Business

Alice Walton cuts prices on two ranch properties

Fortune Bend Ranch

Alice Walton, Wal-Mart billionaire heiress, is selling the Fortune Bend Ranch. At 4,416 acres, the property southeast of Possum Kingdom Lake boasts “native rolling land, river bottom, sloping hillsides, and scenic limestone hills with spectacular
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Alice Walton, Wal-Mart billionaire heiress, is selling the Fortune Bend Ranch. At 4,416 acres, the property southeast of Possum Kingdom Lake boasts “native rolling land, river bottom, sloping hillsides, and scenic limestone hills with spectacular

Wal-Mart is known for rolling back prices.

So it might not be surprising that billionaire Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton is now selling — at a deep discount mind you — two picturesque ranches she owns west of Fort Worth.

Walton originally was asking $19.75 million for the Rocking W Ranch and $28.7 million for the Fortune Bend Ranch. But a soft economy for ranch and farm land and Walton’s desire to downsize convinced her to slash the prices for the properties.

Walton is now willing to part with the Rocking W for $16.5 million and will take $22.1 million for Fortune Bend, price cuts of 16.5 percent and 23 percent respectfully. If you had a hankering to buy both properties, the total just dropped to $38.6 million from $48.5 million.

“We had to be more competitive,” said Mac Coalson, a real estate broker out of Weatherford who is co-brokering the property with Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth. “It’s not sold yet, but there has been more interest since the price has been reduced.”

Alice Walton is selling the Rocking W Ranch where she ran her cutting horse operation. The 1,436-acre ranch is near Millsap.

Allen Crumley, who specializes in farm and ranch properties at Williams Trew, said people skated through 2015 really well with depressed oil and gas prices but people have cut back and there is more inventory in 2016.

“We have an astute seller that recognizes that, so we felt it was time for a price adjustment,” Crumley said.

Walton, the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, cut quite the figure in cutting horse circles. But last year she announced she was going to devote more time on her latest passion, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. So Walton, who Forbes says is worth about $35.3 billion, decided to sell her prize-winning cutting horse operation, pack up, and move into Fort Worth.

It’s not sold yet, but there has been more interest since the price has been reduced,

Mac Coalson, a broker at Coalson Real Estate in Weatherford

“The move has been some time in coming,” Walton is quoted as saying. “I’ve been stretched in too many directions and I want to get focused. I’ve got a house in Fort Worth, so I’m moving to town.”

While both properties were put on the market last September most of the attention has been focused on the Rocking W.

“The Rocking W is the most unique ranch I’ve had the fortune to market and sell,” Crumley said. “From mineral rights and water rights, location to the Metroplex, interstate frontage, all of these things combine to make it the most exciting offering I’ve had.”

The Rocking W is where Walton ran her cutting horse business. The 1,436-acre ranch near Millsap has over 250 acres of coastal Bermuda pasture and 19 stock tanks and ponds to provide hay and water for cattle and horses. There’s also a 24-stall main show barn.

On top of a hill is a more than 4,100-square-foot home with three bedrooms, a library and a main gallery. From a covered deck, there’s a spectacular view of the Brazos River Valley. Walton would also sell 93 percent of the mineral estate and currently producing wells.

Much larger at 4,416 acres, the Fortune Bend property is southeast of Possum Kingdom Lake. It boasts “native rolling land, river bottom, sloping hillsides, and scenic limestone hills with spectacular views,” according to a video and the real estate website.

Included is a 4,346-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath lodge made with Douglass fir beams and rough-sawed plywood. The cabinets are made of barn wood. The countertops are sheet metal.

Fortune Bend could be a state park. It is very native Texas. To be able to own 8.5 miles of you own bend in the Brazos River, that opportunity doesn’t come up very often,

Allen Crumley, a broker for Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth

But one of the property’s biggest selling points is the 8.5 miles of Brazos River frontage.

Rare opportunity

The river varies from deep to shallow rapids and is mostly wide with some small islands. Where Ioni Creek feeds into the Brazos, there is a natural dam that holds back the water, forming a small lake.

“Fortune Bend could be a state park. It is very native Texas,” Crumley said. “To be able to own 8.5 miles of your own bend in the Brazos River is an opportunity that doesn’t come up very often.”

All of the mineral rights, or about 1,305 net acres, would be sold along with the property.

While both high-end properties have been on the market for almost a year, no one has saddled up to buy them. Coalson and Crumley blame lower oil prices and presidential politics for the overall soft demand for farm and ranch land.

“Oil went from $90 to $30 [a barrel] and that knocked a hole in a lot of buyers,” said Coalson, who runs Coalson Real Estate with his son, McAllen. “In the oil patch, the guys don’t have the money. They break even at $50. It is survival time now.”

And every four years the market for this kind of property loses strength because of the uncertainty that presidential politics brings to the table, Coalson said.

“In election years, people are unsure of the future. If they know what the future is they are willing to risk it, but they don’t. They’ll keep their money in a more conservative situation,” he said.

Coalson, who originally helped put the ranches together for Walton, said she hates to part with them. But she simply feels it is time to move on, he said.

“As she got more involved in art, the more passion she had for art,” he said. “She loved both ranches but she doesn’t have the time or the need for them.”

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

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