D.R. Horton Withdraws Offer For OLF-8 Property

September 21, 2023

Developer D.R. Horton has withdrawn their multi-million dollar offer for the county-owned OLF-8 property on Nine Mile Road.

“D.R. Horton has been looking at multiple scenarios in an effort to make this project work, both for the residents of Escambia County and for Horton from a financial perspective. Unfortunately, Horton has come to the conclusion that there are too many obstacles to overcome in the limited amount of time being granted. Horton believes that the engineering, due diligence and governmental approvals necessary to make this project feasible cannot be accomplished within the County’s desired timeframe,” Attorney Chris Gill wrote in an email on behalf of homebuilder D.R. Horton.

“From Horton’s perspective, the current Master Plan that exists for the property does not allow for Horton to pursue a financially viable development. The changes to the Master Plan and other associated approvals and entitlements (both at the local and state levels) that would be necessary to convert this project into something that can be developed for commercial and residential purposes and in an economically viable manner pose more risk and uncertainty than Horton is willing to bear at this time,” Gill wrote.

D.R. Horton had offered $42 million for over 500 acres before dropping that offer in July to 24.1 million for 297 acres because Escambia County is holding back 241 acres for job creation near the Navy Federal Credit Union campus.

D.R. Horton’s proposal included 99 acres for commercial use including restaurants, retail, offices, medical and a town center. Their plan also showed 170 acres with 1,133 residential units, including 360 townhomes and 336 apartments.

Gill said if the county changes their plans, the company might be interested in becoming involved again.

“Horton believes that Escambia County, and especially the Beulah and Cantonment submarkets, are vital to the continued success of Northwest Florida, and the OLF-8 property is by far the most valuable location in this market. If the County were willing to entertain changes to the Master Plan that Horton believes are needed, Horton would very much be interested in participating in the future development of this site,” he wrote.

In August, Escambia County received a $40 million offer for the OLF-8 site from a Tampa real estate firm. The offer would need to be retooled because it was for the full acreage including the 250 acres that the commission now intends to hold back for economic development.

Pictured: The now withdrawn D.R. Horton preliminary design for the OLF-8 property.


30 Responses to “D.R. Horton Withdraws Offer For OLF-8 Property”

  1. Connie Bryan on October 22nd, 2023 5:19 pm

    I think we are better off without DR Horton !!! Why pay a well respected community planner then, let some developer dictate a new plan.

  2. ThePatriot on September 24th, 2023 6:47 am

    D.R. Horton places a bid then resends it. Lanner home builders places a bid. Horton owns Lanner. You do the math. The whole thing stinks. The state AGs office needs to take a look at all parties including the local governments involvement. It wouldn’t be the first time the state had to get involved with this county.

  3. Koran Michael on September 23rd, 2023 11:12 am

    This NW Florida native and 45 year Real Estate Broker and General Contractor is relieved that DR Horton walked from this project.
    Here today and gone tomorrow officials while tasked with these important decisions are simply not capable . This giant corporation produces less than desirable results with every project they are involved in. They do not deserve to develope property in NWFlorida. Going forward a more special process must replace the current methods used to promote growth and develope the last of the large land holdings in our area.
    The other counties are doing no better with Floridas Growth Manangement guidlines . Current results speak for themselves.
    I see very little positive growth results anywhere in NW Florida mainly due to out of state carpettbagging developers who provide no quality of life protection to residents.
    300 unit rental apartment complexs every other mile and no character same looking low quality subdivisions and relentless traffic and beach congestion is all we are getting in NW Florida…a generation ago who would have thought we could mess up such a beautiful and naturally rich community.

  4. R on September 22nd, 2023 4:19 pm

    Bummer commissioners will have to wait awhile longer for there steak and wine.

  5. Ten Mile Road Neighbor on September 22nd, 2023 12:14 pm

    I’m not sure this is the right string to bring this up, but the NEP ballfields were once OLF 4 flown out of Ellyson Field, and Milestone at Pine Forest and 9 Mile was OLF 6 from Ellyson. I did hear that the school district held title to the NEP fields and I do not know if Milestone was ever held by the County. So this isn’t the first time former Navy property has been handled in the County.

  6. Kyle on September 22nd, 2023 7:05 am

    Well let’s see ..The commisioners finally figured
    Out these infrastructure decisions are way out of
    There league..This town cannot handle the growth
    That’s happening now.Traffic is horrible and getting worse
    every week

  7. Bill on September 22nd, 2023 12:21 am

    So glad for our neighbors in Beulah. Our county commissioner have had their hands in this pot for so long, bet they are so disappointed that their personal goals won’t be met. Don’t think for a minute they don’t have their hands in any much bigger pot

  8. Pensacola Resident on September 21st, 2023 9:49 pm

    “From Horton’s perspective, the current Master Plan that exists for the property does not allow for Horton to pursue a financially viable development. The changes to the Master Plan and other associated approvals and entitlements (both at the local and state levels) that would be necessary to convert this project into something that can be developed for commercial and residential purposes and in an economically viable manner pose more risk and uncertainty than Horton is willing to bear at this time,” Gill wrote.

    So basically, they cant come in, build a bunch of crappy built houses, do whatever they want, screw up the drainage by doing the absolute bare minimum and leave…..so they don’t want it. Good. Maybe we can either leave it alone, or if necessary, get a good builder to do it the right way.

  9. pat walker on September 21st, 2023 7:02 pm

    we the citizens of beulah are very happy the horton withdrew. let the property alone as it is. we are tired of the over building of our community. we have enough of the horton buiildings we have to endure each day

  10. dave lamb on September 21st, 2023 3:56 pm

    We have to have 4H Camp for Navy Federal.
    No, OLF-8 cannot be bought or traded from the Navy!
    But, wait we can trade, but we want to build Aviation Facilities to support Air Bus.
    Airbus fell out.
    Now Horton is dropping out.
    What next?
    4H Camp is gone.
    What a tangled spider web our commissioners have woven!

  11. Doctor Horten on September 21st, 2023 2:52 pm

    Is this being managed by the Century Town Council?

  12. Stephen on September 21st, 2023 2:36 pm

    Escambia County + Florida Power and Light = solar farm.

  13. Kat johnson on September 21st, 2023 1:51 pm

    You don’t want D.R. Horton owning anything. Had to do a research paper on something choose D.R. Horton because they just bought land near me. My lord is it horrible go ahead and put D.R. Horton and lawsuit or violations in a search bar. They are probably the worst builders to have making a neighborhood. An entire one of their neighborhoods homeowners are currently suing them for improper seals on windows and doors along with molding issues. That neighborhood is in Louisiana where they have the same humidity percentage as pensacola normally.

  14. do the right thing on September 21st, 2023 1:46 pm

    I would love to know where the affordable housing is located in the county, haven’t found it!!! SUSAN??

  15. Willis on September 21st, 2023 1:32 pm

    They will wind up selling it for half of what was offered before iys over.

  16. Jkb on September 21st, 2023 1:08 pm

    Why can we not put a park? Recreation area…splash pad..dog park..walking track.district 5 always get the short end of the stick when it comes to that. So what do you say Barry…how about speaking up for the voters who would support that.

  17. Johbear on September 21st, 2023 12:33 pm

    Look DR Horton is not a great builder. I know I own 2 of there homes. And have had nothing but problems. I live in the area and yes we need some more development. But we don’t need crappy homes and townhouses built and sold at top dollar. And when I moved out to the area it was country and quite. Not any more and the traffic is getting bad. The area is going to grow no matter what we want. But do a great job. And build right an quality. Not crap.

  18. Bob on September 21st, 2023 11:56 am

    @Ed Magowan

    “Your descendents will thank you”

    Or. They would have. But they had to move out of the area to a place with a viable job market and affordable housing.

  19. Anne on September 21st, 2023 11:52 am

    WHY, is Escambia County even in the Real Estate business at all?
    BoCC has proven itself, over Decades, to be lacking greatly in the ability to broker good real estate deals for We the Citizen Taxpayers.

  20. Kane on September 21st, 2023 11:34 am

    @John Connor Do you know anything about Dr horton? You know they have an active class action lawsuit against them for homes built in 2009 in Louisiana. They cut corners on homes and built them substandard, so they are filled with mold due to improper shielding to heat and humidity. We don’t need another ran down neighborhood in Escambia County we have plenty as is.

  21. Ed Magowan on September 21st, 2023 10:39 am

    Commissioners – don’t ‘develop’ it. Turn the entire OLF-8 into a nature preserve/park/ ala NYC’s Central Park. Your descendents will thank you for your vision. Just for once think longer term than 5 years.

  22. RaD on September 21st, 2023 9:46 am

    Running that through my handy, dandy real estate developer language translator I get, “Let us know how big a bribe you need to give us the property the way we want to develop it”.

  23. glow on September 21st, 2023 9:41 am

    Whew! We dodged a bullet with that one!

  24. G on September 21st, 2023 8:19 am

    Say no to DR Horton

  25. RWA on September 21st, 2023 8:03 am

    I haven’t heard anything positive about D. R. Horton. This is probably a good thing that they are walking away.

  26. RW on September 21st, 2023 7:49 am


  27. Susan on September 21st, 2023 7:28 am

    Not every bit of land needs to be developed. There is plenty of unaffordable housing in Escambia County now. Something suited to the property will come along.

  28. Jimbo Mac on September 21st, 2023 6:45 am

    Fantastic news! It just made my day.

  29. John Connor on September 21st, 2023 6:20 am

    Worst run county in the state. We need to have term limits on commissioners. We need fresh new people with better ideas who know how to be professional in deals and not go back on agreements. You may not like DR Horton and I would agree but now no sane developer will want to buy this property and have to deal with Escambia County. So now the property will look like a mitigated disaster in 10 years thanks to Escambia County govt.

  30. John Connor on September 21st, 2023 6:16 am

    Leave it to Escambia County Commissioners to screw it up. We all know how Escambia County loves to be a laughing stock but this takes the cake. If you wanted to keep 250 acres so you can screw it up then you should have never initially agreed ed with DR Horton to sell it all. Now you just look inexperienced, unprofessional and now the deal is gone. Now if a major company wanted to invest in Escambia County they will look how you handled this and say nah well go to Santa Rosa or Baldwin

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