800-acre Ranch Sells for $19M

Posted by — July 10, 2005

800-acre Ranch Sells for $19MBy Naomi Havlen

Originally published in The Aspen Times

An 800-acre ranch just below Woody Creek that was listed as "the largest working ranch near Aspen" by Luxuryrealestate.com was sold in early March for $19 million, according to Bob Richie, a real estate agent with Coates, Reid and Waldron.

The ranch's new owner - listed as SGS Ranch LLC, according to the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder's office - is a trio of three people in San Francisco, New York and South Florida, Richie said. He would not identify the owners by name but said they have spent a lot of time in the Aspen area.

The property includes a hay and horse operation, a main home, six employee housing units, two creeks and "vast water rights." The property was owned by Mary Jane Garth, who has since moved to Beaumont, Texas.

Garth could not be reached for comment.

The ranch is located along Upper River Road, a swath of open space visible from Highway 82 across from the Pitkin County Landfill.

"In the long run, they'll probably develop it - that's normally what happens," Richie said of the new owners. But for now, he said, the ranch will still grow hay and have horses, and people will still be on the ranch giving riding lessons, taking lessons and "watching the hay grow."

"Fundamentally, nothing is going to change there other than upgrading all of the facilities," he said. "There are things that have been rotten for 50 years with no foundation, sort of sunk into the ground. These are things that need a little work."

Richie said Garth grew up in Texas and has been trying to sell the ranch for some time so she could take time off and travel. He said she is building herself a new home in Texas.

"It's a very beautiful, nice ranch, and it'll always stay ranch property," Richie said. "Any proposal floated on the ranch has always involved maintaining ranching operations. There are a couple of acres to build a home on, tucked up against the hillside."

Richie also sold an adjacent ranch that included more than 900 acres, formerly known as the Braun Ranch, for $23 million. That ranch was subdivided in 10 homesites, five or six of which were sold.

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