(Phoenix) The Arizona State Land Department today announced that a 1,011 acre parcel of Pinal County land in an area known as Lost Dutchman Heights in the City of Apache Junction was auctioned to Desert Communities Inc., a subsidiary of Las Vegas-based Rhodes Homes for $58.6 million.
According to Arizona State Land Commissioner Mark Winkleman, the live auction had 59 bids resulting in a final price with a 30 percent premium above the appraised value of $45,250,000.
“For the last many years, development has leapt over our land to private properties like the Hunt Highway area, many miles to the south,” said Winkleman. “This is a very desirable area as evidenced by today’s auction and is the logical place for growth in the East Valley to occur.”
As part of this auction, Winkleman explained that the State Land Department initiated an innovative process that requires that the winning bidder complete a master plan for the surrounding 6,690 acres of State Trust land at an estimated cost of $6 million. As the winning bidder, Desert Communities Inc. is required to work with City, County and State Land Department in developing a plan that includes infrastructure financing, developing land uses, water sources, waste water treatment and other elements of the master-planned community. The planning process for the area is expected to take 18-24 months to complete.
“Although the residential real estate market has slowed down, the results of this auction indicate the tremendous long term potential for this land,” said Winkleman to the crowd that gathered at today’s auction. “Projects like Lost Dutchman Heights and the Williams Gateway Airport will spur significant growth in the East Valley,” he added.
There were 2 qualified bidders at the auction including Actus Lend Lease LLC and Desert Communities Inc. The auction was held at the Pinal County Offices in Florence, Arizona and was attended by several civic and elected leaders including Apache Junction City Council Members Dave Waldron and Kris Sipple, Apache Junction City Manager George Hoffman and Roc Arnett, President of the East Valley Partnership.
”The sale of this property is the first step in the renewed growth in the East Valley that will be felt for decades,” explained Winkleman. “This is a small part of the lands known as Superstition Vistas and demonstrates the potential for these valuable lands.”
The Arizona State Land Department manages over 9.3 million acres of Arizona State Trust Land. The proceeds from the sales of this land go to the beneficiaries of the Arizona State Land Trust Permanent Trust Fund, primarily Arizona Common Schools, supporting grades K-12. For more information about the State of Arizona Land Department visit azland.gov or call 602 542-4621