Limoneira Company (NASDAQ: LMNR), a leading agribusiness with prime agricultural land and operations, real estate and water rights in California, today announced that on February 12, 2013, East Area 1 was formally annexed into Santa Paula. The annexation was the final required step to enable Limoneira to immediately proceed with East Area 1, a master planned community project. When completed, East Area 1 is expected to consist of 501 acres of commercial and residential properties, including 1,500 residential units, 210,000 square feet of commercial space, and 150,000 square feet of light industrial space. Also part of the planned community project is East Gateway Project (also known as East Area 2), which is expected to consist of 350,000 square feet of new commercial property.
Last week, the Santa Paula Planning Commission and the Santa Paula City Council approved a specific development plan and accompanying environmental impact report (EIR) for the East Gateway Project. This approval allowed for the annexation of East Area 1 into the City of Santa Paula. Annexation into Santa Paula was required in order to re-zone the land for residential, commercial and light industrial development.
Harold Edwards, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very excited that the expected annexation has been recorded. Our team has been waiting for this day for nearly ten years when the project was first conceived, and with the final hurdle now behind us, we are able to proceed with executing our plans. We will begin tract mapping of the area for development, applying for infrastructure building permits and expect to break ground on the project in 2014.”
Mr. Edwards continued, “This marks the beginning of an exciting new phase of real estate development for Limoneira. We are looking forward to the opportunity to leverage our deep understanding of our community based on our long operating history in Santa Paula. As the project progresses, Limoneira is well positioned to benefit from the expected additional cash flow associated with the development.”