Massive Bay Area ranch lands buyer, killing hopes for state park

Rancher and corporate executive William Brown bought the 79-square-mile ranch for $63.5 million

San Francisco /
Oct.October 25, 2021 03:15 PM
N3 Cattle Company Headquarters in Livermore, CA (California Outdoor Properties)

California’s largest-ever land offering could have become the biggest addition to its state parks since the 1950s.

Instead, the 79-square-mile N3 Cattle Co. ranch in Livermore was sold to William Brown, a fifth-generation Californian whose family have been involved in the business since the 1850s, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He intends to preserve the land.

Brown paid $63.5 million, the Mercury News said. He executed the deal for the 50,500 acre ranch across Alameda, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Stanislaus counties via the William Brown Foundation and WEB Ranch.

“I spent a great deal of my youth on my grandfather’s cattle ranch, which helped shape me as a person,” Brown told the Mercury News. “I have a great love for our state’s ranching heritage and have long been committed to preserving ranch lands in California.”

Brown bought the property from a pair of sisters, Sandra Naftzger and Natalie Naftzger Davis, who originally listed the property in July 2019 with an asking price of $72 million, before lowering it to $68 million in 2020.

Since the property hit the market in mid-2019, it has been eyed by various groups. In early 2020, when Governor Gavin Newsom set aside $20 million for a new state park, multiple Bay Area lawmakers urged him to target the ranch..

The ranch has a headquarters complex that includes a four-bedroom main house, a one-bedroom annex, four cabins for employees and a bunkhouse. It includes a horse barn, har barn, two shops and some sheds.

Wildlife on the ranch is consistent with that of Northern California’s wildlands. Coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and wild pigs have been seen on the property in addition to grey foxes, deer, tule elk, rabbits and turkeys.

[Mercury] — Victoria Pruitt





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