limits, smack on Fort Loudoun Lake.
"That makes it, probably the most valuable piece of lakefront property ever offered in Knox County," claims autioneer Jim Slyman.
Appraised solely for its farm value, some may consider the property taxes laughable; slightly more than $5,000 in the 2008 assessment.
But Saturday, Slyman's auction will change everything.
"You could put 14-1500 out there, and we're talking about houses that are on the water, houses that are gonna be upperbracket," he says.
"We can only estimate, that it would be at least 2-300 lakefront properties."
Slyman says such developmental possibilities mean that a sale price
of $30 million would not be out-of-line, although it would be five times
higher than a tentative price agreed to in a failed parcel sale five years ago.
That parcel sale remains in litigation.
"I think it's a bad time, to be honest", says Nikki Heward, a homeowner in the neighboring River Sound development.
River Sound has featured homes in the $500,000 to $2 million range, in the real estate boom years of 2005-07.
"It (the housing market) turned on a dime," Heward says.
"There are some houses that have been on the market for two years now, not selling."
Several real estate appraisers, on background, tell Volunteer TV News that a $30 million price tag could be too much debt for East Tennessee developers to shoulder, in a tight market.
Slyman's auction company has marketed the property nationwide,
and has received inquiries from developers in Florida, California, and Las Vegas.
Heward wonders whether such a upscale development could
attract local buyers.
"It's rare to meet people in this neighborhood (River Sound) that are from here," she says.
Slyman maintains that the property's proximity to Pellissippi Parkway,
and Interstates 75-40, will make it a magnet.
"We're not looking like Rarity Bay, or Tellico Village, where they're looking for buyers from Florida, Ohio, out-of-state buyers," he says.
Slyman says several local developers have considered bidding
in partnership, and likely would develop the site in phases.
"It would kind of be nice if it was left alone," says Heward.
"Bu t if it's gonna be developed, I'd like it to be a neighborhood like River Sound."