Yes, that would appear to be the case. Last year Mike Wilson, a prominent local appraiser, valued the land at more than $70 million if used for single-family residential lots.
Oceanfront lots on the south end of Amelia Island currently sell for $3.2 million or more. With 1,870 feet of ocean frontage, the parcel could support up to 20 such lots. A similar number of lots “across the street” from those on the oceanfront could be sold for approximately $1 million each. The remaining land, along Highway A1A could be donated to the county or state park for an additional tax credit of $10 million or more, as in the Settlement Agreement.
Large single-family homes, on or near the oceanfront, would be better than towers for many reasons:
· Fewer than 40 single-family homes, instead of 150 condominium units, would reduce traffic and the need for other public services.
· The homes could be built within the existing 45-foot height limit.
· Individual homes could be located on each lot to minimize the need for tree removal. A wall of condominium towers could require clear cutting a large swath of existing maritime forest nearly 1/3 of a mile long.
· The resulting homes would be consistent with those already in place on the beach or across the highway at Long Point.
· Remaining land could be available for donation to the county or state.