Farmania: Scott's estate sells for...?

With the recently announced sale of 1,800-acre Albemarle estate Bundoran Farm and neighboring 400-acre Carpenter Farm to New Hampshire-based Qroe Farm Preservation Development, there's plenty of talk about what will happen to the properties, located on Plank Road between Batesville and North Garden. But there may be even more buzz about the yet-to-be-disclosed selling price.

At a press conference on Friday, March 3, Bundoran owner Fred Scott explained his decision to sell now– as opposed to having it sold at a public auction after his death as he says his will had originally prescribed.

"Land is weird," he said. "It gets in your soul."

Scott said he and his family, who also own Carpenter Farm, were receiving "three or four" offers a year from developers. But he said he never seriously considered any until Qroe approached him late last year.

"The terms were so respectful of my family and my work," he said, citing Qroe's history of "conservation" on its eight or nine projects in New England, in which it typically protects 80 percent of the acreage and encourages on-site farming.

Qroe founder Bob Baldwin said his company will study the land before deciding how many parcels to sell off and where homesites should be located.

"We'll look at what agricultural uses there are that need to be not just protected," said Baldwin, "but perpetuated."

And what about that price?

"We're not revealing that at this time," said Baldwin, pointing out that the deal won't actually close until May.

Judging from the asking prices of other Albemarle estates, there's little doubt that Bundoran might be one of the priciest transactions in Albemarle history.

Mirador, a 189-acre Albemarle estate was listed for sale in 2003 for $14.5 million. And the 1,622 acres of Chapel Springs Farm in Free Union were available at the same time to anyone with $19.5 million to spare. Neither property has sold.

Further away from town, nearly 400 acres near Covesville are currently on the market for $6 million– about $15,000 per acre. If Scott used a similar calculation, his 2,200 acres might have fetched more than $30 million.

Scott only says cagily that he took "less than I could have gotten."


Bundoran Farm

MAP COURTESY OF QROE


Bundoran Farm

PHOTO COURTESY OF QROE

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