William L. "Bill" Knight, Real Estate Developer and Entrepreneur passed away Wednesday, July 14, 2021 after years of battling Parkinson's Disease. Bill was born September 12, 1938 in Binghamton, NY. Upon gaining a Bachelor of Science degree from Babson College in Boston, Bill began his real estate career in South Florida in the 1960's forming his first of many corporations, Florida Sites, Inc., finding two dynamic industries, real estate and oil marketing, into a service station empire. He also developed the first gas station/convenience store combination concept in Florida in 1964 called the "Corner Store". In the 70's when the energy crisis moved oil companies into other markets, he negotiated large real estate deals with them for planned communities - responsible for the then largest land sale in Palm Beach County, 3,400 acres which would be developed into a planned unit community for 30,000 people now known as Boca Del Mar and Boca Pointe where he also developed seven residential subdivisions. The 1980s arrived and Knight continued to concentrate on the development of many residential subdivisions along with major office buildings and strip shopping centers, some of the premier real estate projects in Palm Beach and Broward County. Knight Enterprises developed over one million square feet of shopping centers, office parks and buildings, including the 191,012 square foot office complex, Camino Real Centre, his headquarters in Boca Raton, along with Knight Aviation, his helicopter charter service. During this time, Knight Energy Turnpike Services was selected by the State of Florida to manage the state's entire service station operations on the 320-mile Florida Turnpike, producing the then highest volume and profit in Florida's Turnpike history. Following this success, in 1987, Bill worked closely with the Florida Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration in successfully negotiating the development of the I-95 Interchange at Congress Avenue (Exit 50) in Boca Raton and developed Peninsula Corporate Center. The 1990s ushered in a new decade of development, Knight Energy Brokerage and Operations converted the convenient store portion of his existing gas stations into gourmet markets called NexStore. Selling all of the existing outlets in 2000, Knight's next project included the formation of Ocean Estates and Ocean Estate Properties, developing direct oceanfront homes in Highland Beach, Florida. He also continued his commercial operations under his brokerage Big Dog Realty Pros. Bill is survived by his wife Beverly Aluise Knight, sister Jo Ann Knight Meder, his children Tammie Davenport, Bill Knight II (Barbara), Vicki Duvall (Damon), Jim Knight (Carmen), Tricia Condron (Paul), 9 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and uncle to many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by parents Alta Weir and Alonzo Knight, grandson T.Jay Virgin, and Nancy Winslow Knight, mother of his children. There was a private interment at Boca Raton Cemetery. In his memory of his great love of animals please feel free to make a donation in Bill's name to Abandoned Pet Rescue in Ft. Lauderdale. www.abandonedpetrescue.org/make-a-donation/
Published by Sun-Sentinel on Jul. 25, 2021.