Currently listed for $13.95 million by Angie Nelson and Brenda Moerschell of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, Hartlee Field Ranch has been the talk of the town since it hit the market years ago, but has yet to find the right buyer.
Ideally located just 30 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth in Denton County – one of the fastest growing counties in the nation – the ranch is prized for its historic Hartlee Field Airstrip, which provided flight training for military cadets in World War II.
After the Empire of Japan’s attack on U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States joined the Allied forces in the fight against Japan, Germany, and Italy, and Texans responded to the call for troops in record numbers. In fact, Texas supplied more men and women to the armed forces in World War II than any other state, totaling 700,000-plus in uniform by war’s end.
According to the Texas Historical Commission, “During the war, more than 1,500,000 military personnel came to Texas for training. War-related industry lured farmers, small-town residents, and others into developing urban centers. Texas quickly became more urban than rural, with a net population growth of 33 percent, and the Great Depression faded into memory.”
Hartlee Field Ranch stands as one of the last great remnants of the Lone Star State’s contribution to WWII, and has been used in blockbuster hits like Armageddon and Outbreak, as well as music videos for the likes of Faith Hill and Meatloaf.
Eyed by ranchers and developers for its 652-acre size, sited on prime pastures for cattle grazing or urban development, it also features a sprawling 14,483-square-foot home with resort-style pool, barns, workshops, and iconic steel hangars met by a sod airstrip. The luxurious main house was built in 2002, adorned with a limestone façade and porte-cochère, perfect for a private residence, corporate retreat, or potential clubhouse.
It has four-oversized-bedrooms, six-full-and-two-half-bathrooms, three gracious living areas, an indoor half-basketball court, six-car-garage, and countless upgrades including wide planked hardwood floors, to high beamed ceilings, and gorgeous wood and stone finishes. From an upper level terrace, you’ll find spectacular views that go on for miles, overlooking lush pastures, ponds, and Denton’s own Clear Creek.
“The property is ideal for developers, investors, or an individual looking for a magnificent estate,” said Angie Nelson, vice president of the ranch and land division of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.
There’s been talk of a golf course, mixed-use development, and more, with both foreign and domestic interest. Back in August, Nelson told the Dallas Business Journal, “The family wants to keep the historic name as intact as much as possible and are working with the City of Denton on possibly creating hike-and-bike trails and additional park settings. That’s what the family would love to see left on the ranch.” The family being Ronald Carter’s, the son of the founding owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Don Carter, and current owner of the property.