April 23, 2024
ATS SE June 2023
Okeechobee County led the state in 500-plus-acre ranchland sales in 2022.

Photo: Jamie Francis / Tampa Bay Times

ATS SE June 2023
Estee Lauder Chairman William Lauder bought the late Rush Limgaugh's 2.7-acre waterfront Palm Beach estate for $155 million, a record. Limbaugh, who died in 2021, purchased the property for $3.9 million in 1998. Lauder, meanwhile, listed two properties with ocean frontage for a combined $200 million.

Photo: Rush Limbaugh Estate

ATS SE June 2023
Pamela Stewart was named President and CEO of Palm Beach County Black Business Investment Corp and lender and loan assistance firm Pathway Capital Funding.

Southeast Florida Roundup

Land Grab

When it comes to ranch land, Okeechobee is tops

Mike Vogel | 6/21/2023


Okeechobee County, historically a place where ranchland goes for a high price, drove an increase in prices in Florida in 2022, according to the Lay of the Land report from real estate firm SVN Saunders Ralston Dantzler.

Okeechobee notched 11 sales of more than 500 acres, just over a third of the state’s ranchland sales of that scale and more than any other county. In Okeechobee, eight of the 11 sales were more than 1,000 acres, and the average price per acre hit $6,590. Statewide, the firm tracked a price of $4,951 per acre, $522 per acre more than the year before.

Other notes from the report:

  • In 18 counties which the report classified as in Central Florida, home builders paid the highest price per finished residential lot in Martin County at $281,708 followed by Indian River at $166,478 and then Orange at $118,615.
  • The Treasure Coast industrial sector land market continued “extremely strong” as the availability of large industrial sites in South Florida “has become nearly non-existent.”
  • Farm and grove land in the Treasure Coast continues to give way for solar power plants. In the past five years, FPL has been the area’s largest land purchaser, acquiring more than 26,000 acres, or nearly 41 square miles, for alternative energy power plants.


  • Boca Raton property owner and developer CP Group plans to remake the 124-acre suburban office park that once housed IBM’s campus, birthplace of its personal computer, into a modern, denser village with 1,240 residences, a hotel, a 5,000-seat entertainment hall, 1.7 million square feet of offices, 50,000 square feet of restaurants, a grocery store, two parking garages and commercial space.
  • Texas-based Lynd Development began construction of the Villas at Tuttle Royale, a 401-unit luxury apartment project in Royal Palm Beach. Affordable housing developer Housing Trust Group and Mount Hermon African Methodist Episcopal Church broke ground on Mount Hermon Apartments, a $43.5-million affordable housing development for low-income seniors in Fort Lauderdale. The project is scheduled for completion in 2024.
  • Liberty Senior Living and partner Zom Senior Living opened luxury rental retirement facility Wellington Bay, with 159 independent living options and 124 assisted-living and memory-care residences, in Wellington.


  • Solar power manufacturer and installer Sunrun and Sunrun Installation Services pulled out of South Florida, closing a Fort Lauderdale facility and laying off 111.
  • A subsidiary of Boca Raton-based Terran Orbital won a $2.4-billion contract from Rivada Space Networks to build and deploy 288 lowearth orbit satellites, plus 12 spares for a total of 300. Indiantown in Martin County approved Grind Hard Ammo’s plans to build an ammunition manufacturing plant.


  • Menzies Aviation laid off 78 after its contract providing ground handling for Frontier Airlines at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ended.
  • Truck parts and repair company Total Truck Parts began construction on a 47,000-sq.-ft. facility, its largest, in Port St. Lucie.


  • Texas-based Topgolf will open one of its golf recreation venues, its first in Broward, in Pompano Beach as part of the 223-acre redevelopment near the one-time harness racing track, Isle Casino Racing Pompano. It and a facility in St. Petersburg will be Topgolf’s eight and ninth Florida sites.


  • Jorge Pesquera is retiring after 16 years as CEO of tourism office Discover the Palm Beaches.
  • Boca Raton-based vacation rental market tech company Rentyl Resorts raised $25 million for expansion. Its network includes 84 hotels and resorts.


  • A Broward Circuit Court judge acquitted of criminal charges Jorge Carballo, an administrator at a Broward nursing home where 12 residents died in the heat after Hurricane Irma in 2017 knocked out air conditioning. None of the four people originally charged with criminal neglect were convicted in the incident, which prompted reviews and heightened scrutiny of nursing home safety procedures during hurricanes.


  • Broward College is collaborating with the local state attorney and public defender offices and the state corrections department on programs for firsttime offenders and others called Court to College Diversion and Corrections to College. The first is open to first-time, non-violent offenders charged with a thirddegree felony or lower. The second is for women completing the last 18 months of their sentences at a Hollywood corrections center. Both programs offer skills training and industry credentials. The Lennar Foundation donated $1 million for the programs.

Tags: Southeast, Feature

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