The Hardee County Industrial Development Authority, managed by The Development Group, has hosted multiple focus groups and a 9 week curriculum study based on Quint Studer’s book “Building A Vibrant Community.” With feedback from Hardee County citizens, The Development Group has begun to identify key properties that align with the vision of creating jobs, increasing quality of life and ultimately lead to a Hardee County that young people will want to return to.
In the past year, The IDA has purchased 6 properties with the plan to sell three without any incurred costs. The remaining three properties will be used to revitalize the community and increase the quality of life. 113 N. 7th Ave., Wauchula has an appraised value of $150,000. The Development Group negotiated a purchase price of $135,000, bringing the cost below appraised value. The property was on the market for many years before the IDA considered purchasing. The
Development Group does not compete with private developers. Purchasing below appraised value, setting rent at market rate, and buying properties that are not attracting organic interest are ways The Development Group maintains a healthy relationship with private investors.
The IDA purchased the property known as “The Bowling Alley” for $725,000. The appraised value with affixed assets was $751,000. Again, The IDA paid under the appraised value. The Bowling Alley was on the market for years before the IDA purchased the property. Since purchasing the property, The Development Group has negotiated a contract with the Randy and Stacy Crews to operate a Bowling Alley business. The grand opening was announced for August 26, 2023. The Crews have hired 17 people, 12 in full-time positions. The hours of operation are over 80 hours a week and will include the operation of bowling lanes, a bowling league, a bar and restaurant.
The Development Group just announced entering a due diligence period for the block of buildings that includes the office space The Development Group currently rents. The value of the buildings was appraised at $1.2 Million. The Development Group came in under appraised value with an accepted offer of $1.1 Million. The purchase of the property and any renovations will add to the vibrancy of downtown Wauchula and encourage private investors.
The Development Group has also announced the purchase of two parcels totaling 34 acres on Highway 17 N. The IDA paid asking price and will sell the property to the County once the County receives state funds already approved by the Governor. The IDA will not have any incurred costs in this transaction.
The final purchase over the past year was 24 acres on Highway 62 with close proximity to the existing business park. The property is already in discussion with a potential business that will bring jobs to Hardee County.
If hearing about current projects and recent purchases makes you excited about the future of Hardee County or if you have ideas to add to the vibrancy of our community, please consider signing up for the next session of the 9 week curriculum study of “Building A Vibrant Community.” The study begins September 12, 2023 and meets every Tuesday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. You can sign up for the study by providing your contact information here: