July 10, 2012
City of Phoenix-owned land in the McMullen Valley area of La Paz County, originally purchased in 1986 for harvesting groundwater to supplement Phoenix’s water supply, has been sold to International Farming Corporation LLC/Arizona Farming LLC (IFC) for $30 million.
"This is the right thing to do at just the right time," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "Innovative ideas like this are what we need to make our under-utilized assets advantageous to our city and our residents."
“Since 1986, Phoenix has augmented its multiple water supplies with additional surface water resources," said Councilman Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency, Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee. "The cost for infrastructure to import the water from McMullen Valley to Phoenix is no longer economically viable, so it’s a sound financial decision to sell the property for the taxpayers of Phoenix.”
Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos added, “The $30 million acquired from the sale will be first used to pay off remaining land debt and the net proceeds will be deposited into the city’s Water Fund to help further stabilize future customer rate adjustments.”
Phoenix advertised the approximately 12,900-acre property, including assignment of the existing State Land lease of 1,040 acres, by a sealed bid solicitation in November 2011. The high bidder, IFC, is an investment firm that specializes in agricultural properties. IFC and its affiliates were founded in 1871 and have more than 139 years of continuous agricultural experience.