Wells Fargo Bank said it has entered a preliminary agreement with property owner Donald Daley and a nonprofit organization to acquire 4,800 acres of land and protect it as a wildlife refuge.

Wells Fargo has offered to underwrite about $4 million of the $12 million purchase price for Rancho Jamul, which is in southwestern San Diego County. The sale should be closed by late August.

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land is a land conservation organization that will lead the property into public ownership for the new San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is to be formally designated this month.

"This is a unique circumstance for Wells Fargo in terms of the size of the property. In the past, our bank has donated physical real estate for nonprofit purposes including museums," said Sam Brown, Wells' senior vice president for the San Diego regional commercial banking office.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.