Alcoa puts property up for sale

By Curtis Chubb, Special to the Herald

The Alcoa property is back on the market.
On Tuesday, the Dallas real estate company marketing the 33,000-plus acres of Alcoa property spanning three counties announced that the property along with its mineral and water rights are for sale.
The property is now named “Sandow Lakes Ranch.” The land includes a significant amount of land reclaimed from Alcoa’s open-pit mining operations. More details about the listing can be found at
When asked for a comment about the sale’s possible impact on Milam County, Milam County Judge David Barkemeyer said: “It depends on who buys. If it’s the right industrial or commercial type that invests several hundred million dollars, we’re in business!”
In fact, the property is described as having “…vast mixed use potential from water rights, farming and recreational opportunities, as well as commercial, residential, conservation and industrial opportunities, all with an established turnkey infrastructure, including intermodal facilities.”
For example, the property incorporates a “6,000-acre industrial complex, which includes roads, railhead, intermodal facility, warehousing, distribution and manufacturing” along with an estimated 200 million tons of lignite coal in the ground, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
The Dallas Business Journal also reported that Alcoa plans to leaseback portions of the property.
As an indication of the marketing company’s awareness of the water issues facing Texas, the subject heading of the email containing the press release was: “Largest private water rights deal in Texas on the market.”
The groundwater district has already approved 44,000 acre-feet/year of Simsboro groundwater pumping permits for Alcoa – and the multinational company also has permits to divert 18,000 acre-feet/year from the Little River.
The groundwater district has issued two companies (Alcoa and Blue Water Systems) permits to pump a total of 115,000 acre-feet/year (36 billion gallons/year) from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer.
The marketing company’s information only states that the property is valued at more than $250 million and that buyers from throughout the world are expected to make offers for the property. “The opportunity and properties will be available to one buyer in their entirety as a turnkey opportunity or may be sold in parts.” according to the sales brochure.