Oversized lot fetches record price on Marco Island
Marco Island has seen another record sale.
This time it's for a rare piece of residential land, with waterfront views.
A cobbled-together 4.32-acre plot fetched $10.749 million — making it the highest-ever lot sale on the island, according to Premier Sotheby’s International Realty.
Technically, the sale involved two parcels, with the given address of 1771 Osceola Court. The land offers 605 feet of direct frontage on the water, overlooking Caxambas Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, in the Estates area, at the southeast corner of the island.
"It's very unusual," said longtime island Realtor Jim Prange.
He brought the buyer, along with his daughter Nikki Prange-Carroll, specialists on Marco real estate for Premier.
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The buyer, Dennis Albaugh, a billionaire businessman from Iowa, is no stranger to Marco, or Marco real estate. The Midwesterner has owned, invested and developed property on the island for years.
"He's been on Marco for a long time, probably at least 30 years now," Prange said.
With his latest land purchase, Prange shared that Albaugh is "hoping to build a number of custom estate homes on it."
Last year, Albaugh put up five homes on spec — or without a buyer — in the island's exclusive Hideaway Beach gated community and they sold out within a few months of completion.
"He's always loved real estate, and he's always looked for the next challenge," Prange said.
Raised on a farm in Ankeny, Iowa, Albaugh is the founder and chairman of Albaugh LLC, a pesticide and fertilizer company. According to the company's website, it creates and supplies crop protection products "used by farmers across the globe."
The prime land the savvy businessman has picked up is the site of a former fish camp, owned by the Petitt family. At one time, the state eyed it for preservation as a historical site, but it didn't work out after the buildings got destroyed.
The sale closed April 5, just weeks after a record home sale on the island.
A rare, contemporary mansion in Hideaway fetched $11.875 million on March 22, beating the previous record of $10.5 million, set in 2020, for a new estate, also inside Hideaway.
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On his new land, Albaugh plans to divide it so he can build seven homes. With hopes to "bring the property to its full potential," he'll seek permits to expand waterfront access to all of them, Prange said.
"Right now, everything is a dream, until you get city approval," he said.
The sellers in the transaction, the Sessions family from Fort Worth, Texas, were represented by Chris Sullivan with Re/Max Affinity Plus on Marco.
After piecing together the land, the family patriarch's dreams to build on it never came to fruition before he died, she said.
The assembled property hit the market for the first time in 2013. It remained on the market through 2017, without bringing a suitable offer, Sullivan said.
It was a different market then — not sizzling as it is today, with more people migrating to Florida, including Southwest Florida, for various reasons, including no state income tax, she pointed out.
"We have very low inventory," Sullivan said. "Lots are selling quickly here and there is lots of new construction."
After getting relisted in 2021, the oversized property brought multiple offers, with Albaugh winning out after a "meeting of the minds," Sullivan said.
In the highly sought-after Estates area, Prange said there are few lots available for sale, especially with waterfront views.
Lots without views that used to go for $1 million to $1.5 million are now selling for $2.5 million or more, he said, when they come to market.
As for lots with views, three have gone under contract in the last three weeks for $4.5 million to $5.95 million — and there are only two others available, Prange said.
"Crazy, crazy market," he said.