By Gary Nelson
The Arizona Republic
It’s taking Mesa a little longer than expected to sell its 11,000 acres in Pinal County.
The process wasn’t going to be quick in any event, because Farm Sources International (FSI), the company that agreed last spring to buy the land, was given two due-diligence periods initially totaling 270 days.
The first was to have expired in mid-September, giving the company time to nail down its water rights.
City Manager Chris Brady first gave the company, whose North American headquarters are in Scottsdale, a one-month extension when the September deadline approached because the water agreements were still in the works.
The second deadline arrived this month, and so did another extension.
The new goal, Brady said, is for the company and the Central Arizona Irrigation & Drainage District to have an agreement by mid-December.
The irrigation district is a political subdivision that provides water to a big swath of Pinal County, including about 5,200 acres of Mesa’s land near Eloy.
Once water rights are secured, a second period will allow Farm Sources International another 150 days for “general due diligence,” including surveying and environmental analysis.