RIO VISTA — City Council members agreed unanimously Tuesday to sell just shy of 6 acres to California Vegetable Specialties, the largest American grower of endive.
The acreage is part of the city’s business park area of Rio Vista.
The purchase price is $317,500, which the city will loan the business with an initial payment of $79,375 scheduled within 30 days of escrow closing, according to staff reports. Every subsequent year, the company will pay the city $79,375 plus 3 percent interest for a total annual payment of $81,756 for years two, three and four.
Councilwoman Constance Boulware established clarification that money earned from the sale of business park land was to be put into the business park fund for future use within that land area.
The deal was one many city officials through the years fought for, but their hands were tied because of a deed restriction placed on the 99 acres that the city purchased from the state in 1952.
The city was allowed to lease the land, but could not subdivide or sell the property. Subsequently, despite numerous city attempts to kick-start the area, it wasn’t all that attractive to businesses. It lay largely stagnant for decades, save for a few businesses that were willing to locate on and make improvements to leased land – provided they could get bank financing for improvements.
Rich Collins, the president of the endive enterprise, was one of those willing to lease the land and make building improvements over the years.
Mayor Norman Richardson indicated during the meeting that another business leasing land within the business park was interested in a possible purchase but they also “want us to tell them what (we’re) going to do to market the business park,” he said.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.