St. Marks Package
Rare Investment Opportunity - One of Florida’s last best unprotected coastal properties
By all accounts, this St. Marks Package is one of North Florida's last remaining large acreage, coastal investment portfolios. The Package consists of 6,496+/- total acres located in Wakulla, Gadsden and Calhoun Counties, Florida.
It's hard to believe a property such as this still exists in private hands. From an environmental perspective, it’s at the top of its class. The 4,052-acre Wakulla County portion encompasses two miles of deep-water river frontage, Gulf access, a 2nd magnitude spring, deep water sink, and is the epitome of “Old Florida.” From an investment perspective, the Wakulla County portion is preplanned for “higher and better use” with some 1,200 acres already fully entitled. From a cash flow perspective, the entire Package offers many revenue avenues: the property has exceptional timber revenues, existing residential lots could be sold or expanded, or a conservation easement could be put in place in order to harvest its exceptional “higher and better use” potential. From a little longer investment horizon this property offers massive appreciation potential as only Florida knows best.
Most of this Package is within 25 minutes of Florida's capital city. The Wakulla County portion is located on coastal HWY 98 and just a ten-minute boat ride to the Gulf, marinas, and restaurants. This investment package is certainly as unique an opportunity as it gets!
This opportunity is essentially “five asset classes in one.”
- An exceptional recreational coastal property with springs, sinks, waterfalls 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, exceptional roads, with the landowner projecting to harvest over $10,850,000 in timber over the next 16 years.
- It’s an exceptional “higher and better use” property with over 1,200 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 massive the rapid lot sales in Wakulla County, along with the existing 1,200 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 is not contested. The development value here is well situated to be monetized through a donation conservation easement providing immediate 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, multiple income streams 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 located in one of the best timber markets in the South. Projections on the Wakulla Tract alone 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 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 “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 - 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 quick. 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 $3,500 overall per acre and only 25 minutes from the steps of the Florida capital, I wouldn't believe it." - Jon Kohler
This entire package can be acquired at less than $3,500 overall per acre. Between timber harvesting, to begin shortly, at about $461,500 per year, on average, to selling already platted lots (which are commanding $6,000 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.
Below is a summary of the various tracts in this package:
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 (includes 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
Gadsden County, Florida (One tract totaling 1,134.09 +/- total contiguous acres). We further broke this tract down into:
- Gadsden North side of Tract: 418 acres North of Road
- Gadsden South Side of Tract: 716 acres South of Road
Calhoun County, Florida (Tree Tracts totaling 1,310 +/- total acres):
- Calhoun Tract #1: 1,006.5 acres - Doug Price Road
- Calhoun Tract #2: 233.5 acres - John F. Bailey
- Calhoun Tract #3: 70 acres - Chason
“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
LISTED AT $3,463 OVERALL PER ACRE
Based on the seller’s estimations of the market value of the ranchettes if the properties were developed per conceptual development plans (and the already platted lots were sold), the valuation of the 6,496.78 +/- total acres could be in the $31,224,000 range.
“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.
Gadsden County, Florida
Calhoun County, Florida
Maps & Location
St. Marks Package
- Most of the package within 25 minutes of Florida's capital city
- Ten-minute boat ride to the Gulf (from Wakulla tract)
- 15 min from the Tallahassee Airport (Wakulla tract)
- Lake Seminole moments away (Gadsden tract)