SEPTEMBER 6 UPDATE:
Camp Cooley Ranch sold at auction for $28.5 million to Circle X Land and Cattle Company August 4. Twenty-two qualified bidders, along with their families, attorneys, lenders, and consultants, attended the auction, which was held at the Robertson County ranch. The $28.5 million sale price included surface and mineral/royalty interests. All equipment and personal property was offered through a separate transaction.
According to Bernard Uechtritz of Great Estates Ranches, Camp Cooley ranks as one of the most beautiful ranches in the nation, thanks to its topography, abundant waters, and multi-million-dollars of improvements. “In the cattle industry, Camp Cooley is a major brand name,” he said. Uechtritz coordinated the extensive marketing campaign leading up to the auction; the auction itself was overseen by Hall and Hall Auctions.
Read more details HERE.
JULY 25 UPDATE:
In the midst of a statewide drought that is crippling Texas farms and ranches, Camp Cooley Ranch continues to thrive.
“Camp Cooley is an oasis,” says Bernard Uechtritz during a telephone conversation from the headquarters of the Central Texas ranch. “Every other ranch I’ve seen over the last few weeks has browned up, but not Camp Cooley. It continues to irrigate, to fertilize, and to bale hay. Take a look at that aerial video at Camp Cooley.com. We shot that two weeks ago, and everything was still green. Still is. Name another ranch in Texas that is baling hay in late July.” According to Uechtritz, Camp Cooley Ranch has a year round carrying capacity of 4,000 head, and as recently as two weeks ago was running 4,700 head.
As the August 4 auction deadline approaches, Uechtritz reports that multiple stalking horse bids have been received for specific assets as well as for the entire ranch. “The action has been terrific. We’ve easily had 20-plus parties tour the ranch and given it a serious look,” Uechtritz says.
Leading the list has been a large number of cattle companies that recognize Camp Cooley’s turnkey potential. “Readers of The Land Report would immediately recognize the names of many of these famous ranch operators. These guys know what a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Camp Cooley presents,” Uechtritz says. Other parties who have toured the ranch have eyed the mineral rights, the water rights, royalty revenues, the hunting preserve, and the possibility of developing a wetlands mitigation bank.
“Watching the interest build around Camp Cooley has been extremely exciting for Hall and Hall,” Scott Shuman says, head of Hall and Hall’s Auction Division. “When you get a property with the history and the potential of Camp Cooley and combine it with such close proximity to major metropolitan areas such as Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio, it’s bound to generate a ton of interest. And we’re definitely seeing that. I expect the pace to pick up even more as the auction date approaches.”
Buyer’s registration forms and bidder’s packets for the invitational auction are being released on Friday, July 22. Bidders must pre-qualify and be invited to attend the August 4th auction, which is presently scheduled to take place at Camp Cooley Ranch. Through the protected buyer process that was approved by the court, there is also the possibility of a private treaty sale prior to the August 4 auction.
Learn more HERE.
JULY 15 POST:
A Texas icon goes on the block this August as Camp Cooley Ranch is to be auctioned off by Hall and Hall Auctions. At 10,600± acres, Camp Cooley is one of the largest properties in close proximity to Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. A sophisticated multi‐level turnkey cattle and commercial hay operation, Camp Cooley generated more than $700,000 in grazing revenues, more than $1.5 million from commercial hay operations, and more than $1.4 million in gas royalties in 2010. In addition, there are considerable untapped revenue streams associated with existing gas and water rights. Located in the heart of the Lone Star State near Franklin, Camp Cooley will be auctioned by Hall and Hall as a single tract on August 4, 2011.
Camp Cooley Ranch is located in Robertson County in the heart of Central Texas and is bounded by the Navasota River to the east. Approximate drive times are as follows: Bryan-College Station, 30 minutes; Austin, 90 minutes; Houston, two+ hours; Dallas, two+ hours; San Antonio, three hours.
The ranch takes its name from the Civil War
Houston entrepreneur Bert Wheeler assembled Camp Cooley from dozens of neighboring tracts. As Camp Cooley’s renown grew, Wheeler hosted such Texas luminaries as John Connally and Lyndon Johnson.
Under current owner Klaus Birkel, Camp Cooley Genetics has become one of the country’s best known seedstock cattle operation, running up to 4,500 cow/calf pairs and as many as 2,000 bulls.
Ranch headquarters is a 8,590-square-foot lakeside main residence. Improvements include a 15-suite executive office complex, meeting rooms, and security and communication systems to monitor the ranch.
The entire ranch is served by a computer-monitored water well system, including all residences, barns, workshops, a multi‐use sale pavilion, and the breeding and cattle workstations. There are approximately 84 miles of roads in place on Camp Cooley.
Camp Cooley boasts rolling terrain that boasts numerous lakes, abundant woodlands, as well as wetlands that are ideal for development as a mitigation bank. The ranch’s 1,000‐acre exotic game preserve is among the oldest in the state and could be increased in size.
Qualified bids need to be submitted by Wednesday, July 27 at 5 p.m. (CST). For more information on this auction, contact Bernard Uechtritz at (214) 608-8567 or Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.
Wilder on the Taylor is an angling paradise and a preservation oriented 2,100± acre shared ranch community offering a total of 26 homesteads in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Each homestead is 35 acres and features a one-acre building envelope. As private fly fishing water is increasingly difficult to procure, Wilder presents a rare and distinct opportunity to own an undivided interest in one of the best shared fishing properties in the Western United States.
Recognized as a preeminent trout fishery, the Taylor runs through the center of the ranch for nearly two miles. To further enhance this fishing experience, approximately 3± miles of newly constructed streams and seven lakes were created; promoting a completely different and equally challenging fly fishing adventure.
Direct access to almost 2 million acres of national forest and designated wilderness areas is accessible from virtually anywhere on the property. The site plan includes construction of a main lodge and additional guest amenities. Existing ranch improvements include ranch manager headquarters, livestock and equipment facilities. Four turn-of-the-century refurbished guest cabins, located a stones throw from the river, are available for immediate use.
Wilder supports numerous recreational activities, exceptional scenery, spectacular views, abundant wildlife, and is centrally located within minutes of Gunnison Regional Airport and a short drive to one of Colorado’s great ski towns, Crested Butte. Prices starting at $1.65 million. Jeff Buerger of Hall and Hall has the listing.
Hall and Hall
The Wall Street Journal reports that Land Report 100er Tom Siebel has sold Montana’s iconic N Bar Ranch, 62,091 contiguous acres in the Snowy Mountains. The Journal reports that the buyer was a Texas limited partnership principally owned by Dan and Farris Wilks, co-founders of Frac Tech, a Texas-based oil-field drilling-services firm.
Located approximately 90 miles north of Billings and 35 miles southeast of Lewiston, the N Bar totals 62,091 acres, including 51,409 deeded, 4,875 BLM leased, 1,920 Montana leased, and 3,887 privately leased. Joel Leadbetter at Hall and Hall had the $45 million listing; final sales numbers were not disclosed.
The historic N Bar has an imposing legacy and predates Montana statehood. Its headquarters compound, which was established in 1885, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Under Seibel’s stewardship, the N Bar made balancing cattle operations with wildlife needs a top priority. According to the ranch website:
With respect to livestock, the N Bar Ranch has retained the best genetics of the N Bar-registered Angus lines. Current management has transformed the ranch into a commercial cow/calf/yearling operation running 1,000 cows with the intention of carrying the calves over to yearlings. A conservative estimate of capacity—at 30 acres per animal unit—is more than 2,000 animals; however, in keeping with present management’s emphasis on maintaining top quality wildlife habitat, the ranch currently supports approximately 1,500 head of cattle.
Read more HERE.
A well-known Rocky Mountain landmark, Colorado’s 470-acre Perry Ranch, sold for $11 million ($23,000+ per acre). The sellers paid $13 million for the Routt County ranch in 2007 intending to improve it and then market it as a conservation development property, but last year’s recession squelched those plans. Hall & Hall’s Brian Smith in Steamboat Springs represented the seller. Tim Casey of Mountain Marketing Associates in Breckenridge represented the buyer. The transaction closed on June 30.
The original asking price of $25 million dropped to $19.5 million and then to $16 million last year when the economy tanked. “This sale is very indicative of what we’re now seeing: 15 to 25 percent off market highs,” says Smith, referring to the spread between the sellers’ purchase price in 2007 and the 2009 sale.
“Buyers who are not trying to pinpoint the bottom of the market can find all sorts of opportunities. A lot of sellers, particularly those with a higher basis in a property, are recognizing current market conditions and adjusting their asking price,” says Smith. “What made this property such an outstanding opportunity was the size of the parcel and its proximity to downtown Steamboat Springs. The south fence line is literally one mile to the city limits. One minute you’re tucked away by yourself in a lush little valley with aspen groves and Soda Creek. Hop in your truck and five minutes later you’re on Main Street. Best of both worlds. It’s extremely difficult to find that combination near a resort town, whether it’s Steamboat, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Jackson, or Sun Valley.”
Hall & Hall’s Denver office just closed on Nebraska’s Osborne Cattle Company. Located outside of Paxton in Keith and Lincoln Counties, the 20,452± deeded acres feature 2½ miles of North Platte River frontage and can run 2,000 mother cows. The ranch had been on the market for approximately 10 months with the price reduced to $11.5 million ($562 per acre). The brokerage would not confirm final sales numbers, but according to Tom Metzger at Hall & Hall, the cow/calf operation was sold to an in-state cattle operator. “Good Sandhills ranches are always in demand,” Metzger said.
More than 260,000 square miles make up Texas, providing a diverse and constantly changing landscape. The real estate market in the Lone Star State is equally diverse. Land prices in South Texas have risen in recent years as hunters flock to the area scooping up property in the name of sport. Read more
Open range, snow capped peaks, and beautiful views embody what many seek when searching for their first piece of property. One need look no further than the scenic American West when searching for this ideal piece of land.
The Rocky Mountain area continues to be a prime location for landowners seeking convenience and amenity in their purchase. John Pierce of Hall & Hall Ranch Sales says many looking to move to the Rockies do so because of the traditional resort ski areas.
“You have your resort communities and properties within reasonable striking distance of those ski communities. There are Jackson, Steamboat, Vail, and Aspen, those kinds of markets. You have your lesser known like Missoula, Livingston, Bozeman, those areas have been strong although they aren’t first and foremost known as ski towns,” Pierce says. “They are more known as nice communities within reasonable proximity of skiing but not known as a ski community.”
One area where Pierce says he’s seen the most growth is Park City, Utah. Names like Aspen and Snowmass are synonymous with skiing; cost and overcrowding have some potential buyers looking elsewhere.
“You’ve seen a lot of growth in the Park City area because of convenience. [An airport] hub like Salt Lake City where you’re 30 minutes into the mountains from the point you touch down is extremely convenient,” Pierce says.
Park City is 40 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport while Aspen and Steamboat Springs are more than 180 miles from Denver International Airport.
“With commercial flight becoming more challenging, that’s a big part of it. You go into Denver, and it’s still quite a ways to the ski areas. It’s not as convenient as Salt Lake City with Deer Valley and Park City. That’s certainly an area where we’ve seen a fair amount of growth,” Pierce says. “Going to an Aspen or a Sun Valley; it’s that much more complicated.”
If there is property to be had, many willing buyers are there ready to scoop it up. Pierce says access is the key with many weekend warriors flying to their land from “the major money centers around the country.”
It’s a national draw so air travel is a must.
Still, Pierce says, there isn’t a slowdown in any ski resort communities in the area on the horizon. There will always be buyers for properties in the traditional ski areas.
Hall and Hall’s listings currently point to a high demand market. There are no properties in Pitkin County (Aspen) and only one property, an 876-acre retreat, in the Park City area.
A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune says that home sales in the area are sagging with more than 2,600 homes priced in excess of $500,000 on the market. Acreage is harder to find however. The Wasatch Front MLS lists only 34 properties with more than four acres of land.
“We have definitely seen more funds coming into the marketplace place as potential buyers where they are looking at it as an investment,” Pierce says.