Thursday, November 30, 2006

Palm Springs Land Rush

i can smell huge writedowns from the builders ....... the endgame will be simular to the goldrush.........
kann die abschreibungen riechen........ wird genauso enden wie der goldrausch.........

Palm Springs Land Rush Threatens Future of Desert-Grown Dates

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Nick Nigosian is cashing in after 35 years working the California date palm farm he inherited from his father. (well done! / gut gemacht )

``It's time to move on,'' said Nigosian, 57, who has already sold off 50 acres (20 hectares) in the Coachella Valley and plans to sell the remaining 80 acres within five to 10 years. ``I am surrounded by homes. I couldn't even farm if I wanted to.'' (hurry ! beeilen!)

The desert surrounding the golf-resort city of Palm Springs is one of the few places in the U.S. where date palms thrive. Yet farmers like Nigosian have discovered that their real potential profit lies in the land beneath the trees, if not the trees themselves as landscaping ornaments to shopping malls and Las Vegas casinos.

``You can make more money putting it in the bank than farming the land,'' said Nigosian. .....

The agency says at least 1,000 acres of date palm groves have been lost since the 1960's. The farms have made way for the housing developments and some 120 golf courses that have become popular in the fast-growing region of Palm Springs, a city of 47,000 about a two-hour drive east of Los Angeles.
``The land prices have grown so exorbitantly,''.... ``For us farm owners it's great, but it's almost just a matter of time when we are going to sell.''

He says he expects the entire palm crop to disappear within 50 years. (wait after the bubble has popped..../ warte ab bis die blase geplatzt ist....)

$150,000 Per Acre
are enticing date farmers with bids of about $150,000 an acre, up from $7,500 a decade ago (1900%), ...... Some land can fetch as much as $400,000 an acre if it is near developed areas, according to Paula Turner, co-owner of Desert Pacific Properties Inc.

``Land prices have increased significantly in the past five years as more and more people are moving into the area,'' said Turner.

Tending by Hand
The growers' decision to sell is made easier by the fact that date farming can't be made more efficient through technology or most mechanization.

``You can't afford to say no,'' said Sullivan of Turco Desert.

Demand from landscapers for the palms has only added to the pressure to sell. A palm tree sold for decoration at a casino or mall parking lot fetches about $1,000, while it would take about 25 years to make that amount by harvesting dates, according to Keck.

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