Wheeling Native Ed Pennington Brokers $14.75 Million Sale of 173-Acre Ranch in Sedona, Arizona | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo provided Wheeling native Ed Pennington, left, and his real estate partner Jeanette Sauer have reached a deal on the 173-acre El Rojo Grande Ranch in Sedona, Arizona, worth $14.75 million.

WHEELING — About three years ago, about three years ago, real estate agent and Wheeling native Ed Pennington and his client Ingrid Hills had to make a decision. Hills was trying to sell his property, El Rojo Grande, 173 acres of pristine land in Sedona, Arizona. A promoter had what Pennington said was a very good offer on the table.

Yet he was a developer. Hills, Pennington and Pennington’s real estate partner Jeanette Sauer received good offers from developers before and after. And they knew what these developers wanted to do with this land – divide it into several smaller parcels.

Yet, was it the best course for Hills and the community of Sedona, to cut the house of so much vegetation and wildlife into pieces just because the dollar figure was good?

“And that’s when we came to the conclusion that she was going to wait for a very, very light development or just wait for the person who wants it for exactly what it is,” Pennington said.

They finally got their ultimate wish. They recently struck a deal with a single buyer, who purchased the entire 173-acre ranch for $14.75 million.

When pen fell to paper on the transaction, Pennington, an agent for Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty, said it was a very good feeling. It’s not just because he made a deal on Sedona’s largest private property. He made a deal that would keep this great tract of virgin land in this condition. It was good for the seller, the buyer and the community, he said.

“I had this list for over four years, and everyone who wanted to buy it was developers and we had a lot of offers,” he said.

“But the seller was convinced she wanted to protect the property from development. And we were finally able to find this person.

There’s a saying in Sedona, says Pennington, that “God made the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona.” He has been selling real estate in the city for 19 years, after he and his then-fiancée decided to move west. Prior to that, Pennington, a Linsly graduate, had served as president of King Chevrolet in Wheeling, as well as a board member and CEO of the Children’s Home of Wheeling.

He had visited Sedona when he was at the University of Arizona, but when he started living there, he saw how true this local saying was. And he saw plenty of evidence of this saying in El Rojo Grande.

Originally built for the Wrigley family, it was later sold to the Hills family of Hills Bros. Coffee. Ingrid Hills let Pennington walk and walk her dog around the sprawling property. It has its own red rock formation, something Pennington had never seen on any other Sedona property. Native American artifacts had been found on the land, linking the present to the people who walked these lands a thousand years before.

As he soaked it all up, his personal wish was for someone to buy the ranch and leave it as one property. He knew there was a chance that single potential buyers would tour.

“Seeing people fall in love with the experience was very, very cool,” he said. “When the deer came in front of us or a cougar or the bobcats or the eagles soared, people literally got goosebumps and wanted to sit down and absorb the energy of the property.”

Now he knows that the energy will continue to radiate from El Rojo Grande. He is happy to have contributed to this. He also looks back on his childhood in Wheeling – delivering newspapers as a child, touring with his band “Kim and Ed”, his stint in the auto industry and with the Children’s Home – and how that helped him reach the point where he owns.

“I think Wheeling gave me a lot of different experiences,” he said. “My family was fantastic. My friends were fantastic. I think Wheeling plays a very big role in my business education.

“I was brought into this job in Sedona and I think I was very well prepared,” he added. “I love being from Wheeling. It’s very important to me and it still is.

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