Lots of folks are talking about the large chunk of land for sale in Sonoita between Highways 82 and 83 in the Sonoita-Elgin Area. The sign was posted earlier this year across the street from the fairgrounds offering 579 acres currently zoned as follows: 210 aces zoned R1 (one house per acre), 57 acres zoned B2 (general business) and 312 Acres zoned GR (general residential – 4.13 acres per single family home). The property is owned by Sonoita Holdings, LLC in Salem, Oregon, and they are asking $6 million for the land. Longtime resident and real estate broker Kathy O’Brien who is a local point of contact for the sale said, “The current owners used to be developers and had a construction company [Colson & Colson] specializing in building retirement communities.” 

Colson and Colson General Contractor originally purchased the land from Dean Short in August 2006 and January 2007 for $7,424,000. County records indicate they deeded the property to Sonoita Holdings, LLC in December 2008. Short owned numerous restaurants in Arizona including the Ye Olde Lantern in Tucson, one of the busiest restaurants in Arizona. 

Dennis Corderman with Custom Transaction Services out of Phoenix is handling the ranch for the sellers. Corderman explained that many years ago, Bill Colson was traveling through the area and absolutely loved it, so he ended up buying the property in hopes of developing it in the future. 

Corderman also explained that the people who own the property are getting older. They acquired many holdings across the country and developed many properties, but they are now selling off properties that are excess. The owners all reside in Oregon and Washington, none are local, and none live in Arizona. 

Corderman explained, “The owners are offering the sale at as a total property for a developer to purchase, and they are not considering splitting the acreage for separate sales at this time. They are concerned about this property being the center of Sonoita/Elgin and would like to see it developed to fit the community with perhaps some retail, hospitality, residential and maybe vineyards. They are taking a $1.4M loss. They want a single guiding hand to develop the property successfully and in a manner that adds to the community.” He also added “there has been some occasional interest but no serious buyer at this time.” 

According to county records, the 2020 county tax bill for the property was $273.82. Sonoita Holdings has other property in the downtown area that are currently not for sale. 

Lastly, O’Brien added, “They have allowed the fairgrounds to use the land for parking. They were also instrumental in granting an easement so we could have the power line years ago, and they have always kept the longhorns there to graze it and continue the Ag status under their ownership.”