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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Walton buys more land in Spotsylvania

The “A” on this Google Maps image shows roughly where the land Walton International Group bought last month is located off Massaponax Church Road in Spotsylvania County. Click for a larger image.

An Arizona-based real estate investment group last month purchased another roughly 179 acres in Spotsylvania County, bringing the company’s total land holdings to nearly 1,750 acres in the Fredericksburg area.

Walton International Group bought the 179 acres in late November from local home builder Tricord Inc. and an affiliated limited liability company called Denali Capital Group. The sales price was about $4.33 million.

The land Walton bought last month is north of Massaponax Church Road and just east of the Lancaster Gate subdivision. It was once part of Tricord’s planned Summit Crossing development, which stalled amid the housing downturn. It’s not far from the planned Virginia Railway Express station and the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, and is considered an area of future growth.

Tricord principal Mike Jones said it seemed prudent to sell the land and focus on the company’s other projects, including Pendleton in Caroline County, Wilderness Shores in Orange County and Mallard Landing in Spotsylvania.

Walton officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Last year Walton purchased about 375 acres off U.S. 1 just south of Lee’s Parke in Spotsylvania for about $11.6 million. The company is now in the process of submitting an application to rezone the property, which it is calling Heritage Woods. Plans call for a total of 1,060 residential units and a variety of housing types — including single-family homes, townhouses and multi-family units. Walton has hired local attorney Clark Leming to oversee the rezoning process.

In 2010 and 2011 Walton spent about $21 million buying 1,190 acres in southern Stafford County along the north side of State Route 3 near the Little Falls Run wastewater treatment plant. Walton then sold shares in the land to Asian investors through a tenants-in-common arrangement. The company has not submitted any plans on the Stafford land.

Walton typically buys land in fast-growing areas after doing ample research and then waits for development opportunities. The firm doesn’t build the homes but rather sells properly zoned and entitled lots to builders.

Walton worked with Fredericksburg-area real estate brokers Rusty Foley and Mike Manns on the deal.