Brokerage company releases details about Fairfield Lake sale

Dean Wetherbee and Matt McGovern

Fairfield Lake. (Courtesy: Hortenstine Ranch Company)

DALLAS / FAIRFIELD, Texas (FOX 44) – New details are emerging about the sale of Fairfield Lake that sparked statewide controversy last year.

The property was sold in June 2023 by the Hortenstine Ranch Company (HRC), a Texas-based brokerage company specializing in ranch and recreational properties. The asking price was $110 million, with the Todd Interests development firm as the buyer.

Fairfield Lake is located in Freestone County and is the largest undeveloped private lake in the U.S., according to HRC. At the heart of this approximately 5,025-acre property is an estimated 2,400-acre body of water, surrounded by over miles of elevated shoreline and a hardwood forest. It is recognized as a top fishing lake in Texas.

Fairfield Lake. (Courtesy: Hortenstine Ranch Company)

After the sale, the state of Texas tried to use eminent domain to keep the state park, which was fought in court. The state even offered to buy the property from the new owner, but the offer was rejected.

In December 2023, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said it would no longer pursue acquisition of the property, putting an end to a years-long process that started in 2018, when the landowner announced it planned to sell the land. TPWD had leased part of the property at no cost for 50 years.

HRC has also contributed to the sales of Valley Lake Ranch in Bonham, Lake Creek Ranch in Riesel and River Crest Ranch in Bogata.

  • Valley Lake Ranch, part of Fannin County and sold in 2021, is approximately 2,245 acres and consists of a massive lake yielding about 1,080 surface acres of pristine water.
  • Lake Creek Ranch, part of McLennan County and sold in 2020, is about 1,833 acres and includes an approximately 550-acre lake set amongst scenic rolling terrain, heavily wooded in oak and elm forests.
  • River Crest Ranch, part of Red River County and sold in 2022, is approximately 1,375 acres and encompasses a lake of about 550 acres. 

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