http://www.newsherald.com/article/20150805/BUSINESS/150809754 VALERIE GARMAN News Herald Reporter Posted Aug. 5, 2015 at 6:35 PM Updated at 6:38 PM A pair of developers hope to place “another gem in the necklace” on County 30A in South Walton with one of the last untouched parcels along the scenic corridor. Plans are now in the works for an upscale, 26-acre resort community at the corner of South Watersound Parkway and County 30A just west of Alys Beach. As proposed, “KAIYA Beach Resort” would bring 59 single-family homes, 15 town homes, a 20-room boutique inn with resort spa and fitness center, and nearly 60,000 square feet of restaurant and shopping space to the area. “We feel like there’s this story that’s been created on 30A that started with Seaside and continued with Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Watercolor,” property owner and developer Jason Romair said. “We feel like we’re the next exciting community on 30A. … We’re another gem in the necklace.” Romair, the owner of Romair Homes in Santa Rosa Beach, has teamed up with entrepreneur John Pinkerton for the project, which began about a year ago with help from several architects and master planning specialists. The team submitted a proposal for the planned unit development to Walton County officials Tuesday. They hope to kick off construction for the community’s initial infrastructure by the end of this year if plans are approved. “John and I both love 30A and we want to preserve, protect and enhance the qualities that make it so special,” Romair said. “Since purchasing the property … we put together a high-quality architectural, design and environmental team to help us plan the community.” Overall, Romair said the community is “low density,” with a heavy emphasis on parks and green space. About 35 percent of the community would be dedicated to neighborhood parks, walking and bike trails, a formal town square, garden spaces, and wetland and environmental preservation areas. While the development is not as large as some others along 30A, Romair said the team is using the smaller size to their advantage to creating a well-connected and walkable resort area. “What’s unique about it is … we’re taking the front end of the project and we’re putting in some high-end retail,” said Romair, who also highlighted other amenities like the spa and fitness center along with full concierge service throughout the community. “Those items change the dynamic of this community a little bit. We offer a little something different, a high level of service. “We have also been reaching out to and listening to other stakeholders along 30A and have been adjusting the KAIYA master plan to ensure it brings value to residents in the area and is an excellent fit with South Walton’s other dearly loved communities,” Romair said. “That is why we chose to make KAIYA such a low-density community.” The developers also highlighted several benefits that would be brought forth by the project, including improvements and additions to 30A’s bike paths, rights of way and electrical and utility lines. With project documents submitted just this week, the plan now will be vetted by the county staff before an extensive public review process, according to Walton County spokesman Louis Svehla. “We have a Technical Review Committee. We have a Design Review Board. We have a Planning Commission and we have the” Board of County Commissioners, Svehla said. “It will go through all four of those steps before final approval.” Because the property is along 30A, a designated Florida Scenic Highway, the development is held to more restrictive zoning standards. “The fact that this is on 30A, this will be looked at even more heavily,” Svehla said. “That’s our crown jewel in the county.” This artist's rendering shows the entrance to KAIYA Resort, which will feature a 20-room boutique inn and an upscale spa and fitness center.