(Phoenix) Arizona State Land Commissioner Mark Winkleman announced today that, in 2005, the Arizona State Land Department shattered its 1 year old record of sales revenue with a total of $514 Million. The previous record, set in 2004, was $337 Million.
"This may be the greatest accomplishments in the entire history of the Land Department," Commissioner Winkleman stated. "We spent an entire year working with one goal in mind, to earn half a billion dollars for Arizona Public Education. We accomplished that and it shows the dedication of our employees and their commitment to the mission of the Trust."
The sales revenue was earned from 9 major auctions where a total of 2,550 acres were sold. Parcels were sold in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria and, for the first time in several years, Tucson. One auction that occurred in August, 502 acres in Desert Ridge, set the record for the highest price paid of $135 Million. A joint venture of Toll Brothers and Pulte Homes was the successful bidder.
After being appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano in January of 2003, Commissioner Winkleman has worked to implement innovative changes to the Land Department to increase revenue. Winkleman has also worked closely with city officials, community advocates and business leaders to bring the highly valuable, and properly planned, urban State Trust Land to the market at the right time to earn the highest price.
"In the last 2 years we have surpassed every sales records," Winkleman continued. "We all want to continue that trend. Look for a higher number next year!"
The Arizona State Land Commissioner serves as trustee of over 9.3 million acres of Arizona State Trust Land. The proceeds from the sale of Arizona State Trust Land are delivered to the beneficiaries of the Arizona State Trust Land Permanent Trust Fund, primarily Arizona Common Schools, K through 12.