Rare Investment Opportunity - One of Florida’s last best unprotected coastal properties
By all accounts, this is one of Florida's last remaining “Old Florida” coastal investments. At 4,052+/- acres in Wakulla County, this property is one of the last large undeveloped, but developable, privately held properties on the entire Florida, Georgia, and Alabama coast. From an environmental perspective, it’s at the top of its class.
It encompasses two miles of deep-water river frontage on the St. Marks River, Gulf access, a 2nd magnitude spring, deep water sink, and is the epitome of “Old Florida.”
Recreationally, from a deer and turkey perspective, its about as good as it gets in Florida outside of a high-fence. From an investment perspective, the property is preplanned for “higher and better use” with some 2,050+ acres already fully entitled. From a cash flow perspective, it offers many revenue avenues: the property has exceptional timber revenues, existing residential lots could be sold or expanded, or a conservation easement could be sold or donated to harvest its exceptional “higher and better use” potential. From a longer investment horizon, this property offers massive appreciation potential as one of Florida’s last undeveloped privately held signature properties.
Located 25 minutes from Florida's capital city, Old Magnolia is located on coastal HWY 98 and is just a ten-minute boat ride to the Gulf, marinas, and restaurants. This investment is certainly as “Florida” as an opportunity as it gets!
This opportunity is essentially “five asset classes in one.”
- An exceptional recreational coastal property with springs, sinks, and a log cabin in one of the prominent deer and wild turkey areas of the South. There is boat access to the Gulf of Mexico and some of the best saltwater fishing in Florida.
- An exceptional timber property, fully planted, with exceptional roads, with the landowner projecting growing over $10,850,000 in timber over the next 16 years.
- It’s an exceptional “higher and better use” property with over 2,050 acres fully entitled and permitted right now, on HWY 98, in fast-growing Wakulla County, just 25 miles to Tallahassee and ten minutes by boat to the Gulf. The growth of this immediate area is something North Florida has never experienced. Over 1,000 square miles of almost contiguous State and Federal lands nearby means there is little left for Florida’s growth.
- It is an exceptional conservation easement play. Given the rapid lot sales in Wakulla County, along with the existing 2,050 acres of platted lots, this 4,000+ acre portion will appraise exceptionally well from a development perspective. The conservation use given the 2nd magnitude spring and 2 miles of river frontage on the St. Marks River is not contested. The development value here is well situated to be monetized through a donation or sale of conservation easement providing immediate cash or income tax savings - cutting taxable income by half and spread out up to 16 years. There are also options with DEP acquiring part of the property through sale or trade.
- This is an ideal Social Storm Property ™ and exactly the type of property one would want to own in either bad times or good. It has vast natural resources, and multiple income streams, is surrounded by 1,000 square miles of federal and state lands, and is located in one of the safest areas left in America. It’s perhaps the perfect hedge. Its Social Storm ™ score is exceptional.
“To me, this opportunity reminds me of the story for many of our clients who owned great central Florida ranches that, too, were in the path of “progress.” They eventually sold for unbelievable fortunes, some sold conservation easements and raised cattle to pay the costs during the hold, but in the end, it was a financial windfall with real estate values that no one could have predicted. This is Florida. There isn’t a better way to transfer generational wealth." - Jon Kohler
Meanwhile, the entire tract is planted in genetically superior loblolly pine and slash and is located in one of the best timber markets in the South. Projections show that starting in 2025, for the next 10 years, an average of $461,500 in timber could be cut annually, and at the end of that period there would still be over $6,000,000 standing!
“The conservation easement value here is real. Development is already happening along the north property line. The lots here are fully vested. The seller has been selling some non-contiguous lots in the $8,500+ acre range. The tax advantages here are enormous. Typically, one can deduct up to 50% of income for up to 16 years, up to the appraised value, with the deductions capped at the value of the easement. Imagine cutting what you now pay in Federal income taxes by half, simply because you bought this property and promise not to develop it." - Jon Kohler
The site of the “extinct city” of Magnolia was once one of Florida and SW Georgia’s most important seaports; it had its own bank, printed its own money, had a US Customs House, and even one of Florida’s first toll roads…that way back in 1851 charged a whopping $1.20. Yet today, like an “Episode of Unsolved Mysteries” but for one graveyard, the evidence of this once thriving town has all but disappeared.
On the south side of this property lies what was once Florida’s 2nd largest city, Newport - a seaport with cotton, turpentine, grist, and sawmills, once the epicenter of international commerce. Tragically, it was burned by the Confederates during the Battle of Natural Bridge… the town was never rebuilt. It’s unbelievable that in 2023, just 25 miles from Tallahassee, these 2 miles of the St. Marks River once served, not one, but two port cities. These lands that were once the international “gateway to Florida” have completely reverted back to nature. It looks almost exactly like it did when Florida’s first Governor anchored here 500 years ago and the Apalachee canoed its waters. However, we are glad it did, it’s beautiful beyond belief.
"Florida's last best places are going quickly. If you told me there was a tract like this available in today's Florida, well in the path of growth, with springs, deep water sinks, river and highway frontage for less than $4,500 overall per acre and only 25 minutes from the steps of the Florida capital, I wouldn't believe it." - Jon Kohler
“It offers me just a sense of being back to the things that matter to me. It's just me, family, land and traditions.” - Tony Layne, Landowner
Between timber harvesting, to begin shortly, at about $461,500 per year, on average, to selling already platted lots (which are commanding $8,500 per acre), to selling or donating a conservation easement on all or a portion of this property, there are numerous income opportunities during the hold. Furthermore, with the Social Storm Properties ™ aspect, this property is about as hedged as a property could be and will perform in any market.
"The Last Bastion of Old Florida." - the Tallahassee Democrat
Below is a summary of the property:
Wakulla County, Florida (One tract totaling 4,052.69 +/- total contiguous acres). We further broke this tract down into:
- Wakulla Lands West of Old Plank: 2,814.14 acres - West of Old Plank Road:
- 1,186.01 acres on Bloxham Cutoff
- 1,621.13 acres Turkey Run Farms (platted subdivision)
- Wakulla Lands River Ridge: 431.21 acres - River Ridge Phase 2 (platted subdivision)
- Wakulla Lands - St Marks River: 807.34 acres
- Wakulla Lands West of Old Plank: 2,814.14 acres - West of Old Plank Road:
“What the landowner has done here, is impressive. From a recreational standpoint alone, this land package is a rare find, but with development plans at your fingertips, and millions in income production from future timber harvesting, this place is equal parts pleasure and equal parts smart investing.” – Jon Kohler
“This property reminds me how creative site planning could yield dividends; at Centerville Conservation Community I bought 975 acres for $15,000 per acre in 2004, put 70% of it under conservation easement, and developed only 200 lots - today that same land is worth over $40,000 per acre. Another interesting note is in 2006, I made an unsolicited offer for El Destino Plantation’s 4,000 acres at $15,000 per acre. It was rejected but shows where the highs were and in Florida where they will return to as they always have in the past. It is located a little over 12 miles from Tallahassee. Today’s property is a little over 14 miles. This property has the same win-win opportunities between conservation and meeting investment-backed expectations.” - Jon Kohler
***For a detailed synopsis of tract site plans, timber info, and draft conceptual development maps, please email Erica@jonkohler.com.
Maps & Location
- 25 minutes of Florida's capital city
- Ten-minute boat ride to the Gulf
- 15 min from the Tallahassee Airport
The Kohler & Associate’s
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