Home Back Issues January 2010 Eugene real-estate company grabs new markets

Eugene real-estate company grabs new markets

| Print |  Email
Articles - January 2010
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Follow-up: May 2009 feature, "Big hairy deal"

Gorilla
John Helmick

Gorilla Capital, a Eugene-based buyer and seller of foreclosed homes, has expanded into Arizona, Idaho, southwest Washington and Florida as part of a broad strategy to become the dominant national player in distressed residential real estate.

“We wanted to prove that our business model works on a national level and we’re proving it,” says CEO John Helmick.

The national spike in foreclosures that has disrupted lives and devastated the economy represents a huge opportunity for Gorilla. The company grew from 10 employees to 25 in 2009, with the three most recent hires moving into Clark County, Wash., to capitalize on the glut of homes selling for fractions of their assessed values.

The fact that Helmick and Gorilla have sidestepped metropolitan Portland bodes well for the Portland residential real estate market. Gorilla has made its fortune by buying at fire sale prices and selling for 20% less than the competition. Prices have held up too well in Portland for the Gorilla formula to work, Helmick says. But it’s a very different story in Phoenix, Ariz.; suburban Boise, Idaho; and Daytona Beach, Fla., where Gorilla is offering a three-bedroom two blocks from the ocean for $59,900.

Helmick’s brother, Rob, who co-founded ecollege.com with him in the 1990s, is running Gorilla’s new office in Florida, the state with the second-most foreclosures, behind only California.

With millions of distressed properties weighing down home prices from coast to coast, the timing seems ideal for Gorilla’s plan to expand aggressively. Helmick says there is local competition in each of the markets Gorilla operates in, but no one else is replicating a consistent formula in multiple locations.

He intends to be first in that race. “Before there was a Wendy’s and a Burger King there was a McDonald’s,” he says. 

BEN JACKLET
 

Comments   

 
Distraught Consmer
0 #1 Want our money backDistraught Consmer 2010-07-08 02:47:37
My husband and I wanted to purchase our first home...we both work very hard in order to be able to live the America dream and become successful in this world. Well, we put in an offer on one of Gorilla Capital's listed properties in Deltona, FL and put down a $2000.00 deposit...GORIL LA CAPITAL did NOT OWN THE TITLE on the property at the time that they went into contract with us...and they pocketed our money!! How do you SELL something that YOU DON'T OWN? I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND GORILLA CAPITAL...I REALLY JUST WANT OUT MONEY BACK...FAIR & SQUARE!!!!
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

The Rail Baron

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Oil is gushing out of the U.S. and Canada, and much of it is coming from places that don’t have pipeline infrastructure. So it’s being shipped by rail.


Read more...

Podcast: Testing for Emotional Intelligence with John Hersey

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 19, 2014
ivbU3sIXBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

How can you tell if you, a peer, a subordinate or a job candidate has the emotional intelligence needed to do well?


Read more...

Gone Fishing

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LORI TOBIAS

Business has been good to Laura Anderson, leading some to suggest she must be awfully lucky to find such success in a business notorious for failure. But luck’s had little to do with it.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

Healthcare Perspective

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Majd El-Azma, president and CEO of LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon, followed by the Healthcare Powerlist.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS