Limoneira Co., an independent lemon grower in Santa Paula, began construction Wednesday on a master planned community some 10 years in the making.
Having long been known as East Area 1 on 500 acres owned by the agribusiness, the community has been renamed Harvest at Limoneira and will include 1,500 homes and apartments, a school, a fire station, 100 assisted living units, commercial space, a sports park, an amphitheater, an agricultural preserve and hiking trails, according to the company. The community is located along the 126 highway in eastern Ventura County.
“Harvest at Limoneira involved years of thoughtful planning, and we expect strong demand for its new homes thanks to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, its access to major highways and the greater L.A. area, as well as the limited supply of new homes throughout Ventura County,” said Chief Executive Harold Edwards.
The Lewis Group of Cos. of Upland, Limoneira’s development partner for the community, said in a statement the project “will feature homes at a range of price points.”
The companies formed the Limoneira Lewis Community Builders to develop the project, and intend to sell lots to individual home builders. According to earlier announcements by Limoneira, the new homes are expected to range from $300,000 to $750,000 in price.
Limoneira is investing $60 million into the project, and another $200 to $225 million will go towards water, sewer, utilities, roads and other developments from the newly-formed company, Limoneira Lewis Community Builders.
Limoneira said the project is a particular victory because it required Ventura County voter approval under the county’s Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources, a law that requires public approval by vote of development on agricultural land. With that approval, the project is the first and only large-scale master-planned community to have done so since SOAR was enacted in 1995, according to Limoneira.
Shares of Limoneira (LMNR) on Thursday rose 56 cents, or 2.5 percent, to close at $22.88 on the Nasdaq.