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Waggoner Ranch broker heads to Central Texas for next big land deal

Posted: 04/19/2016
Author: Steve Brown/Real Estate Editor - The Dallas Morning News Inc. All Rights Reserved

 http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com/2016/04/wagonner-ranch-broker-heads-to...

Sandow Lakes Ranch is almost 34,000 acres thats 45 miles east of Austin. (Icon)

Real estate broker Bernard Uechtritz isn’t the kind of guy to just kick back after landing a big sale.

Uechtritz headed the team that just sold the fabled W.T. Waggoner Ranch.

The sale of the 535,000-acre ranch located northwest of Wichita Falls near the Red River to sports team owner and real estate developer Stan Kroenke was one of the biggest such transactions ever.

The property that was formerly used for coal mining now has more than a dozen lakes. (Icon)

The property that was formerly used for coal mining now has more than a dozen lakes. (Icon)

And Uechtritz is already working on his next deal.

This time the property in play is almost 34,000 acres in central Texas.

Located 45 miles east of Austin, the Sandow Lakes Ranch is a former coal mining and industrial tract that’s owned by industry giant Alcoa Inc.

“The property is 30 miles long,” Uechtritz said. “It runs from Elgin all the way to Rockdale.

“It’s a very large reclaimed mining site,” he said. “It’s stunningly beautiful and most people don’t know its there.”

Parts of the property are in three counties.

Formerly used as an open lignite mine, the Sandow Lakes property for decades provided millions of tons of coal to run electric plants and industrial operations. The mines closed more than a decade ago.

The huge open strip mines have been reclaimed as farmland, open space and lakes. The property has won awards for the reclamation efforts.

“There’s a string of 14 lakes – crystal clear with fish galore,” Uechtritz said. “Just the water Rights alone are worth hundreds of million in value.

“Water is the new oil, and it’s the hot button with this property.”

Along with the lakes and thousands of acres of grazing and agricultural land, the sale includes the extensive industrial facilities on the property.

“Alcoa will lease back and service the power plants,” he said. “This is a very large and complex proposition which is what I do.”

Uechtritz said he plans to take bids on the Sandow Lakes property this summer. “I’m going to call for offers by July and hope to sell this by the fourth quarter,” he said.

Uechtritz, a Sotheby’s International Realty Global Network associate, is an international real estate advisor for the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s franchise in Dallas and founder of International Icon Properties. 

Alcoa has previously come close to selling the central Texas property but never made a deal.

The property is expected to sell for more than $250 million.

The land is in parts of three counties. (Icon)
The land is part of three counties. (Icon)