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HARRISBURG, PA-Yardley, PA-based Realen Homes paid the state $10.5 million, or in excess of $100,961 per acre, for a 104-acre parcel in Bucks County. It is the largest surplus land sale in the history of the Commonwealth and the highest price ever paid to the state for land.

The property is the former site of Bensalem Youth Development Center, which was closed by the state’s department of welfare in 2000. Under the terms of the agreement, Realen, which plans to build homes on the parcel, will devote 30 acres to public open space. The Department of General Services negotiated the transaction for the Commonwealth. The proceeds go into the state’s general fund.

Donald T. Cunningham, general services secretary, says his department was determined “to get the best business deal for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania while still moving unneeded property into the hands of the private sector to generate economic growth. The people of Bucks County benefit from new jobs and new dollars on the tax rolls,” he notes, while the state gains funding for education, health care and other services.

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