By Alison Bailin Batz
This summer, Brooks Realty & Advisory Group (BRAG) will unveil “The Estates.”
“The Estates are 10-acre Ponderosa pine-covered forest properties adjacent to Forest Highlands Golf Club and the Coconino National Forest just south of Flagstaff,” says Benjamin “Tres” Brooks III, who founded BRAG in the Northeast Valley in 1996.
Overall, there will be 16 estate parcels – each 10 acres – available in the gated community, with access to the estate properties permitted only through Forest Highlands’ 24-hour guard gated-entrance, off Highway 89A.
All of the 10-acre estates will have underground electric, phone and internet, along with natural gas. Water will be provided by individual wells as the development lies over a tremendous aquifer with abundant water, the same source that all of Forest Highlands’ wells use for their water supply.
“Individual wells also offer much more water-rights flexibility, independent water freedoms and less ongoing water expenses for very large grass areas, ponds, fountains, swimming pools, and so on,” says Tres. “In addition, special memberships to Forest Highlands Golf Club are available, providing owners with access to Forest Highlands’ two championship golf courses, two clubhouses with dining and an array of other fine amenities.”
Tres believes these 10-acre forest estates will truly become family legacy estate properties.
And speaking of family legacies, the Brooks family has built a very special one – one that is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019.
This issue, we are proud to share their journey.
The Initial Dream
Benjamin “Ben” Brooks II – Tres’ father – was born in Escondido, Calif. in 1940.
“He saw Arizona not as the Wild, Wild West, but as the land of plenty when it came to rich, very special land,” says Tres. “He wanted to build a legacy by helping to develop this land for families just like ours. He saw land as something that could be passed down in families over several generations.”
He moved his family to Arizona in 1964 and founded Ben Brooks & Associates in 1969, first making a name in residential real estate and then turning toward land investment and development in 1985, just as Tres graduated the University of Arizona.
“I actually earned my real estate license in high school, eager to work with dad,” says Tres. “But my parents were adamant about education, and about me being the first in our family to attend and gradate college.”
Diploma in hand, Tres earned an entry-level job from his father and worked his way up, earning his broker’s license at just 24.
“Then things got…interesting. My dad pushed me to go out on my own,” says Tres, who at the time was flabbergasted. “So, in 1996 I founded Brooks Realty & Advisory Group, focused on developing land with a group of my own investors.”
The funniest part of the story is that within a year of BRAG launching – to great fanfare and immediate success – Ben earned the biggest land deal the Southwest had ever seen: the chance to develop 130,000 acres near Lake Havasu City and Kingman.
“He knew I was the person for this job, which required me to actually move to Lake Havasu from 1997 to 2003 to full commit to the project,” says Tres.
And that is just one of Tres’ landmark projects. Both Ben and Tres, in fact, took on a who’s who of massively successful ventures from Arizona to Wyoming to New Mexico.
“And then the unthinkable happened,” says Tres. “My father was involved in a motorcycle accident and lost his life in 2007, just as the real estate crash began.”
The next 10 years would be filled with the highest of highs – Tres is now married with three children himself – and lowest of lows, notably keeping a real estate business afloat.
By 2017, things were on the upswing for Tres professionally again. So much so, when he was up at his family’s vacation home in Forest Highlands and learned about land coming available for development nearby, he jumped at the chance to head the project. Fast-forward to this summer; this land is none other than The Estates.
The project will mark the Brooks family’s purchase and development of nearly one million acres of land in the western United States.
“Talk about full circle,” says Tres. “Getting to help build on the legacy that my father started and continue making this dream he had when he was barely out of high school a reality has me emotional and proud.”
For more information on the Brooks family, The Estates or any of its current ranch properties across the country, visit www.brooksland.com.