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Turf company Bethel Farms buys 300 acres of cattle land

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  • | 7:45 p.m. October 30, 2009
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BUYER: Bethel Farms LLLP (principals: Kimberly and William Nugent), Arcadia
SELLER: 5200 Ranch LLC
PROPERTY: 50 Ryals Ranch Road
PRICE: $1.13 million
PREVIOUS PRICE: $31.09 million, May 2005
LAW FIRM ON DEED: Henderson Franklin Starnes & Holt PA, Fort Myers

PLANS, DESCRIPTION: Arcadia-based Bethel Farms purchased 307 acres of grazing and wilderness land on Ryals Ranch and Knotts Berry roads for $1.13 million. The purchase price equated to $3,659 per acre.

Bethel Farms, which grows turf grass for sale directly to the public and for company such as Walt Disney, plans to use the property to expand its business into grasses and turf for golf and other sports uses.

“We thought this was a good way to differentiate this from what we are doing at the other farms,” says Mike Pope, vice president of sales and marketing for Bethel Farms. “This is really a unique business; with a lot of different varieties that we would not sell to the general public. Prices are depressed right now. Obviously, we thought it was a good value.”

Bethel Farms was attracted to the property because it would be relatively easy to develop with good road access making it accessible to several different markets, Pope says.

The new owner is still evaluating the layout of the new farm but in general plans to install a specialized irrigation system on the grazing land, while leaving the undeveloped, hardwood areas wild.

First State Bank of Arcadia provided Bethel Farms with a $1.13 million mortgage on the property and a $750,000 future advance.

Late last year, 5200 Ranch LLC sold 5,200 acres of farmland to the Ryals family, the owner/operator of adjoining Ryals Citrus and Cattle Ranch, for $17.89 million, equal to of $3,441 an acre.


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