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After CBH backed out, state auctions farmland again, fetching another big premium

A half a square mile of former farmland near Caldwell has been auctioned off again after the previous buyer backed out.

BoiseDev previously told you about the state-owned land selling for $35.3 million in June, which was almost five times the appraisal amount of $6 million. The state sold the parcels to a Boise-based LLC associated with CBH Homes. However, several months later the buyer pulled out.

“These are unprecedented times,” a CBH Homes spokeswoman wrote in an email to BoiseDev in September. “We’re in a different market than before and are working to navigate through the high cost of land, current home prices, and what’s best for our community.”

Five bidders competed for the land in this latest auction with Pennsylvania’s Toll Brothers Inc. placing the winning bid of $23.2 million. That does not include the 4% buyer’s premium. While significantly lower than the bid CBH defaulted on, it is still three times the amount of the appraisal

In the initial auction, Toll Brothers was the second-highest bidder, behind CBH.

[CBH bid big on state ag. land. Now, the builder is out of the deal]

Land history

The parcels currently sit in the Idaho Land Endowment, controlled by the Idaho Land Board. Endowment lands are managed by the Idaho Land Board for the benefit of public schools.

The land sits just to the north of Vallivue Middle School along Homedale Rd. and is currently used as agricultural land. The University of Idaho started leasing the land in the 1940s and will give up the lease to allow for the sale. When CBH Homes pulled out, they paid $600,000 in damages to the University of Idaho.

The funds from the auction and the damages will go back to the UI to build a new Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment in the Twin Falls area.

The parcels total 282 acres and are designated for low-density residential use in the city’s land use map.

BoiseDev’s Don Day contributed reporting.

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Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at autum@boisedev.com.

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