Limoneira Company (NASDAQ: LMNR), a leading agribusiness with prime agricultural land and operations, real estate and water rights in California, today announced that on January 22, 2013, the Santa Paula Planning Commission and the Santa Paula City Council approved a specific development plan and accompanying environmental impact report (EIR) for Santa Paula’s East Gateway Project (also known as East Area 2). The East Gateway Project will bring 350,000 square feet of new commercial property into the City of Santa Paula on property owned by the Limoneira Company. Approval of Santa Paula’s East Gateway Project by the Planning Commission and City Council now allows this project to apply for an application for annexation into the City of Santa Paula from LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission). Annexation into Santa Paula is required in order to re-zone the land for residential, commercial and light industrial development.
Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “This is an extremely exciting time for Limoneira. We have been working towards the development of East Areas 1 and 2 for nearly ten years. Once the annexation is complete, which we believe will happen shortly, we will begin tract mapping of the area for development. We should be well positioned to break ground on the project in 2014.”
Mr. Edwards continued, “The development of East Area 1 and Santa Paula East Gateway Project represents a robust opportunity for Limoneira. The project will benefit from the land’s highly desirable location, which is just fourteen miles from the Pacific Coast and 65 miles from Los Angeles and easily accessible to several major highways. Our estimates suggest that the East Area 1 master planned community represents approximately 25% of Ventura County’s buildable residential lots for the next ten years. The East Gateway Project’s commercial features will complement the residences of East Area 1 and the people of Greater Santa Paula. Limoneira is well positioned to benefit from the expected additional cash flow as the project progresses.”