News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Foundation to buy Ecke property

The Paul Ecke Ranch property is changing hands after playing a significant role in Encinitas history since the 1920s.

The Leichtag Foundation, a Carlsbad-based philanthropic organization, announced its plans to purchase the site in an April 6 news release. The foundation was started by Max and Andre Leichtag in 1991.

The announcement follows a request by Ecke Ranch in February to subdivide the property, a subject that the city plans to revisit at some point this year, according to news reports. Whether the planned purchase by the Leichtag Foundation is related to that February request is not clear.

The Ecke family poinsettia operation helped put Encinitas on the map as a national and international flower production hub. By the 1990s, Ecke properties gave way to the housing and commercial development of Encinitas Ranch.

Leichtag’s purchase of the property would help secure its place in the community for the future, according to the announcement.

“While we don’t yet know the details of the site’s long-term use, we believe the kind of uses that will be explored include urban farming, service learning, expansion of the San Diego Botanic Garden, educational and cultural programs, and support of a strong Jewish community in North County,” the foundation’s announcement states. “Our purchase ensures that it will not be used for development of residential subdivisions, commercial office parks, or shopping centers.”

Paul Ecke Ranch will hold a multiyear lease for use of the property until the company finds a new location, according to the foundation.

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Foundation to buy Ecke property