Vermaland LLC, a land banking and land development company based in Phoenix, has made its first significant investment in the southeast Valley land market – and its largest to date – with the purchase of 8,000 acres in La Osa Ranch, a master-plan community near Casa Grande.
Vermaland bought 4,000 acres in La Osa Ranch in 2012 and recently acquired an additional 4,000 acres in the same community. Strategically located off of Interstate-10 between Greater Phoenix and Tucson, long-term plans call for residential, retail and commercial development at La Osa Ranch. The deal is one of the largest land deals in recent history and indicative of an improving real estate market.
“The market has been buoyant in the past six months and while we have made significant land sales, we also have seen great buying opportunities,” said Vermaland CEO Kuldip Verma. “The opportunities we have the land market will not been seen in the next 10 years.”
Vermaland currently has the largest holdings of 50-1,200 acre parcels in metro Phoenix and the La Osa Ranch is its first significant investment in the southeast Valley.
Verma said besides its location, La Osa Ranch is attractive because of the advanced ground-work already completed including all water and land studies. Current plans call for more than 33,000 residential lots, 1,000 acres of commercial development and 2,000 acres of open space, parks and trail systems. The purchasing entity for the project is Verma La Osa Ranch, an LLC holding company for Verma Legacy Trust.
Verma said the residential real estate industry and land sale market are increasingly improving throughout Greater Phoenix and Arizona as a whole. Currently, finished residential lots are seeing double their value in comparison to 2011, with most foreclosures being flushed out. He added that 2013 will have more raw land sales than 2008-2012 combined and that 2013’s raw land market is seeing record activity halfway through the year and expects this pace to continue. On a side note, Verma added that raw land remains a valued commodity given that only 17 percent of all land in Arizona is private land.
Vermaland prides itself on the ownership of high-quality land parcels with good road access, electricity and water, proximity to substations and flat land conditions to allow for easier building. In the height of 2007 and 2008, Vermaland supplied land to some of the nation’s largest solar projects. Because of limited expansion options in most areas of Phoenix, other than the west Valley and southeast valley, Vermaland entities have maintained their portfolio in these two areas.