The heavily timbered Ochoco Ranch, located in Central Oregon just 30 minutes from the red hot market in and around Bend, sold last week to a buyer from Texas who first saw the property at the website of the listing broker, Mason & Morse. Originally listed in 2007 for $48.5 million ($1,143 per acre), the price was subsequently lowered to $42.5 million ($1,000 per acre).
“We listed the Ochoco in April 2007, so it took about 18 months for it to sell,” said Robb Van Pelt, Managing Broker for Mason & Morse Ranch Company. “Properties of this caliber are few and far between, so 18 [months] to two years is the norm. Sell it too quickly, and you know you underpriced it.”
Located in Crook County, Ochoco Ranch features 35 miles of spring fed creeks and 65 mapped springs. It sits adjacent to the Ochoco National Forest and the Lookout Mountain Roadless Management Area along its eastern border and abuts private ranches on the other sides. In addition to the deeded acreage, Ochoco Ranch controls the cutting rights on an adjoining 3,111 of private land under a timber for grass trade use agreement.
According to the Mason & Morse website, the property included 42,428 acres of timbered high country in one contiguous block. Distinctive elements include: no public access; a high percentage of forested lands; smooth, gently rolling terrain with deep soils allowing the ranch to be very usable and productive; very secure, easily controlled and inexpensive to operate.
Among the possible uses for the property were:
1) A private and secure retreat for family/business recreation purposes, possibly incorporating a conservation strategy for tax savings benefit.
2) A buy-and-hold strategy allowing the value of the land and timber to continue growing.
3) Splitting the property into 4 to 10 smaller ranch properties for resale.
4) Developing a small area into a clustered development with “common access” to keep the remainder a large, open, natural property protected by a conservation easement.
5) A resort overlay designation for a world class destination involving mountain recreation.