Woodcrest Capital buys Stoneview property for $1.25 million

A sign at the Stoneview site advertises the real estate auction. Photo by Kathryn Jones

A sign at the Stoneview site advertises the real estate auction. Photo by Kathryn Jones

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

The Stoneview residential and commercial real estate site on Tuesday sold at auction to Woodcrest Capital LLC of Fort Worth for the reserve price, $1.25 million.

Several companies placed bids when the company handling the auction, Tranzon Hanley of Fort Worth, first offered the property in three parts — the residential, commercial and undeveloped acreage — then the minerals. The property is located on “the hill” at the southwest corner of the U.S. Highway 67-State Highway 144 intersection.

After offering the property and minerals separately — with each piece attracting bids — auctioneer Tom Hanley of Tranzon then put the entire package, including the minerals, on the auction block. Woodcrest placed the highest bid on the entire package.

Hanley said the sale will close on or before July 25.

Attesting to the sale’s significance as it could impact Glen Rose and Somervell County’s economy, the auction attracted about 40 people, including local officials such as County Judge Mike Ford, County Judge-Elect Danny Chambers, Mayor Dennis Moore, and people from the business community.

Real estate developer Larry P. Smith said after the auctiion he wished the tracts and minerals had sold for more and praised his lender, Pinnacle Bank, for working with him.

“I  had hoped to see it bring more for the benefit of Glen Rose and Somervell County to stir more interest in the community,” he said.

Trent Gilley, Woodcrest Capital’s director of acquisitions, said after the auction that he did not know for certain yet what would happen to the property.

“We really don’t have any plans at this point,” he said. But added that Woodcrest “likes this market.”

He said he personally is familiar with Glen Rose having visited Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and Rough Creek Lodge.

“It is a beautiful area,” he said. “I think of it as the gateway to the Hill Country.”

The recent opening of the Chisholm Trail Parkway, the new toll road connecting Cleburne and Fort Worth and reducing the commute time, also made the property attractive, Gilley added.

“That has changed the world,” he said.

Woodcrest Capital was founded in 1981 by Jim Ryffel, a graduate of Texas Christian University and founder of its Ryffel Entrepreneurship Institute in the Neely School of Business. The firm’s main business from its inception was acquiring and developing retail shopping centers around Texas. It has since expanded into finance, oil and gas and construction.

Woodcrest’s retail developments include the Village at Sports Center in Arlington and other shopping centers in Fort Worth, Azle, Weatherford, Joshua, Saginaw, San Angelo, Amarillo and elsewhere. See the list of developments and learn more about the company here: http://www.woodcrestcapital.com/

Ryffel favors community-oriented retail centers with attractive architecture.

“We want to be the nicest center on the street,” Ryffel said in an interview published in the Fort Worth Business Press. “We want to be the center with the most eye and curb appeal. It is where the tenants want to go because it gets the most drive-by curb appeal.”

Ryffel’s strategy also has been to develop centers in North and West Texas that are within commuting distance by car or air to Fort Worth. The Fort Worth Business Press article noted that “all of his properties are with an hour’s drive or flight from his home offices near his alma mater, Texas Christian University. TCU was where he found his inspiration to begin his real estate career.”

In fact, Ryffel began investing in real estate while a TCU student.

Mayor Moore, who attended the auction along with City Administrator Kyle McCain and Glen Rose CVB Director Nichole Belford, said he was “optimistic” about what the buyer will do with the site.

“From what I know of the new buyer, they’ll develop it” rather than hold it as an investment, Moore said.

In opening remarks before the bidding began, Hanley told the crowd that “we’re here to satisfy debt and will do everything that we can to gain the most amount of money for the owner.”

When no one bid higher than Woodcrest’s $1.25 million for the entire package, Hanley tried to get the price up to at least $1.26 million.

“Ladies and gentlemen, they just opened the thoroughfare (Chisholm Trail Parkway,” he said. “I got here in 45 minutes from University Drive.

“I think Glen Rose is well positioned for real growth,” as well as appreciation in land prices, he added.

When no one budged with a higher bid, Hanley said, “I wish the bidding would have gone a little higher, but here we are.”

Smith bought 750 acres on the southwest side of the U.S. Highway 67-State Highway 144 intersection in 1981, initially planning to resell the property at a later date.

Since then “the hill” has become home to several housing developments, a future site for Glen Rose Independent School District facilities, the International Texas Longhorn Association headquarters, several businesses, a dinosaur track-way now owned by the county and, the Texas Ampitheatre.

Smith started developing a 279-acre tract at the intersection called Stoneview for future new homes and businesses. But after sitting there for several years with no buyers materializing and Smith’s decision to move to Groesbeck to be closer to family, time ran out and he decided to auction the property.

 

 

 

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