At a public auction on January 17, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) acquired a 50% tenancy-in-common interest in the 356-acre property in Portola Valley known as El Mirador.
The property has been a conservation priority for POST for decades. This acquisition is one step toward POST’s goal of protecting the land’s important environmental and conservation values for public benefit. Located adjacent to the established Windy Hill Preserve (protected by POST around 1977 and managed by Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District), El Mirador includes roughly 200 acres of intact mature second-growth redwoods and is adjacent to the Portola Valley Town Center. In addition to the rare and unique redwood habitat, El Mirador also contains extensive trails and dirt roads as well as over 3 miles of streams that flow into Searsville Lake as part of the San Francisquito watershed and many additional acres of scenic, historic and conservation significance.
Background on POST’s involvement with El Mirador
George Stern, who passed away in late 2021, held a 50% tenancy-in-common interest in El Mirador. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Stern approached POST about the property and POST’s interest in its conservation and protection.
At the time of Mr. Stern’s passing, POST was both a named beneficiary in his trust and the senior secured lender for the 50% tenancy-in-common interest in El Mirador. In June, POST proceeded with a non-judicial foreclosure as a first step to secure and accelerate conservation opportunities for a portion of the property. On January 17, POST acquired the property interest at auction for a purchase price of $22.4 million, which was based upon appraised value.
With the purchase of the 50% tenancy-in-common interest in El Mirador, POST now becomes one of three parties who share ownership of the entire property. Over the months ahead, POST aims to come to a mutually beneficial agreement with its co-owners that both furthers POST’s mission and meets the co-owners’ interests.
Since its founding in 1977, POST’s model as a private, nonprofit land trust has been to acquire properties for their conservation and recreation values and public benefit, with a goal to transfer them to public agencies when feasible, typically at a significantly reduced cost to the public. In this way, POST preserves land for the collective benefit of the people, of nature, and the communities they serve.
February 21, 2024Posted on
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more