Misc St. Joe Development Plans For Walton And Bay Counties

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by SoWal Staff, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. SoWal Staff

    SoWal Staff Serving the Community! Staff Member

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    St. Joe plans to create a new 112,000 acre Bay-Walton Sector Plan to guide development of this land over the next 50 years. St. Joe is holding open houses to take public feedback.


    Dec. 10, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
    -Panama City Beach City Hall
    -110 South Arnold Road, Panama City Beach


    Dec. 13, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
    -South Walton Coastal Branch Library
    -437 Greenway Trail, Santa Rosa Beach



     
  2. SoWal Staff

    SoWal Staff Serving the Community! Staff Member

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    http://www.newsherald.com/news/st-joe-co-holds-first-open-house-on-new-sector-plan-1.243826

     
  3. SoWal Staff

    SoWal Staff Serving the Community! Staff Member

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  4. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    St. Joe Unveils Plans for Walton and Bay Counties

    http://www.newsherald.com/news/busi...n-for-its-bay-walton-communities-map-1.281877

    The aging U.S. population is a key ingredient in the St. Joe Co.’s vision for Bay County’s future.


    More than a decade after the company’s 75,000-acre West Bay Sector Plan was put in place, little development has occurred outside the 4,000-square foot Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport site, which was intended to be a key economic boom for the area.


    “There’s no sort of steady economic driver in the community and the hope was that this airport would generate that,” said Park Brady, chief executive officer of the St. Joe Co. “Any new airport will generate lots of economic activity; the question is when?”


    Now St. Joe is looking toward a new catalyst, the growing demographic of retired Americans, which Brady said could be a missing piece for economic development in Bay County.


    “There are 15 million people retiring in the next number of years, and a lot of those are going to be heading to Florida,” Brady said. “So we said, why don’t we revise this plan so we can be very attractive for that part of the market.”


    St. Joe now wants to expand its West Bay Sector Plan 50,000 acres to the west, including 12,000 in Walton County, with a goal of building pocketed retirement communities similar to The Villages in Central Florida.


    “We feel like this demographic, with this sector plan, it could be the third leg of the economic stool, and a steady one,” Brady said. “This would provide some economic security to the community to have this stable mix of people who don’t put a lot of demand on the area.”

    As with the West Bay Sector Plan, the new “Bay-Walton Sector Plan” would set forth conceptual land uses and infrastructure plans for the roughly 112,000-acre area. St. Joe will reveal land use breakdowns for the additional 50,000 acres during a set of open houses this week.


    In the West Bay area, St. Joe will focus on more detailed planning, including a shift for some lands designated for a “regional employment center” to a “Village Center,” or mixed-use residential area.


    St. Joe also will be adding a “Town Center” concept to serve as a focal point for the retirement villages and a key component in the planning framework.


    “If our concept is done well, the community will be able to see enough activity to say that this was successful within three years,” Brady said. “We intend to invest and make this happen.”



    ‘Villages’ vision


    The St. Joe Co. has done its research when it comes to retirement, much of which stemmed from measuring the success of The Villages, a roughly 20,000-acre, age-restricted community northeast of Orlando.

    More than 4,000 homes were sold in The Villages last year, and the master-planned development even withstood the toughest of economic times.


    “When the economy went south in 2006, The Villages were still selling 2,600 homes a year,” Brady said. “It’s recession-proof, steady, non-seasonal, and we know the demand’s there.”


    The demand also shifted toward supporting an “active adult” lifestyle, something Brady is hoping will be a major selling point for St. Joe, with plans to incorporate walking trails and ample outdoor space in the communities.


    The proposed trail system would span throughout the master plan, and eventually connect with existing trails like Gayle’s Trails and trails along County 30A in Walton County.


    “We think we can create the first healthy, active, environmentally oriented retirement community in the country,” Brady said. “The people who live here will want to protect what’s there.”


    Although the vision for retirement communities is similar in scale to The Villages, Brady said they would not be as densely developed. St. Joe also has the advantage of planning using one land mass, unlike the developers of The Villages, who purchased land over time, he said.


    If the sector plan is approved in a timely manner, Brady said they could see the first house in the ground as soon as next year.

    “We feel like we can be as successful, if not more, than the large projects that are already there because of all the natural features that we can give,” Brady said. “We want to emphasize the environmental aspects of what we’re doing in these communities.”


    St. Joe Senior Vice President Jorge Gonzalez said although the retirement community concept is a major focal point this time around, St. Joe will stay focused on economic development efforts surrounding the airport.


    “The active adult component we’re planning — it’s in addition to; it’s not in replacement of economic development around the airport,” Gonzalez said. “Our commitment to economic development around the airport has not changed.”


    Within the current sector plan, St. Joe also has completed VentureCrossings, a business center near the airport. The center’s first tenant, ITT Exelis, occupies a roughly 100,000-square-foot building with additional “pad ready” space to occupy future tenants.





    Amending the plan


    Fresh off a $565 million, 380,000-acre rural land sale and sale of its Jacksonville development, RiverTown, Brady said St. Joe is ready to reinvest in Northwest Florida. More specifically, the spotlight is on Bay County, he said, where the majority of St. Joe’s landholdings will be once both land sales close.

    Gonzalez said incorporating St. Joe’s land to the west into the West Bay Sector Plan is something that just makes sense for the company.


    “We own these other 50,000 acres to the immediate west and those 50,000 acres don’t have a vision,” Gonzalez said. “We figured it makes a lot of sense for us to create a vision for that land.”


    The amended master plan will need to be approved by the state and Bay and Walton counties, and St. Joe intends to have an application ready to submit next month.


    If the new plan is approved, St. Joe will be required to submit smaller, detail-specific area plans, or DSAPs, before beginning any development.


    “This step that we’re going through right now to expand the sector plan is very conceptual and very general,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a framework for 50 years plus, which is a long time.”


    This time around, St. Joe also will be planning under a new set of rules due to a 2011 amendment to Florida’s sector planning statute.


    Under the old law, a sector plan served as an overlay and did not change land use. Now, land use changes when a sector plan is adopted.

    Gonzalez said the change will help secure about 40,000 acres of conservation land around West Bay.


    “There’s a significant portion of the West Bay preservation area that probably doesn’t have the protection that a lot of individuals in the community would like,” he said. “One of the things we’ve committed to do, if we go through our process and get our approvals for the 50,000 acres that we’re adding to the West Bay Sector Plan, is we would also be committing to converting the West Bay preservation area overlay to an actual land use.”


    Upcoming open houses

    Tuesday- Breakfast Point Academy Cafeteria, 4-6 p.m.

    Wednesday- South Walton Coastal Branch Library, 4-6 p.m.


    stjoemap.jpg
     
  5. steel1man

    steel1man Beach Fanatic

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    Be interesting to see how Walton county figures into this. At least st joe is smart enough to cut their losses on the airport development and spring forward. Maybe this will save both.
     
  6. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) (the "Company") announced today that the Bay-Walton County Sector Plan (the "Sector Plan") has been officially adopted by Bay County and Walton County. In addition, the Sector Plan has been found in compliance with state law and is therefore in effect. The Sector Plan is a master plan that includes entitlements, or legal rights, to develop over 170,000 residential units and over 22 million square feet of retail, commercial, and industrial uses on 110,500 acres of the Company's land holdings. A significant amount of these entitlements are planned to service the active adult retirement market and additionally, the Company anticipates a wide range of other residential and commercial uses. While these entitlements are broadly defined, what will actually be developed will be a function of more detailed planning, analysis, and market conditions, which will occur over time. Additional information on the Sector Plan will be discussed at today's annual meeting of shareholders which the Company will webcast on its website at www.joe.com.
     
  7. iqueequeg

    iqueequeg Beach Lover

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    There doesn't seem to be that much discussion of this here on this board...am I missing something? It seems like this has the potential to literally double the population of Walton and Bay counties. I'm not a real estate guy so I'm happy to be corrected, but it seems like a pretty big deal.
     
  8. seal

    seal Beach Lover

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    It IS a massive deal. I believe if there a company to develop the area with respect for the environment while still providing truly livable space, it's St. Joe. If you look at some of the current local St. Joe developments they preserve the land better than most others.
     
  9. second wind

    second wind Beach Lover

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    Well, it is on several folks radar however we all know JOE has lots of $$$ and influence with our county planning commission. I find most elderly do not visit the beach as often which is a plus. It's the owners at Watersound and WaterColor who need a heads up because their beach clubs are past capacity already and more is a comin'!!!!!!
     
  10. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Given how some of St. Joe's projects have sputtered in recent years, I think there's a certain wait and see attitude on this one as well.
     

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