51,000 acre cattle ranch in East Bay goes up for sale

LIVERMORE — A vast cattle ranch, totaling nearly 51,000 acres, is up for sale in the Bay Area, according to a new listing brochure.

“The iconic N3 Cattle Company is on the market for the first time in 85 years,” according to a brochure posted by the ranch’s listing agent, Vacaville-based California Outdoor Properties. The listing represents “the largest land offering” in California, the listing brochure stated.

The asking price? $72 million, the brochure states. That potential cost doesn’t seem to have chased off prospective new owners.

“We are getting tons of interest from possible buyers,” said Todd Renfrew, broker and principal owner of Vacaville-based California Outdoor Properties. “A lot of them want to buy sections of the ranch.”

A piecemeal series of sales isn’t the outcome preferred by the ranch’s principal owners, members of the Vickers / Naftzger family, which has owned and operated the property for 85 years.

“The family wants to sell it whole and keep it together,” Renfrew said.

At 50,500 acres, the ranch sprawls over four counties: Alameda County, Santa Clara County, San Joaquin County, and Stanislaus County, and is south of Livermore and east of San Jose and Oakland.

The property is up for sale after the current primary owners, two sisters who live in Southern California, have decided to call it quits in the family ranching business, according to Renfrew.

“The sisters decided it was just time to sell,” Renfrew said.

Who might be a preferred buyer for the property? The ranchers hope the next owner doesn’t attempt to develop the pristine land.

“The buyer would have to be a wealthy person who is interested in preserving the past,” Renfrew said.

Steep canyons, rolling oak woodlands dotted with oak trees, grasslands, canyons covered with shrubs, rock outcroppings, meadows, ponds, and watersheds are among the features of the ranch.

“Some conservation groups have expressed interest in buying,” Renfrew said.

The property’s wildlife consists of animals that can be encountered throughout the wildlands of Northern California.

Coyotes, bobcats, grey foxes, and mountain lions, along with deer, tule elk, wild pigs, turkeys, quails, doves, rabbits, ground squirrels, and raccoons can be found on the huge ranch. An array of birds live on the ranchlands. A pair of bald eagles have nested near the headquarters of the ranch near Livermore.

“The best approach would be to adopt a conservationist stance to ensure the property isn’t developed,” Renfrew said.

Ranch family members approached California Outdoor Properties, which was chosen as the listing agent after a meeting in San Francisco in recent weeks.

“I didn’t know that there were any ranches this larger in the Bay Area,” Renfrew said.

The size of the N3 Cattle Co. ranch dwarfs previous large sales handled by Renfrew. In California, Renfrew’s company arranged the sales of a 19,000-acre ranch in Lassen County and a 14,000-acre ranch west of Interstate 5 near the town of Williams in Colusa County.

“It’s very exciting,” Renfrew said of the attempt to sell the N3 Cattle ranch.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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