From Sunlight Ranch, a private 790-acre riding, hunting, fishing and outdoor sportsman’s paradise near Palm Beach, the Okeechobee Waterway cuts across to Fort Myers on Florida’s West Coast, bisecting the state and turning all of South Florida into an island, though only technically.
“It is an amazing waterway,” said Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty in Orlando, the firm charged with selling Sunlight Ranch for its $11.9 million asking price.
The Okeechobee Waterway has a storied past. Opened in 1937, the Depression-era public works project was designed to help protect surrounding lands from floods that killed more than 2,500 people a decade earlier.
It cuts across a line charted in the late 1800s by well-to-do adventurers who were sponsored by Forest and Stream, the best-known sporting magazine of the time and the predecessor of today’s Field and Stream.
One of those sportsmen wrote that the area they mapped was less well known than the deepest, darkest heart of Africa. And halfway across Lake Okeechobee, the sportsmen uncovered an ancient relic: a submerged dugout canoe that held a steel helmet of the sort worn by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s.
“The Okeechobee Waterway tells a story that is truly ancient,” Soderstrom said. “At one time NASA used the waterway for the shipment of Saturn rockets,” he said.
Today, the Okeechobee Waterway provides recreational boats a way to cross the state---the trip takes about a day, maybe a day-and-a-half---through some of the most majestic vistas Florida has to offer.
“Flocks of birds of every sort, alligators by the hundreds, this is the way Florida looked to people hundreds of years ago,” Soderstrom said.
That’s not the case at Sunlight Ranch. Two twenty-acre parcels at Sunlight Ranch currently provide a deepwater marina that can easily dock sixty-foot boats.
A quarter-mile of frontage on the Okeechobee Waterway makes it a perfect location for a boater’s stopover, with quick access to the Atlantic Ocean nearby.
But it’s the 32-acre equestrian center at Sunlight Ranch that is drawing the most attention from potential buyers, Soderstrom said, and they hail from all over the world.
“We’ve had inquiries from 17 different countries on three continents, so we expect to sell the property soon,” he said.
“Sunlight Ranch is a sportsman’s paradise with riding, hunting, fishing and scenery that is as old as Florida,” he said.
The equestrian facility includes a main show barn with 25 stalls, show rings, polo club barns, polo fields and a clubhouse.
The Sunlight Saddle and Polo Club is presently the “home-base” training facility for renowned international professionals, Olympians, professional equestrian teams, and experts in all riding sports including western riding, show jumping, dressage and polo.
More than 12 miles of scenic bridle trails wind along the banks of the Okeechobee Waterway and snake through the property.
“The list of potential buyers includes some of the most recognizable names in international business, commerce, finance, entertainment and equestrian sports,” Soderstrom said.
To view a video produced by Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty go to http://www.wellcomemat.com/stirlingsir/E0DEB09771.html and to see an eBrochure, http://stirlingsir.netii.net/Sunlight%20Ranch%20Saddle_eBrochure.pdf
Matt McDonald and Mark Arnold, Stirling Sotheby’s Global Real Estate Specialists, are representing the property.
About Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty
Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty is affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, the largest luxury real estate brand in the world. Stirling Sotheby’s exclusive global marketing services include luxury residential, new homes, new home communities, commercial and investment properties. In addition the company provides support to builders and developers locally and internationally. Visit www.StirlingSIR.com.