The St Joe Company was founded by Ed Ball of DuPont fame__he was a huge player in old timey Florida politics__most were happy when he died.Mormon Church Taking Over in Florida
By Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel
6:08 p.m. EST, November 7, 2013
The Mormon church stands to own nearly 2 percent of Florida by completing a deal to buy most of the real estate of the St. Joe Co. for more than a half-billion dollars.
The megapurchase was announced jointly Thursday by a corporate representative of church, which owns the nearly 295,000-acre Deseret Ranches in Central Florida, and by the real-estate and timber business, which has built several communities along the Panhandle coast.
According to the announcement, a church entity, AgReserves Inc., will buy 382,834 acres – the majority of St. Joe's timberlands – in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties for $565 million.
Completion of the deal will leave the Utah-based church with 678,000 acres, an area larger than any other private holding in Florida, according to widely shared but unconfirmed rankings of top landowners.
AgReserves Inc., a taxpaying company of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will maintain timber and agricultural uses of the Panhandle acreage, according to the announcement.
The Mormons are good stewards of the Florida agri, wilderness and wetlands they own. Among Florida's other major land holders is Ted Turner.
lands they own