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South Ring Oak

Renowned, Highly Managed Sporting Plantation with Rich Heritage in the Famed Red Hills

  • 613 +/- acres North Florida Historic Qual Plantation Leon County, FL
  • Historic Property on the Florida Side of the Famous Red Hills Plantation Belt
  • One of the most spectacular undeveloped properties left in Northern Leon County
  • Bordered by the 5,000 acre Ring Oak Plantation
  • XX miles bordering Lake Miccosukee, one of the most prolific waterfowl lakes in the region
  • Beautiful rolling hills
  • Renowned for having some of the best remaining natural stands of southern yellow pine and classic moss-draped live oak
  • Exceptionally beautiful 2,400-foot bluff overlooking 6,257-acre Lake Miccosukee
  • Consistently high wild quail numbers
  • Future Higher and Better Use
  • No Conservation Easement
  • A sportsman's and outdoorsman’s dream property
  • Just 21 Miles to Tallahassee's Market Square & 22 Miles to Thomasville, GA

A Sportsman's and Outdoorsman’s Dream Property

As far as Quail Plantations go, for its size, it's literally as good as it gets. It’s also about as good of an Investment Property as it gets!

South Ring Oak’s 613+/- acres is part of the original famed Red Hills Plantation of almost the same name - the great Ring Oak Plantation. This particular tract has been highly regarded in the region due to its exceptionally beautiful 2,400-foot bluff overlooking 6,257-acre Lake Miccosukee, access to the lake, and its consistently high wild quail numbers. Aesthetically, this property is renowned for having some of the best remaining natural stands of southern yellow pine and classic moss-draped live oaks. The property is a sportsman's and outdoorsman’s dream property. As far as quail plantations go, for its size, it's literally as good as it gets. It’s also about as good of an investment as it gets.

“My philosophy is that the more exit strategies a property has the more valuable it will be. Also, any guaranteed liquidity event positively impacts value. This place is a great example. One can sit back and let the market appreciate. Most certainly, a developer will come along and, like nearby Welaunee, and offer a price one can't refuse. Alternatively, at the time of one’s choosing one can enroll in what we nicknamed the “Farming Forever” program – where Florida will happily pay up to 60% of the appraised value for a conservation easement to ensure it's never developed. When it comes to investing in land and having a safety net, this is as good as it gets.”  - Jon Kohler

For the recreational buyer, these facts also provide opportunities as this isn't just a one-asset class property; it's multi-dimensional.

“History has proven there are few generational investments better than land in the path of growth. It's hard to envision a better investment than land one can recreate on and enjoy all while it is increasing in wealth both recreationally and speculatively.” - Jon Kohler

This particular tract was until recently part of Ring Oak Plantation, a famed Red Hills Plantations that has stood at the epicenter for wild quail since 1880’s. This property is now a renowned, highly managed sporting plantation with rich heritage in the highly desirable area of Leon County, Florida. Its history dates back decades as this property was once part of a plantation empire owned by the GEM Land Company family. Its pedigree and history are irreproachable, and today, it’s certainly one of the most outstanding properties in North Florida.

For the duck hunting enthusiast, its foothills encompass XX miles bordering Lake Miccosukee – one of the most prolific waterfowl lakes in the region. There is also an exceptional site for a flooded duck pond should the new landowner wish. The land is exceptionally beautiful with moss-draped live oaks and towering southern yellow pines. Its history goes back to the 1st Seminole War and a decisive battle was fought here led by Andrew Jackson himself that forever changed the map of the United States.

There was a reason the Seminoles lived there when they could be anywhere else in Florida, because now like then, it’s one of the most beautiful and special places around. The eco-tones throughout and exceptional elevations tout one of the most commanding views. It’s reminiscent of the bluff Tall Timbers sits on over Lake Iamonia.

“The lakefront hill overlooking Lake Miccosukee reminds me of the Kinhega Lodge and the Beadle House at Tall Timbers overlooking Lake Iamonia. One day someone is going to build something special on this overlook as well.” - Jon Kohler

One can see exactly why the Seminoles, the Apalachee, and the Mississippian tribes lived here for nearly 7,000 years.

“The land that the Indians held sacred thousands of years ago is just as special today. Less than two miles from here, on the South side of the lake is the site of a prehistoric city. We sold a conservation easement on Old Fields Plantation to the state once this was discovered. The area is home to one of the tallest Indian mounds in Florida and the 2nd tallest in the Southeast. This area is so special that it was essentially the capital of Florida for 700 years vs. today’s capital for only 180 years.” - Jon Kohler

The Red Hills between Thomasville and Tallahassee and the lifestyle dedicated to quail and conservation is unique to anywhere in the world. South Ring Oak is strategically located just xx minutes to shopping and restaurants in Tallahassee’s Bradfordville, just 25 minutes to shopping and restaurants in Tallahassee’s Market Square, and 30 minutes to Thomasville, Georgia. South Ring Oak is in the midst of the rolling, clay soils and piney woods of the Red Hills – an area that is sought-after for its quail habitat and is still home to the largest concentration of plantations in existence (approximately 120).

This property happens to not only be a spectacular recreational property but is also one of the most spectacular undeveloped properties left in northern Leon County. To the North, the property is bordered by the 4,500+/- acre Sunny Hill Plantation.

“I have mapped every undeveloped, but developable, property in Northeast Leon County. There are surprisingly few, but the opportunities are great. Don’t make the mistake of thinking one has to actually develop it to capitalize on the opportunity here. Monetizing this value through a conservation easement today or allowing it to appreciate tax-free as a land bank for tomorrow. Either way, watching these lands appreciate has been professionally rewarding.” - Jon Kohler

“When I first started this career 30+ years ago one of the first things I was told was the story of two friends. They each bought places about the same size. About the same great hunting. Paid about the same price. One place was about 15 minutes from Monticello, and one was about 15 minutes from Tallahassee. I always assumed it was Pinckney Hill and Welaunee. When the story was 1st told to me the difference in value between the two was about 30% and we thought that was a big deal. It wasn’t. Today, we just sold a place boarding Pinckney Hill for a record $X per acre. Meanwhile, we just made an unsolicited offer on a tract near Welaunee at $100,000 per acre for 40 acres, and the landowner didn’t take it. They think it will be worth even more one day. If anything sums up the investment opportunity here, it's this.” - Jon Kohler

However, like many such properties before it, it's also in the sights of Leon County developers as well as national developers… in fact, the nation's largest developer.

“Today, we have a new type of developer, National Builders. One that we haven't seen here before. It's not just high-value Leon County but every county in both the Red Hills and Albany Belts are being targeted by developers now. We have seen new buyers enter this niche before. So long as folks recognize the value shift and match it correspondingly, the market will protect these lands as it did during “Irrational Exuberance.” If buyers don’t recognize it and capitalize on it themselves, I promise you the developers will.” - Jon Kohler

As a pre-development property, this is as good as it gets. Unlike over 40% of the plantations in the Red Hills, this one is not protected by a conservation easement. There are arguably only about X developable properties over 500 acres left in Leon County. Approximate xx% of the county is either Federally or State-protected or undevelopable due to conservation easements. Thus, like almost every subdivision named after the former quail plantation that it once was, this one too is in developers' sights.

For this property in particular the stakes are high. Being on the largest waterbody in Leon County as well as looking like a mirror image of Centerville Conservation Community, renowned for being the most beautiful development in Tallahassee, this property has a lot going for it.

“Most people, including other brokers, have no idea that unencumbered plantation land has been selling for $15,000 per acre in Leon County and my firm has met the $10,000 per acre threshold three times this year in the rural areas outside of Leon County. In fact, a plantation that we sold in the past in Albany is testing the waters there at $10,000 per acre. As we have been saying, when a new buyer like national builders enters the marketplace place, prices rise to keep up. It should come as no surprise that properties are selling for $15,000 per acre as the last time developers entered this niche in 2006 Centerville sold for $15,400 per acre and I even made an unsolicited offer on the 4,000 acre El Destino Plantation for $15,000 per acre.”  - Jon Kohler

For the developer, there is a preliminary proposal showing X lots including X lakefront lots. Keep in mind that Welaunee Plantation Boulevard is being extended now towards the property, as is the first new interchange in the last generation. As we speak, national builders like DR Horton are vying for positions in the last of Leon County’s buildable property. Tallahassee depends on it.

“As a broker selling what we do, I have a unique perspective. I know the national builders and work together on projects outside my beloved plantation belt. I have been privileged to sit in on key meetings. These folks aren't your typical builders. We have never seen anything like this here. We have been insulated from the rest of Florida. Our prices have been lower as well. What these Wall Street-backed developers do is 100X larger than anything we have ever seen. I feel like Kevin Costner’s character in Dances with Wolves when the Lakota Medicine Man asks him how many more people are coming. Like him, most of the landowners have no idea what we see coming." - Jon Kohler

The Bible shows high esteem for those who are watchmen. Those who have a duty to warn people about what is about to come. Too many times throughout history they are disregarded until it is too late. Will there be subdivisions scattered throughout the Red Hills? We are the watchmen, and we are trying to let landowners know that so long as buyers (and other brokers) realize that certain properties have a higher interest to developers and thus they are simply worth more even as recreational properties we will be ok. The question is after a slow period of 20 years with almost no development pressure how fast will people realize things have changed and step up?”

“My biggest fear is that not enough people understand today's market. What's really going on. We have just seen other brokers sell land not under conservation easement literally across the street for millions less than land we sold under an easement. How can we sell plantation land on the Flint River in Albany for $8,100 per acre and land on the Ocklockonee River in Thomasville while others sell for less than $6,000 per acre? On one plantation alone we literally proved it was worth $26M when another broker testified it was worth $16M and an appraiser $18M. It's time folks started to understand how rare, how unique these lands are and that the best way to save them is to show what they are truly worth.” - Jon Kohler

The Story of Centerville:

In 2004, Jon Kohler and Hurley Booth purchased the 975-acre Centerville Farms for $15,400 per acre.

“I was living there representing the sellers. It’s a special place. I was instructed to sell it for its “highest and best use.” The first and only person who looked at it showed me his subdivision plan. It was simply squares and was quite confident that what I saw on a torn-up piece of paper was the limit of creativity. Thankfully, about that time, Tall Timber’s Neil Fleckenstein invited me to a talk at the Opera House where he brought in a conservation subdivision planner Randall Ardnt. Essentially, the idea is that people don’t necessarily want a huge lot. They want privacy. The extra land could be put in common use areas. I thought if it could still be managed with fire, essentially look like a beautiful plantation, that sacrificing some of the land would be worth saving the balance. The problem was that it hadn’t been done before and folks were going to have to pay for about 5 acres and only really get 1.5 acres. I pitched it to one of my best clients and he said he was in only if I was and only if I executed the plan.  Thus, started Centerville Conservation Community. Today, we still use prescribed fire. The land and habitat is as good as it’s ever been. There are wild quail everywhere. 70% of the land is under a conservation easement. We accomplished the balance of having homes for people, achieving financially backed expectations on only 30% of the land. It is regarded as a role model for conservation communities. It is a little unnerving seeing $1.8M homes disappear behind a layer of smoke every spring but folks here understand the role of fire. It was a long two years getting things going, but the process has been invaluable because when landowners ask me about the development potential for their property, I speak as a principal and know exactly what the issues could be.” - Jon Kohler

In Closing:

This is an opportunity to own a part of one of the original famed Red Hills Quail Plantations. Unlike most properties, this one has additional investment opportunities due to its location. These opportunities can be monetized now or whenever you would like through a conservation easement thereby placing this property among the 40% of lands in the Red Hills. Alternatively, one can keep it unencumbered, and if history is any indication, one could certainly expect it to appreciate at a much higher rate as it is undoubtedly already in the pre-development stage of which it could be converted at any time. Unlike the days of the past, National homebuilders have descended into this region ensuring that this area too is on the radar of Wall Street.

This is an opportunity for a hero to step in and steward over one of Florida’s most treasured properties. To recreate and build wealth.

“We all need growth. We need prosperity. We just need to limit the growth to the edge of town and not see these great plantation belts fragmented with subdivisions. It's critical to keep these last great fire-based ecosystems intact. Imagine the Serengeti with ranchettes scattered about. It would be lost.” - Jon Kohler

 

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