For many people not intimately familiar with Florida geography, a common mental image that is conjured up is one of a flat, sometimes uninspiring panorama. A visit to the 843-acre Walton Preserve with its rolling topography and diverse landscape quickly dispels such a notion. Crystalline Blount Creek traverses the property for 1 ½ miles through beautiful hardwoods that are populated by mountain laurel and native azaleas that cling to the hillsides and bloom profusely in the spring. In the bottomland areas, you’ll be hard pressed to think that you haven’t been transplanted to Tennessee. In the upland areas, there are over 400 acres of young and mature loblolly and longleaf planted pines and three ponds ready-and-waiting for someone to cast a line from their banks. For hunters, there is a plentiful amount of deer and turkey, enhanced by a shared ¾ mile boundary with Eglin Airforce Base and a 3 bedroom / 2 bath manufactured home to use as a base.
It’s quite unusual for a recreational / timberland tract to be zoned for anything other than agriculture. Yet, due to its proximity to Interstate 10 and access to recently widened Highway 331, Walton Preserve has zoning on over 200 acres that provides higher-and-better use opportunities. These Future Land Use categories include Commercial, Industrial, Urban Residential and Estate Residential. The added value of these designations is clearly advantageous to an investor.
Strategically located just three miles south of the I-10 / Highway 331 interchange near Defuniak Springs (county seat of Walton County), Walton Preserve enjoys an excellent and accessible location. Highway 331 is an important artery that funnels traffic to the Gulf of Mexico’s Emerald Coast less than 30 minutes to the south — communities there include Destin, Seaside, WaterColor, and WaterSound, among others. Although Walton Preserve will appeal to any astute investor looking for a large, well-located, contiguous property, this property would seem to be particularly well-suited to those residents living further south looking for a respite from the beach.