Wednesday, March 16, 2016

State Senator TRAVIS HUTSON's Family Selling Ranch -- to Chinese Buyers?

Expect foreign buyers? The Hutson Ranch website has a Chinese translator clickie at the top right of the page.

Hutson family puts huge parcels of land in southern St. Johns County on the market
Posted: March 15, 2016 - 11:47pm | Updated: March 16, 2016 - 2:07pm

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 is 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 silviculture, agriculture and outdoor recreation. The property is known as the Hutson Ranch, owned by local developer David Hutson.

Rick Pariani, vice president of design development with Davidson Companies, 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 State 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.”

That doesn’t make it unattractive, though.

Local developer Chris Shee, of MasterCraft Builder Group, said it could end up being a solid investment. Shee is not a potential buyer because it’s a larger scale than his company deals with, but he said he can see why an investor would be interested in property that could eventually be quite valuable.

“What I do see is someone is able to go in and buy a huge chunk of land and use it for growing timber and maybe a ranch … but the benefit in the long term with a county that’s growing exponentially, it’s really set up for future growth.”

Shee has been on the property and says it’s impressive. The northwest portion includes a two-story lake house, private airstrip and 500 acres of fenced-in pastures.

It could be used as a recreation area, a ranch or just a sprawling homestead in the immediate future. But the 2,755-acre parcel that’s being offered at $28.9 million also has frontage on State Road 207. That parcel might be the most likely piece to see development first. Even the Davidson website says the land would “be a logical and desirable tract for single-family and senior residential development.”

Eventually, Shee said some of the Hutson Ranch could certainly be used as a master-planned community. He said there aren’t many opportunities left in St. Johns County for that type of development.

“It’s got a lot of really great attributes,” Shee said. “It’s just going to take some time to mature. It could really make a great opportunity.”

Morris1 03/16/16 - 03:04 am 80It's a large enough contiguous parcel...
... for a quality-of-life altering DRI, ala Nocatee or the like. This probably won't be good (for people who like peace and quiet out that way)

Properties like this is precisely what Florida Forever was conceived for... Some huge parcel comes up for sale, we have a chance to preserve something meaningful and substantial, we tap into Florida Forever and make the move. Sadly, the program has been grossly mismanaged and basically looted for other agendas that are not land acquisition, leaving it broke.

The land buys that do take place under Florida Forever token at best.

So sad.

sponger2 03/16/16 - 08:07 am 51Smells like a commissioner sellout to me Travis.
And also a factor in the departure of "I'll build the county rooftop to rooftop Bennett". Pity it might actually be ruined in my time. If it were legal someone should give him a "talking to".

Firstcoaster 03/16/16 - 09:41 am 40Their website
is pushing for residential development: It should be noted that Commissioner Rachael Bennett previously worked for David Hutson.


Anonymous said...

Let's call Ted Turner asap.

Ed Slavin said...

This property has been for sale for several years, as reported in Jax Business Journal.