Mesa closes on agreement to sell more than 11,000 acres in Pinal County
By: Kevin Christopher
12/30/13 3:34 PM
Dec. 30, 2013
Public Information & Communications
Contact: Steve Wright
Mesa, AZ – The City of Mesa has closed on an agreement to sell more than 11,400 acres of land it owns in Pinal County to Pinal Land Holdings, LLC (PLH), a real estate investment company. It is one of the largest land deals in the history of Mesa and the three-phase agreement could net the City up to $135 million. PLH will fully manage the remaining lands through a master lease. The property is comprised of 88 parcels within the city limits of Coolidge and Pinal County.
“We are excited to take an important asset in Pinal County and convert it into direct and ongoing economic investments,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “City staff worked hard to make this deal happen and their efforts paid off.”
The land sale and lease proceeds will go into the City’s Economic Investment Fund envisioned to finance, in part, important economic development projects such as the Cubs new training complex and the City’s higher education initiative including the Benedictine University campus and the Mesa Center for Higher Education. A portion of the funds may also be used to pay for other HEAT initiative projects, which target health care, education, aerospace, tourism, and technology industries in Mesa.
“We are pleased to have this agreement finalized,” City Manager Chris Brady said. “This step is part of an overall financial strategy to provide for economic development opportunities now and into the future.”
Five years ago, Mesa City Council agreed to market and sell the land in a market-driven fashion. Mesa had expected that it would take 20 years or more to sell the land, but PLH approached the City two years ago with interest in purchasing all of the land over 5.5 years.
Mesa purchased the land for more than $29 million in 1985 for its water rights to create a water farm. The City no longer needs the farm because it has strengthened its water portfolio with other more reliable, accessible and cost-efficient supplies.
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