Brantley Nurseries, which occupies 43.5 acres in unincorporated Seminole County near Longwood, is up for sale, with members of the family-owned business favoring sale to a residential developer.
The land was under contract to K. Hovnanian Homes until less than two weeks ago, but the deal fell through.
"It was a corporate, business decision" to let the property go, said Dan Kaiser, director of land development for Hovnanian.
Hovnanian had plans for 93 lots on the property's three contiguous parcels.
The land has been in the Klinger family for decades. When asked the status now that Hovnanian is out, Ashley Klinger suggested the family was in negotiations with another buyer.
"Due to the fact that the sale is still in process, we are unable to comment at this time," Klinger told GrowthSpotter on Tuesday.
The property, mostly open field with a few industrial buildings, could go for $5 million or more barring any take aways from wetlands and entitlements, said Joshua Harris, director of the Dr. P. Phillips Institute for Research and Education in Real Estate.
"Seminole County has been largely built out," Harris said. "Forty or more acres of land in the Longwood area could be incredibly valuable."
The Seminole County Property Appraiser puts the property's just market value at $1.2 million, but that figure is used for tax considerations.
The land, on the south side of W. Lake Brantley Road at Westwood Drive, looked like it was on its way for Hovnanian, which had applied to Seminole County and received approval for a rezoning from Planned Development to Low Density Residential.
Engineering designs of how the community would look were on file, application fees paid, and comments issued by county staff were being addressed.
Brantley Nurseries has been at the site since 1984, opened by the sons of Paul Klinger, Sr. Each son had worked at the parent company, Garden Arts Nursery, which was started in 1960.
The company provides ground covers, shrubs, trees and palms and topiary material to commercial landscape contractors, garden centers and retail nurseries.
Brantley Nurseries also operates a 25-acre outlet in Winter Garden and a 75-acre facility in Center Hill in Sumter County. There have been no indications those properties are for sale.