Can You Guess The New Business Coming To Niceville?

Can You Guess The New Business Coming To Niceville?

Can you guess what the new business coming to town on John Sims Parkway near the Publix will be? We have the answer here.

What’s getting built on John Sims Parkway across from The Publix Shopping Center? 

Good question – a lot of people have asked! Here is the answer:

According to the records provided by Niceville City Clerk Dan Doucet, The building under construction will be… drumroll, please… 

It’s an Express Oil franchise. 

There is no date specific for the opening of the franchise, but we hope your curiosity is satisfied. 


More About Express Oil

Express Oil operates more than 350 lube centers across 19 states. Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Crestview all have an Express Oil station in their cities, as does Navarre. 

Jim Lunceford opened the first oil change place that would become Express Oil in 1979 in the Birmingham, Alabama, area. Lunceford based his business on a California-based company he saw that offered quick oil changes. 

More About The Land

The Valparaiso Realty Company owns the land the Express Oil will sit on. Valparaiso Realty owns 454 acres split amongst almost 100 properties, all but one in the Niceville-Valparaiso area. The total value of the properties sits at about $34.5 Million, according to the property appraiser’s office.

This parcel of land that Express Oil will sit on is a larger 78-acre piece of land that John Sims Parkway bisects. The parcel includes the empty lot west of the Publix shopping center, almost 70 acres of swampland, and a small cordon of commercially zoned property to the south of John Sims, upon which the Express Oil will sit. 

While the property appraiser assesses the total value of the land at market value to have a value of $1.9 million, the taxable value is registered at $153,680. The difference in the amount of taxes paid on the market value ($25,329 in annual taxes) and the taxable value ($2,048) is $23,281 per year. 

We’ve requested more information about the difference from the Okaloosa County Property Appraisers Office. This is what they told us:

When there is a difference between the market value of a property and the taxable value it is due to capping,” said Cody Schanbeck with the Okaloosa County Property Appraiser’s Office, “By law the taxable value can only go up 10% a year. This property had been assessed low for quite some time as you can see by the previous years value on our website. When I took over the Land Department I realized that it was under assessed and corrected it. You will see it went from $246,557 in 2020 to $1,711,671 in 2021. With that being said the taxable value went from $115,462 to $127,008 which is only up 10%. It will continue to go up 10% a year until the market value is reached or the property is sold.

In normal circumstances the difference between the market and taxable values would be much less. Due to the severe increase in sales prices the last few years most properties that haven’t sold have a differential but much smaller than this parcel. But this was an oddity because of the extreme difference when the parcel was corrected.”


The land changed hands from Ruckel Properties, Inc. to Valparaiso Realty with a quit-claim deed in 2008 

Wal-Mart, Mcdonalds, and Comfort Inn are some of the businesses in the area which also lease land from the Valparaiso Realty Company. 


Christopher Saul

Christopher Saul

Christopher Saul is the publisher of Mid Bay News. He graduated from Southern Methodist University's School of Journalism with a Convergance Journalism Degree and a Master's Degree in Public Administration From Florida State.

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