DFW Real Estate Pros Who Double As Weekend Ranchers
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You may know them as developers or brokers, but these commercial real estate pros also brand cattle, clear brush and ride horses. Here’s the first installment of our series on real estate ranchers.
Ken Reimer, Venture Commercial
Venture Commercial co-founder and managing partner Ken Reimer has owned 700 acres on the Red River in Lamar County for 40 years. His ranch has some history to it: it's on a former French trading post, which was later operated by the Spanish before it became a riverboat crossing general store/blacksmith shop/saloon. It was also a site where cotton was shipped to the Mississippi River, starting in the 1830s, when the area was full of small plantations and farms.
Here’s Ken with his brother David, and father, Ken Reimer Sr., just before taking off on the Red River for a canoe trip. His days are spent bulldozing, four-wheeling, working, horseback riding, barbecuing, fishing and hunting. Experiencing Texas history, spending time with family, and enjoying the great outdoors is a large part of the allure, Ken says. He can see deer, eagles, bobcats and swarms of hummingbirds. Ken's love of the land extends to deals, too. He recently brokered a sale for 50 acres as well as a site to Kroger at FM 423 and US 380 for Terra Verde's Craig Martin and UCD's Robert Dorazil.
Jeff Harkinson, Harkinson Investment Corp
About 11 years ago, Harkinson Investment Corp president Jeff Harkinson sold a shopping center he owned in Dallas and reinvested the proceeds for a historic ranch on the Blanco River in the Texas Hill Country (2.5 miles west of the City of Blanco). The ranch was once home to James C. Callahan, a hero from the Texas war of independence from Mexico and the namesake for Callahan County. The ranch history includes a noted Lipan Apache camping ground. Just upstream on the Blanco River is the largest surviving collection of Brontosaurus dinosaur tracks in the bed of the river (similar to the T-Rex tracks in Glen Rose at Dinosaur State Park). Jeff says during his stewardship of the land over the last decade, his goal has been to protect and preserve both the land and its history.
In addition to horses, he has four hives of bees and about 40 egg-laying chickens. The ranch also has about 100 Texas peach trees, but between prior droughts, recent floods and hailstorms, he’s glad that his family’s livelihood doesn’t depend on farming. There’s an original 1854 cabin on the site and an 1897 cut limestone house, and five more housing structures that form a compound around the circumference of a 100-year-old live oak. Last year, he finished construction on what started out as a horse barn but morphed into a barn/house. The ranch hosts an annual Easter family reunion with about 40 family members bunking at the ranch. Away from wrangling horses (or kinfolk), his company acquires, finances, manages and leases about 2M SF, mostly in the DFW area. He's also marketing a 57k SF office building on two acres at 1421 W Mockingbird Ln for $4.25M.
Greg Trout, Clark Real Estate Group
About a year ago, Clark Real Estate Group’s Greg Trout made his move full-time to his 1,700-acre ranch in Palo Pinto County. (He’s had his ranch for 30 years and owns 1,000 acres and leases the other 700, he tells us.) The Henry S. Miller alum moved over to the Weatherford-based Clark Real Estate Group, since he was already familiar with the Western region of North Texas, he tells us. The majority of his time at the ranch is spent on raising cattle and the continued improvement of the environment. For his hard work, he was awarded the 2013 and 2014 State of Texas Wildlife Conservation awards.
Greg tells us ranching is in his genetic makeup, just like being a broker. The work is never done, which means he always has something to do, and he tells us he likes it that way. Just like the many nuances of a real estate transaction, there are so many responsibilities and everything imaginable that needs to be done on a daily basis at the ranch, he says. His latest endeavors include a number of retail clients looking to expand into Fort Worth. He recently brokered a number of smaller transactions, as well as a large residential deal in Flower Mound that closed last month.