Q&A WITH BALL VENTURES CEO AND CDO
Ball Ventures, an Idaho Falls-based real estate investment and development company, was founded in 2002 by local businessman Allen Ball.
Over 17 years, the company has built and operated properties in the Idaho Falls area, such as Snake River Landing and Sandcreek Commons, and other properties across the country, from Utah to Tennessee.
Its real estate portfolio is diverse, investing in shopping centers, health care businesses and student housing, among other properties.
“We’re primarily a commercial real estate firm that focuses on grocery-anchored and major retail-anchored shopping centers and hospitality,” said Ball Ventures CEO Cortney Liddiard. “That’s our primary focus. We also have a number of private equity holdings, including auto dealerships, health care, midstream oil.”
Ball hired Liddiard, a former accounting firm partner who was looking for a new challenge, early on. And Liddiard built a team that, he said, makes his job a lot easier.
“The number one, best thing I ever did was go get people that are a lot smarter than me,” Liddiard said.
One of those hires was Eric Isom, chief development officer at Ball Ventures. Isom, who joined the company in 2006, oversees ventures, development, leasing, construction, marketing, property management and acquisitions. He also manages Ball Ventures’ crown jewel, Snake River Landing, a 450-acre retail and residential property on the Snake River.
Isom and Liddiard recently sat down with the East Idaho Business Journal to discuss Ball Ventures’ past and future goals at Snake River Landing and how it pursues real estate ventures.
East Idaho Business Journal: What was Ball Ventures’ first big project?
Cortney Liddiard: I would say that Snake River Landing has been a really big part of what I personally did, at first, and then I think (it) has continued. Mr. Ball had already purchased the ground when I started here. It was an old gravel pit. So a question we get frequently is, ‘Gosh, why did he buy that?’
Well, at the end of the day, Allen’s roots are here. His family is here. So, a lot of the motivation was, it was an eyesore. You got a mile of riverfront here. I think his vision of what was possible and giving back to the city that’s been really, really good to him, his family and business was important in figuring out that model.
Liddiard said that Ball Ventures officials are passionate about economic development and one of the investment tools the company pursued for Snake River Landing, to spur economic development, was tax increment financing.
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