Giant Foresthill timber parcel remains unsold

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - The future of one of the largest tracts of land in Placer County remains in limbo with no one stepping up to the plate to buy. A sprawling tract of forestland in the mountains near Foresthill is still on the market after an auction last month failed to produce a successful bid at the asked-for price of just less than $10 million. In the absence of a buyer, the 4,838-acre ?Greengold? Foresthill timber tract remains listed for sale with Portland?s Realty Marketing/Northwest. And the property?s owner ? Timbervest LLC of Atlanta, Ga. ? is also listing its Foresthill timber tract as still up for sale. In an interview before the auction, Realty Marketing/Northwest President John Rosenthal expressed optimism that the property would find a buyer. He emphasized the land?s potential for timber production, with more than 54.5 million board feet of potential lumber ready for harvest and a projected annual 3.3 percent growth rate. ?It?s a good investment for a number of people, either in the lumber business or investors,? Rosenthal said. ?It fits a particular client and there is near-term cash flow from the timber harvest.? But the June auction results show a number of properties offered by Realty Marketing having been sold, while the Foresthill land has not. Rosenthal and Timbervest were contacted for a comment but had not responded by late Friday. The $9.6 million price was meant to be a starting bid target and was established by Timbervest, Rosenthal said in a previous interview. The listing of the timber property this year provides a glimpse into a time when the Foresthill area?s economy was based around the timberlands and the mills nearby. The land was once part of the Hughes Brothers Lumber Company holdings. The family-owned business produced and sold an average of 15 million board feet of finished lumber annually and for several years in the mid-20th century was the largest locally-owned manufacturing business in Placer County. Jim Gonzales, a Foresthill resident who worked for Hughes Brothers for 22 years, said Friday that the tract could have a future with the right property owner. ?It?s a good piece of property,? Gonzales said. ?It is a little remote but it has a lot of potential.? The property ? with frontage on both Foresthill Divide Road and Finning Mill Road ? was sold to American Forest Products in 1968 and Timbervest is the most recent owner. Timbervest currently manages 825,000 acres of timberland, timber-related assets and investments with a market value of more than $1.78 billion. Its holdings cover major timber regions across the United States.