Nevada Land readies $31 million sale |

Nevada Land readies $31 million sale

NNBW staff

The owner of one the largest private land portfolios in northern Nevada is selling out because it wants to focus its attention on other projects.

Nevada Land& Resource Co. says it plans to sell its holdings in Nevada nearly 480,000 acres to Florida’s Fountain Investments for $31 million. The portfolio is the equivalent of 750 square miles.

Steve Hartman, vice president and corporate counsel for Nevada Land, a subsidiary of Pico Holdings, says timing and the desire to focus its attention elsewhere were the main factors behind the sale of the land to Florida-based Fountain Investments for $31 million.

Most of the company’s holdings parallel the Interstate 80 corridor in a checkerboard pattern from Fernley to Wells, Hartman says. Parcels vary in size from 40 acres to 640 acres and include residential lots, freeway interchanges, potential industrial sites and agricultural range and.

Much of the property was part of the land grant from the federal government to encourage construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, and it’s in a checkerboard pattern with federal lands.

Before Nevada Land bought it in 1997, the land had been owned by a succession of railroad companies, but none of them had viewed the land as a core asset, Pico executives have said.

“It is an asset used by a lot of the ranching community. Over the years we have sold a fair amount of it to the ranching community, and that is something we were glad able to accomplish. But we are moving on to other things,” Hartman says.

The remaining 480,000 acres represent a little more than a third of the 1.35 million acres that Nevada Land originally acquired nearly a quarter century ago.

In the first half of this year, Pico Holdings said in an SEC filing, real estate sales by Nevada Land totaled $211,000.

Nevada Land will retain some water rights, as well as $3 million of existing promissory notes and related land assets. Pico Holdings, headquartered at La Jolla, Calif., is involved in development of water resources throughout the West.

Hartman says Fountain Investments, headquartered at Miramar Beach, Fla., has conducted many large land-holding transactions throughout the United States and is an experienced buyer.

“It was the optimal time with someone who understood the issues with large land holdings, land in the West and BLM issues all things you deal with a large landowner,” he says.

The sale is expected to close in December, Pico says.