Hill Ranch

Hill Ranch

  • Client: Family Owned Property
  • Goal: Value Creation for Immediate Disposition
  • Size: 526 Acres
  • Expertise: Strategic Value Creation, Accelerated Marketing, Disposition

The Assignment

  • Representation in the disposition of the 526 acre (raw land) Hill Ranch in Sacramento, CA.
  • Previously the family ownership had never been offered more than $3,000 per acre
  • Through our strategic value creation, we were able to secure approximately $20,000 per acre totaling $10,500,000 for the family trust.
  • Success at any size!

During the height of the housing boom, developable residential land in Northern California was selling at a premium. Hoping to take advantage of the robust market we were contacted by a family trust that wanted to sell a 526 acre land tract that had been held by the family since 1929. The problem was that the land was zoned agricultural and was in a remote location. Although the land would eventually be in the path of growth, it would take a buyer with great vision to be able to see the immediate value of the property.

At the time, the prospective seller was a family of modest means and limited resources and did not have a lot of real estate expertise. Furthermore, the land was really their family nest egg and they were very protective of it. They were also some of the nicest and most genuine people we had ever met. How could we say no?  We set out to find our buyer.

Although the property was an undeveloped agricultural property in a “sea” of more undeveloped agricultural property (see photograph), it had one distinctive feature. Namely, it was on a four corner interchange that fronted on Interstate 505, and that interchange was only 2.5 miles to Interstate 5 (one of the major north-south arterials of the western coastal states). As a result, we created an aggressive marketing campaign to strategically create value by highlighting this feature and all the opportunities that it presented.

Since the property was in an unincorporated area with no contiguous surrounding development, we needed to maximize and highlight the value of the frontage location of the site to the interstate. In that capacity and in determining the highest and best use, we marketed a conceptualized idea of a potential travel plaza to service passerby motorists.The travel amenities included on the site would be a convenience store, gas station, restaurant and possibly a hotel (among other services) and/or a potential truck stop. We marketed this idea and other possible residential uses for the eastern parcels to local developers and investors. We also attended land use and planning meetings, and lobbied the neighboring highway city about potentially annexing the property to increase their tax base. This created a buzz and helped get the word out to potential purchasers. After creating a significant amount of interest, we held an on-site auction on the property to display and emphasize its proximity to the freeway.

Prior to our involvement, the most that the seller had been offered for the property was $3,000 per acre ($1,600,000), however, through the auction process we were able to secure almost $20,000 per acre totaling $10,500,000 for the family trust.

Success at any size!

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to further discuss this project or any of your real estate needs (425) 557-9260.