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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 4 years ago

Polk's Story Cos. buys Immokalee citrus grove

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The price equated to $10,042 per acre based on the rough acreage.

BUYER: Story Groves Inc. (principals: Victor, Kyle and Matthew Story), Lake Wales
SELLER: 734 Co-op Groves LLC
PROPERTY: a piece of land off Ranch 1 Road, Immokalee
PRICE: $1.21 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $5.3 million, December 2012 (includes additional land)
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Peterson & Myers PA, Lakeland

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Lake Wales-based family-owned citrus firm The Story Cos. purchased nearly 120 acres of agricultural land in Immokalee for $1.21 million.

The price equated to $10,042 per acre based on the rough acreage.

The property covers two blocks of active Valencia orange groves. The new owners have hired the Ranch One Cooperative Inc. to operate and harvest it.

“We did it as part of a 1031 like kind exchange fund,” says Kyle Story, vice president of The Story Cos. “The blocks were on the market. They looked to fit into our model of production and were under excellent care. We won't have boots on the ground there. Ranch One Cooperative does an excellent job managing it.”

Story says that in general, citrus land is in high demand for active farmers, but investor interest has declined.

The Story Cos. owns about 3,000 acres of fruit land, mostly in Polk County.

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