The Landscape of Large Land Offerings in Western Montana

Just this month, a Texas power couple acquired 125,800 acres of forested land west of Kalispell from SPP Montana, a Georgia-based timberland company. Originally from Alberta, the new owners, Mark and Robyn Jones, currently reside in Texas, where they own Goosehead Insurance. Their self-made wealth – at $1.1 billion – has allowed them to expand their footprint, slowly acquiring land in the Flathead Valley, including 200 acres adjacent to Whitefish Mountain Resort, where they are currently building a home and a manmade lake for boating. While the Joneses have assured that this purchase is a “family legacy investment” and have no plans for commercial development, the sale has left a lot of Western Montanans uneasy about the transaction.

So what does this mean? 

This is such a significantly large land holding already, but for the Flathead Valley, this is an unbelievable size of land to be held privately. In my opinion, I don’t think we will ever see something like this in the Valley again.

Prior to SPP, this was part of Weyerhaeuser’s Montana holdings, all of which were all sold to SPP in March of last year. Both that sale to SPP, and the recent land grab that we are experiencing, are dramatically affecting the landscape of larger acreage sales in Western Montana. 

During Weyerhaueuser’s ownership, larger tracts of land were constantly being actively marketed for sale, often roughly 160 acres, full sections and others. While they were selling off some of that land at a HBU, typically, they were their own competition, both setting and controlling that market to include price. Without their land continually hitting the market – and the recent spike in sales locally – there exists a real scarcity. 

At the end of the day, not only is this sale of 125,800 acres significant in the size of land held privately, but it has also taken 125,800 acres out of play. Unless of course, the ultimate intent is development. Time will tell. But for now we have a scarcity in larger tracts of raw land and the resulting price per acre spiking dramatically.

Read the full story from the Flathead Beacon here.

Explore some of Revel Real Estate’s legacy holdings:

Lower Valley Waterfront Legacy Farm

185 fertile acres of riparian and wildlife sanctuary just minutes from downtown Kalispell, Montana. Explore more.

Listed by Zane Levengood and Kelly Laabs

One of a Kind Waterfront Estate Holding

Approximately 150 acres with shared boundaries to over a mile of dazzling Lower Stillwater Lake and Stillwater River. Explore more.

Listed by Kelly Laabs

Cooper Farms Development Opportunity

This ideally located development opportunity in Kalispell has over 359 acres of heritage farmland ready with studies in place. Explore more.

Listed by Nichole Perrin

Interested in learning more about Revel Real Estate’s legacy holdings? Want to discuss what this recent sale means to your property? We’d love to hear from you! Email or swing into our offices for a drink.

Headline photo courtesy of Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Kelly Laabs

Kelly Laabs

A native Montanan, Kelly Laabs is in the top 1% in volume for Montana’s real estate producers, closing more than $80MM worth of business in 2021. As an eternal connector and true Montanan, Kelly Laabs believes in finding the perfect property for his buyers and representing his sellers with creativity, passion, and transparency.
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