The Land Report

2018.3

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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BackGate While on the staff of Senator Lawton Chiles, Saunders befriended Maxcy's son-in-law Pat Wil- son, who not only ran the Latt Maxcy Corporation but was also a two-term president of the Florida Cattlemen's Association. eir relationship grew when Chiles moved into the Governor's Mansion. It was cemented when Saunders was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and estab- lished himself as a champion of landowners' rights. Descended from citrus growers himself, the eighth- generation Floridian took it upon himself to author ground-breaking conser- vation legislation, a cause he would pursue after he established his brokerage in Lakeland. "I've been fortunate to have been a part of several blockbuster deals, including the St. Joe sale, which totaled 382,000 acres," Saunders says. "But my work with Latt Maxcy Corporation has always stood out. Yes, it was my first big deal. But the fact that Mr. Maxcy started out with 80 acres and built an empire from the Kissimmee River to Vero Beach still amazes me," he says. A South Carolinian by birth, Latimer "Latt" Maxcy (1887-1971) was an empire builder, the sort of individual who changed not only his own destiny but that of those around him. During his career, he created several pioneering enterprises, all in his adopted state of Florida. Maxcy played a vital role in the development of the Sunshine State's citrus industry during the Roaring Twenties. e bank he subsequently founded — Citizens Bank and Trust — survives to this day. But his 150,000-acre cattle operation is no more. e last portion — a 38,453-acre swath in Southwest Osceola County — sold to a joint venture between Argentina's Optimum Agricul- ture and the Investment Company of Dubai, which manages the emirate's investment portfolio. Coincidentally, the sale price of $136.5 million was the same amount that the Latt Maxcy Corpo- ration grossed in 2005 when it sold 27,400 acres of ranchland to Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca and Anthony Pugliese of e Pugliese Company. "e timing couldn't have been better," says Dean Saunders of Saunders Real Estate, who advised Latt Maxcy Corporation on both sales. "As I recall, the high-water mark for Florida real estate prior to the Great Recession was August of 2005. at's exactly when we closed." Florida's El Maximo Ranch Sells After a three-generation run, the cattle kingdom that LATT MAXCY built comes to an end. BY ERIC O'KEEFE From a single 80-acre tract in 1935, Latt Maxcy built a 200- square- mile cattle kingdom. 96 L ANDREP ORT.COM e LandReport | FALL 20 18

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