» Lykes: The Tampa family owns 615,000 acres — 337,000 of them in Florida. That makes the heirs of Dr. Howell Tyson Lykes and his seven sons 12th on the Land Report’s list of the largest American landowners. The company employs 400 in land management, cattle, citrus, sugar cane, forestry and insurance as well as financing energy-saving companies and developing with the Duda family the 4,700-acre Americas Gateway Logistics Center, an industrial park in Glades County.
» Colliers: The descendants of company founder Barron Gift Collier Sr. control a combined 280,000 acres, according to the Land Report, enough to make the Colliers 27th on the list of the nation’s largest landowners. The key entities are Barron Collier Cos. and Collier Enterprises. Barron Collier Cos. is developing the town of Ave Maria and the 1,250-acre Grey Oaks. It has ranches, citrus, sod farming, timberland, vegetable farming, commercial office space and oil wells.
» Griffins: Just over a decade after the death of founder Ben Hill Griffin Jr., the family had a very public legal brawl over his $500 million estate. The fight was settled and Griffins collectively — if not jointly — control LaBelle-based, publicly traded Alico and Frostproof-based, private Ben Hill Griffin Inc. Ben Hill Griffin IV runs citrus company Ben Hill Griffin Inc. Alico, under the control of Griffin grandson and former State Sen. JD Alexander, owns 130,400 acres. Control of Alico is up in the air. Naples value investor Bruce Sherman, who has a history of activism, recently took a stake in the company. And changes in tax law have prompted Alico’s majority shareholder, an entity controlled by Griffin descendants, to consider selling. That entity recommended Alico look into selling the entire company.
» Fanjuls: Under Alfonso “Alfy” Fanjul and his brother Jose “Pepe” Fanjul, the family owns 155,000 acres in Florida. That figure makes the Palm Beach County-based family the 63rd-largest landowner in the nation, according to the Land Report. The Fanjuls, the largest employer and landowners in the Dominican Republic, are the majority owner of the world’s largest sugar refiner and have mills or refineries in six countries. They sell sugar and sweeteners globally under the Domino, Florida Crystals and other brand names.
» Dudas: Based in Oviedo, the company built on celery now owns 47,500 acres and leases another 23,000 in Florida, Texas and California. Along with produce growing, packing and marketing, it has cattle, sod, citrus, sugar cane, real estate development (Viera in Brevard County) and commercial real estate investments in 19 states. Some 14 direct descendants and five spouses work in the family business. David J. Duda now runs the company, which had $460 million in revenue last year and employs 550 full-time workers.