Ranch sells for $8.7 million



  • Ranch near Evergreen sells for almost $8.7 million.
  • The sale of the B Bar K Ranch is the biggest in the Denver area so far this year.
  • Proceeds go to DU.

On April 30, 1973, Kentwood Real Estate broker Roger Campbell received his real estate license.

On April 30, 2013, Roger Campbell sold the B Bar K Ranch near Evergreen, for $8.69 million, the largest sale in his career.

B Bark K Ranch

B Bark K Ranch

The ranch sale also is the largest residential real estate sale in the Denver area so far this year.

“It was a milestone deal,” said Campbell, who sold the ranch with Ted Schaal, of Mason and Morse Real Estate, which specializes in selling ranches.

Proceeds from the ranch sale will go to the University of Denver. A conservation easement, held by Colorado Open Lands, had been placed on the massive ranch by the previous owner, Betty Knoebel, widow of food services pioneer Ferdinand “Fritz” Knoebel. They assembled the acreage for the ranch over a number of years. Fritz founded Knoebel Mercantile Co., which was later renamed as Nobel Inc. He grew Nobel into the largest privately owned food services company in the nation before selling it in 1992 to Sysco Co.

Betty Knoebel, in 2010, gave DU a gift of $17.5 million, which included the B Bar K Ranch, which was sold by DU. Proceeds will be used to fund the new Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging. The center will be on the ground floor of the new 110,000-square-foot Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science building to be constructed on the campus. The new building, scheduled to open in 2015, is made possible by gifts totaling more than $40 million Almost $27 million of the $40 million comes is coming from Dan Ritchie, who served as DU’s chancellor for almost 15 years from 1989 and 2005. It marks the largest donation in DU’s history.

The new building is named after Ritchie’s father.

Some of the funding for the engineering building also comes from the late William C. Peterson, who graduated from DU in 1969 and had a long career at the Gates Rubber Co. in Denver.

The ranch, with a total of almost 984 acres, includes a 14,742-square-foot, four-level, nine-bedroom, 12-bathroom main house with an elevator.

The ranch, at 23084 North Turkey Creek Road, also included a 44,890-square-foot, heated equestrian center. Part of the center is a 29,926-square-foot heated and lighted arena with 19 stalls, each with individual radiant heating.

The buyer has asked to remain confidential, said Campbell, who founded Kentwood Real Estate, before selling it with partners to Bill Moore and his son-in-law Peter Niederman in 2007.

“The buyer wants to keep a low profile,” Campbell said. The buyer is a local man who sold another area ranch before purchasing the B Bar K Ranch.

“Betty decided to buy a ranch in Oregon and donated the B Bar K Ranch to DU, which became our seller,” Campbell said.

Initially, the ranch was listed for about $25 million, he said, before Mason and Morse began marketing it. However, it was never going to fetch that amount, he said.

“Ted (Schaal) was a friend and neighbor of Betty Knoebel,” Campbell said. “He and I have worked on and off on various deals together over the year. Mason and Morse really knows ranches and Ted knew that Kentwood was second to none when it comes to marketing high-end properties, so he gave me a call.”

Also, Kentwood is the exclusive affiliate in the Denver area with Christie’s International Real Estate, giving it even wider exposure to the market, he noted.

“We got a new appraisal and dropped the asking price to $11.8 million,” Campbell said.

“We went back and forth with the buyer and sold it for $8.69 million,” Campbell said. “The entire ranch was about 984 acres, but he didn’t want what we called parcel 2, which had a small house on about nine acres. So he bought about 99 percent of it.”

When Parcel 2 is sold, it will generate close to another $500,000 to DU, bringing the entire donation to about $9.2 million.

Campbell said that he is glad that the proceeds will go to DU, as his ties to the school even pre-date his real estate career.

“I graduated from DU in 1973,” he noted.

The Knoebel Center will focus on the molecular life sciences, including cell biology and biochemistry of aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and drug design and discovery.

The center will act as the overall umbrella for cooperation and partnerships between natural sciences, engineering and social sciences, including social work and professional psychology programs. The laboratory hub of the Knoebel Center will occupy its own floor in the building containing the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science. The building is expected to open in 2015.

Proceeds from the ranch account for about half of the $17.5 million gift from Betty Knoebel. Some of the funds is being used to support the Fritz Knoebel School of Hotel Restaurants and Tourism Management in the University’s Daniels College of Business.

Interested in buying a home in Evergreen. Please visit COhomefinder.com.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at  JRCHOOK@gmail.com. InsideRealEstateNews.com is sponsored by Universal Lending, Land Title Guarantee and 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.



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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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