The Land Report


The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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Page 26 of 99

E S S E N T I A L S | T O P T E N | M A R K E T I N G | E V E N T S F A R M L A N D Bill Gates Pays $171 Million for Washington Farmland Secretive transaction ranks as HIGHEST PRICED land sale in US in 2018. — Eric O'Keefe M icrosoft co-founder Bill Gates paid $171 million to acquire approximately 14,500 acres of highly productive farm- land north of Washington's Columbia River basin from John Hancock Life Insurance Company. According to e Land Report researchers, Gates's acquisition, which closed on August 28, ranks as the high- est priced land sale in the US in 2018. It eclipsed the previous front-runner, the $136 million sale of Florida's 38,453- acre El Maximo Ranch by the Latt Maxcy Corporation to the Investment Corporation of Dubai on April 26 (see page 96). e transaction was veiled by several layers of corporate ownership, including a Louisiana limited liability corpora- tion named Angelina Ag Company that the Tri-City Herald newspaper identified as the buyer when breaking the story of the transaction. ough domiciled in Louisiana, Angelina Ag Company shares the same corporate mailing address as Gates's Cottonwood Ag Management in Kirkland, Washing- ton. Cottonwood Ag did not respond to inquiries from e Land Report Tax records indicate that John Hancock paid $75 million to acquire the farmland in 2010. It includes approximately 10,500 acres of irrigated farmland, 3,900 acres of rangeland, and some 140 acres of other land. All are located in a long range of foothills known as Horse Heaven Hills. "Growers in Horse Heaven Hills produce apples, cherries, carrots, dryland and irrigated wheat, and row and field crops," says soil scien- tist, geologist, and viticulturist Dr. Alan Busacca, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Washington State University. "In addition, the state's oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, has two of its largest vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA (American Viticultural Area): Canoe Ridge Vineyard and Columbia Crest Vineyard," says Busacca. FrontGate LU CAS JACKSO N/R EUTERS Gates's Washington farmland acquisition ranks as the highest priced land sale in the US in 2018. 25 L ANDREP ORT.COM FALL 20 18 | e LandReport

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