Rhode Island is for sale. Well, not quite, but that’s about the size of the land up for sale along the Gulf Coast just south of the Florida Panhandle. The largest contiguous parcel of undeveloped private land east of the Mississippi River — 560,000 acres of forest owned by Foley Timber & Land Co. — is expected to elicit $1 billion upon sale later this year.
Foley Timber was formed in 1994 to acquire select Florida lands from Procter & Gamble. Now, it’s on the other side. The company has timber operations on the land that generate about $50 million a year. Today, however, the land sits squarely in a lonely corner of the state and offers a buyer the potential of development or selling development rights.
Land conservation and sustainable development will be priorities. In Taylor County, which houses more than 60 percent of the land, Foley has a development plan in place with the county government for 128,000 of the acres, where roughly two-thirds is reserved for open space.
The land certainly has a notable past. It has never been hit by a hurricane, and Proctor & Gamble harvested the trees and processed them at a nearby mill to make pulp for Pampers diapers.
Photo credit: Foley Timber & Land Co.