No Takers For State Trust Land

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A 13.5-acre parcel of land by the Payson Airport that was scheduled to be auctioned off Thursday at the Gila County Courthouse in Globe was taken off the auction block.


Sue Russell, sales administrator for the Arizona State Land Department, said the property remains state trust land because no registered bidders came forward to buy the land.


"What happens to it at this point, I honestly don't know," she said.


The property, which the state appraised at $595,800, was once considered a possible site for Phoenix Logistics, a high-tech manufacturing company based in the Valley.


Town officials and the company's owner met with State Land Department officials after the state decided it would only lease the property. Phoenix Logistics owner Ray Bellefeuille said he wanted to buy the property, not lease it.


In what was thought to be a victory of sorts for the town, State Land Department officials agreed to put town, State Land Department officials agreed to put the land up for sale. The decision went against its usual policy to lease property to private interests.


After two years of working to get the land, Bellefeuille said in September that he no longer wanted to buy the property because the estimated price of the property had gone up by nearly $170,000.


When he talked about his decision in September, Bellefeuille said he hoped someone would buy the land to prevent it from reverting back to the state.

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