Think Farmland Prices Are High? Try $70,000-Plus An Acre

One of the state of Hawaii’s largest commercial farms recently launched the state’s first true fee-simple agricultural community – Ohana Farm Parcels. Ownership is structured something like a condominium development.

Buyers jointly own the land, just as they might jointly own a high-rise condo, but they also hold a defined portion of the property as their own, much like a condo owner holds the space within his walls.

The land in this case is broken into plots ranging from 10 acres to just over 18 acres on a 480-acre tract.

Cost for plots runs in the mid $70,000s an acre. The farming development was put together by Aloun Farms and its subsidiary Helemano Ranch & Farms, LLC. It is located on the site of a former pineapple plantation.

“As an island state, Hawaii currently imports approximately 90% of its food,” says Alec Sou, general manager, Aloun Farm, Inc. “Our mission is to reduce the state’s dependency on imported produce through increased local food production. We developed the Ohana Farm Parcel concept with the intention to make a significant impact in meeting one of Governor David Ige’s goals of doubling Hawaii’s food production by 2020 that is included in his Sustainable Hawaii Initiative.”

The development is located on the island of Oahu on 480 acres of land previously owned by Dole Food Company. The 35 farm-ready parcels are zoned for agriculture use only.

The Ohana Farm Parcels will be managed by the parcel owners. The owners will have the option to farm the land themselves or contract its farming operations directly with Aloun Farms. The company has been actively farming on the land since 2011.

“With more than 2,000 acres of active farmland and 40 years of farming history in Hawaii, the Ohana Farm Parcel project provides Aloun Farms with an opportunity to share our knowledge and provide the resources needed for small independent farmers to achieve success,” adds Sou. “Like our family, this is a unique opportunity for farmers to build their own family legacy in agriculture while building equity in their business.”

About 70% of the parcels have already been farmed and have been proven to produce successful crops, according to a company press release. More than 90% of the land has been tilled and prepared for diversified options of high value crops for farmers to grow. And nearly 25% of the parcels can be easily certified as an organic farm operation.

Each parcel will have its own legally defined boundaries, with farm roads and access to clean, fresh water from a private reservoir. A pressurized water meter will be readily available to service and connect all parcels to the irrigation infrastructure.

In addition, a processing facility and a warehouse will be conveniently located nearby, eliminating transportation costs. Usage of the facility, warehouse and water will be available to owners at competitive rates.

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