The widow of wealthy Lake County landowner W.T. "Bill" Bland Jr. recently sold a home in luxurious Alaqua Lake Estates near Longwood for $1,084,900, according to Seminole County Clerk of Court records.
Mary Jane Bland sold the nearly 5000-square-foot house on April 15. She and Bill Bland bought it in March 2014 for $1,125,000.
Featuring five-bedrooms and 4-baths, the custom-built home lies on a 0.76-acre lot on Oakbrook Drive. A saltwater pool and spa in the backyard were resurfaced in 2017, highlighting spillways and a gas fire bowl. An expansive lanai sports a complete summer kitchen, tongue-and-groove ceiling, and pavers.
Robert W. Theisen Jr. was the buyer. With his brother, Mark Theisen Sr., Theisen founded the concrete construction company Tilt-Con in 1987. The Altamonte Springs-based firm is a leader in construction of concrete walls, formed by molds, which can be lifted, fully assembled, into place at a building site.
Penney Lawrence of Coldwell Banker represented the buyer. She said Theisen lives in the same community and bought the house to downsize. He loved the architecture of the one-story home, custom-built by Richard Woodruff, Lawrence said, and was captivated by the bucolic intimacy offered by the conservation area to the rear.
"The fact that it was custom-built and not a cookie-cutter; that was definitely a big deal" to Theisen, Lawrence told GrowthSpotter. "He didn't want to get into something that was not really well-built. This is one of a handful of custom homes" in the area.
The seller was represented by Bryan Douglas of Keller Williams Realty at the Parks.
Bill Bland, who owned thousands of acres of citrus and grazing land in Lake County, died in November 2016 at the age of 84. Though he had a reputation for being brusque and plain-spoken, Bland was generous to his community. He gave more than $1 million to charity and donated the W.T. Bland Public Library, named for his father, to Mount Dora. Bland was also a conservationist who insisted that his land be preserved in its natural state.
Bill and Mary Jane Bland married in late 2002. When they met, she was an IRS auditor, 20 years his junior. The couple separated in 2008, though they continued to see each other until June 2016, when a quarrel ended the relationship, if not the marriage.
Bill Bland died in November 2016 at age 84. He left the bulk of his assets and investments in trusts managed by First National Bank of Mount Dora. Income from the trusts went to the widow, about $800,000 annually.
Two months before he died, Bland amended the terms of the largest trust _ the only one he could legally change _ to wrest control from his wife. Mary Jane Bland didn't like it and sued, kicking off a legal battle. The lawsuit has since been settled with the outcome sealed. The court case is not yet officially closed, but should be soon, sources say.