Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

8,000 ACRES FOR SALE; Hutson Ranch Parcels Divided into Quadrants to Give Buyers More Options

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

8,000 ACRES FOR SALE; Hutson Ranch Parcels Divided into Quadrants to Give Buyers More Options

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Korfhage

In what has been a rare occurrence in recent years, four 1,000-plus-acre pieces of mostly undeveloped land in southern St. Johns County are being actively marketed by Davidson Realty.

The parcels that make up more than 8,000 acres are now for sale in an area that has been used mostly for agriculture and outdoor recreation. The property is known as the Hutson Ranch, owned by local developer David Hutson. The asking price for the four parcels ranges from $6 million to $28.9 million. The total price: $61.2 million.

Rick Pariani, vice president of design development with Davidson Cos., said the property was quietly marketed as one huge parcel but is now being offered in pieces to give buyers more options.

"That's a huge land transaction for a single buyer," he said. "By offering it on a quadrant-by-quadrant basis, it opens it up to a variety of uses and buyers."

The land is west of Interstate 95 and it is cut into four unequal pieces at the intersection of County Road 206 and County Road 305.

Currently, two of the parcels are designated as agriculture on the county's 2025 Comprehensive Plan, and the two eastern parcels are not assigned any designation. It's unclear how difficult it would be to obtain approval for development for commercial or residential use, if that's what a buyer has in mind.

The property is close to the proposed site of the King's Grant development - a 999-home community with associated commercial space - that was denied by the County Commission. However, that area is designated for mixed use on the Comprehensive Plan. The developers have filed a lawsuit against the county since the denial.

Pariani said immediate development similar to what is proposed at King's Grant or what has taken place elsewhere in the county is unlikely right now. The land is fairly isolated from residential development, and some of it is already being leased to farmers and Rayonier, a large timber company based in Jacksonville.

"We've not had anybody look at it for any near-term residential development," Pariani said. "I think those opportunities are going to be in the future. …

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