2017 News and Announcements

2017 St. Johns County
Economic Development Department
Activity Update

With Economic Development as the #1 priority of the Board of County Commissioners, the County’s Economic Development Department works cooperatively with local, state and federal resource agencies to assist businesses interested in locating and expanding into the County. This update is intended to provide a quick glance to highlight specific department activities performed to encourage these outcomes. 2017 Economic Development Activity Report

Artificial Lagoon in St. Johns Community Will Be the Largest Man-Made Water Feature in U.S.

Financial News & Daily Record, December 29, 2017. The developer of the Beachwalk community in St. Johns County has begun filling the 14-acre Crystal Lagoon centerpiece of the multiuse development. Largest Man-made Water Feature

St. Johns County Had State's Lowest Unemployment Rate in November

St. Augustine Record, December 22, 2017. Although the rate actually increased a bit, St. Johns County stood alone with the lowest unemployment rate in the state in November at 3 percent. Lowest Unemployment Rate

Real Estate Professionals See No Signs of Bubble During Current Period of Growth

St. Augustine Record, December 15, 2017. Heard this one before? Housing prices are going up and up while construction cranks up to record levels. That's the current situation in St. Johns County and also the way it was 12 to 13 years ago right before the housing market completely fell away. No Signs of Bubble

Census Shows St. Johns County Better off Than Most

St. Augustine Record, December 9, 2017. Recently released information from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that it's getting harder to keep up with the basic costs of living. And St. Johns County residents are probably handling the challenges better than many in other places. SJC Better Off Than Most

Trade Training Offers Quicker Path to In-Demand Jobs, with Less Debt

St. Augustine Record, December 3, 2017. In a county with a booming population and almost no unemployment, those looking for a solid career don't necessarily have to cart themselves off to a university for four years. Instead, a year or two of training can often secure a good job right in St. Johns County. Trade Training Offers Quicker Path

USF Study: North Florida Residents Like Where They Live More Than Other Florida Residents

St. Augustine Record, December 1, 2017. Would you recommend your neighborhood — or at least your community — to newcomers? A study from the University of South Florida says most of us in North Florida probably would. North FL Residents Like Where They Live

Home Sales Remain Steady as Prices Rise in Northeast Florida

St. Augustine Record, November 15, 2017. Sales activity and average sales price showed large increases in October, according to data released Tuesday by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors. Home Sales Remain Steady

ICSC Florida Conference & Deal Making

St. Johns County, November 8, 2017. The St. Johns County Economic Development Office attended & exhibited at the (ICSC) International Council of Shopping Centers Conference at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL on August 27-29, 2017. ICSC Florida Conference

Murr Hopes to Add to Lincolnville Business Scene with Dog Rose Brewing

St. Augustine Record, November 7, 2017. Well before the microbrewery component of A1A Ale Works was phased out, brewmaster Doug Murr had an idea that he wanted to start a mini brewing empire of his own some day. Dog Rose Brewing

A Major Player? St. Johns County Wants to Be in the Conversation When Companies Look to Move, Expand

St. Augustine Record, October 29, 2017. When major corporations look for places to relocate or expand, communities usually line up for the chance to demonstrate their worthiness as suitors. Major Player

St. Johns County Recorded Lowest Unemployment Rate in State for September

St. Augustine Record, October 20, 2017. St. Johns County's unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than a decade in September and recorded the lowest rate in the state at 2.7 percent. Unemployment Rate Fell

Town Square Office Park to Expand Business Offerings at Nocatee

Ponte Vedra Recorder, October 19, 2017. Construction is now underway on Town Square Office Park at the Nocatee Town Center, according to Nocatee representatives. Town Square Office Park

Wawa Entering St. Johns County

Financial News & Daily Record, October 19, 2017. Wawa Inc., with 14 identified sites in Duval and Clay counties, filed plans for a gas station and convenience store in St. Johns County. Wawa Gas Station

New Shopping Center in Works at Northwest Race Track Road and Bartram Park Boulevard

Financial News & Daily Record, October 18, 2017. Northern St. Johns and Southern Duval counties are in store for a 38-acre commercial development at northwest Race Track Road and Bartram Park Boulevard. Bartram Market

Construction Plan Next for Planned Buc-ee’s Gas Station in St. Johns

Financial News & Daily Record, October 16, 2017. Texas-based Buc-ee's next stop on its road to opening a St. Johns County gas station with 120 fueling stations is to return with a commercial construction plan. Buc-ee's Gas Station

Splashy Development Plans to ‘Raise the Bar’ Along CR 210 Corridor

St. Augustine Record, October 12, 2017. Beachwalk might be the most audacious new development in St. Johns County. Developer John Kinsey makes no apologies for that. Raise the Bar Along CR 210

St. Johns County Oks PGA's Planned Changes

The Beaches Leader/Ponte Vedra Leader, October 10, 2017. With the recent approval from St. Johns County for a $2.8 million incentive package, the PGA Tour will move forward with plans to bring a consolidated headquarters to the county in 2020. SJC OKs PGA's Planned Changes

County Commission Votes to Support PGA Tour's Plans for New Headquarters in Ponte Vedra

Ponte Vedra Recorder, October 6, 2017. The PGA Tour has called Ponte Vedra Beach its home for 35 years, and it doesn't look like that will be changing any time soon. BCC Votes to Support PGA Tour HQ

Keeping PGA Tour HQ in County Vital to County's Economic Growth, Leaders Say

St. Augustine Record, October 4, 2017. The PGA Tour is now committed to continue its long-term relationship with St. Johns County, and economic leaders say they can barely imagine the county without its largest corporate headquarters. Keeping PGA Tour HQ in County

St. Johns County Passes Incentive Package for New PGA Tour Headquarters

Jacksonville.com, October 3, 2017. The St. Johns County commission voted unanimously to approve a $2.8 million incentive package for the Tour to build a 210,000 square foot headquarters building on property it owns on Palm Valley Road. SJC Passes Incentive Package

St. Johns County, Florida: Bullish on Local Manufacturers

2017 USA Trade Guide, October 2017. Home to an eclectic blend of small businesses and major employers, St. Johns County manufacturers produce a diverse range of products ranging from military aircraft and aluminum fencing to acoustic wood panels and power supply systems. Made in St. Johns County

King St. / Holmes Boulevard Improvement Ribbon Cutting

St. Johns County Press Release, August 11, 2017. St. Johns County, the West Augustine Community Redevelopment District, and the City of St. Augustine, commemorated the completion of the improvement project on July 28. The $4.3 million project includes additional turn lanes, sidewalks, and widened lanes. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

FCTC Helps Jumpstart Students' Careers Through Partnerships with Local Companies

St. Augustine Record, August 8, 2017. Frank Harrington says the automotive technicians he's hired from First Coast Technical College are some of the best workers he's ever had at Fields Cadillac of St. Augustine. FCTC Helps Jumpstart Students' Careers

Northern St. Johns County: A Favorable Locale to Establish a Business

St. Johns Business Monthly, July 26, 2017. Nine years ago, I decided it was time to launch a new business and though I had done this before, the decision never gets any easier. Once I was ready to move forward, my next challenge was selecting the best location. Northern St. Johns County

St. Augustine Amphitheatre Tops Amphitheater Ranking

Jacksonville Business Journal, July 25, 2017. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre sold more tickets than any amphitheater in Florida in the first half of the year, earning it the No. 11 spot in Pollstar's Mid Year Ticket Sales Top 50 Report.  St. Augustine Amphitheatre Tops Amphitheater Ranking

Q&A with St. Johns County Economic Development Chief

Jacksonville Business Journal, July 25, 2017. St. Johns County Director of Economic Development Melissa Glasgow has the job of attracting businesses to one of the fastest growing counties in Florida. And it's a job that is becoming more demanding. Q&A with Economic Development Chief

Homes Prices in St. Johns County Rising as Building Accelerates

St. Augustine Record, July 23, 2017. The price of a home in St. Johns County is growing at a rate that threatens to eliminate a large swath of potential buyers, yet the permitting of new homes continued at a record pace last month. Homes Prices in St. Johns County Rising

Florida Unemployment Rate Lowest in a Decade; St. Johns County's Rate Second-lowest in State

St. Augustine Record, July 21, 2017. As the state's unemployment rate dipped to its lowest level in a decade last month, St. Johns County remained one of the best counties for employment. SJC Second Lowest Unemployment Rate

New Owner Cites Tremendous Potential of Shops at World Golf Village

St. Augustine Record, July 16, 2017. Whether it was timing, strategy, location or something else, the Shops at World Golf Village is a venture that just hasn't lived up its billing. Shops at World Golf Village

St. Johns Schools Again Earn an "A" in State Grades

St. Augustine Record, June 30, 2017. The St. Johns County School District is once again at the head of the class with its 12th consecutive year earning an overall rating of "A" by the Florida Department of Education. SJC Schools Earn "A" in State

Find Out What's Going On at the St. Augustine Aquarium

Social St. Augustine, June 15, 2017. Gather the whole family to come face to face with many of the Sunshine State's aquatic residents at the St. Augustine Aquarium. Located on State Road 16, the aquarium sits on five acres and boasts an 80,000 gallon Florida reef habitat. Guests can get geared up and jump in to snorkel with over 300 reef fish. St. Augustine Aquarium

PGA Tour Files Applications to Modify Development Plan

Ponte Vedra Recorder, June 8, 2017. The PGA Tour filed applications with St. Johns County last week to modify the development plan for its property in Ponte Vedra Beach as part of a plan to explore consolidating its land for a new headquarters. PGA Tour Files Applications

Longtime Favorite Restaurateurs to Open Fresh Produce Market

Jacksonville Business Journal, June 7, 2017. When the Stewart's Market building on Anastasia Boulevard went up for lease last month, Jeff and Genie McNally knew they needed to move quickly. Living in the Davis Shores neighbor, the McNallys — who also own The Floridian restaurant in downtown St. Augustine — saw a need for a local market: Any time they needed a few items at the store, it would mean driving to a grocery store at least 15 minutes away. Fresh Produce Market

St. Johns County, Florida: Bullish on Business

Business View Magazine, June/July 2017. Taking its name from the St. Johns River that flows along its western border, St. Johns County was established in 1821 - one of the two original counties of Florida, created after the area was ceded to the United States from Spain. Its main city, St. Augustine, is the oldest permanent European settlement in the country. St. Johns County

PGA Tour Looking to Consolidate Headquarters, Alter Development of Ponte Vedra Property

St. Augustine Record, May 30, 2017. The PGA Tour announced Tuesday that it was applying to "modify the development plan" of its property in Ponte Vedra Beach. The change could include moving the headquarters. PGA Tour Looking to Consolidate

Constructing First Coast's Youth Sports Future

Jacksonville Business Journal, May 30, 2017. Two years ago, Lisa Davis sat around the dinner table with her family and faced a dilemma experienced by many North Florida sports families: She needed to get her kids to multiple after-school sporting activities, at venues scattered across the largest city in land area in the country. First Coast's Youth Sports Future

Unemployment Rate for St. Johns County Lowest in Almost a Decade

St. Augustine Record, May 20, 2017. The non-seasonally adjusted rates for individual counties were released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and the unemployment rate for St. Johns County reached its lowest level in April since 2007, falling to 3 percent. Unemployment Rate Lowest in Decade

Ace Hardware Will Anchor New Shopping Center on US 1 in Ponte Vedra Beach Area

St. Augustine Record, May 9, 2017. A new commercial development anchored by an Ace Hardware store off U.S. 1 in northern St. Johns County is under construction. Ace Hardware Will Anchor New Shopping Center

Commissioners Approve Moving Forward with $3M Incentive Program for 'Project Boilermaker' to Relocate HQ to St. Johns County

Ponte Vedra Recorder, April 27, 2017. The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously last week to support the advancement of a $3 million economic incentives program for an unnamed company that is considering relocating its U.S. corporate headquarters to St. Johns County. Project Boilermaker

Numbers Suggest St. Johns County is in the Midst of Another Building Boom

St. Augustine Record, April 22, 2017. For those wondering when the next building boom in residential housing is going to happen in St. Johns County, this is probably the time to open your eyes. St. Johns County Building Boom

Unemployment Lowest in County Since May 2016

St. Augustine Record, April 22, 2017. The unemployment rate for St. Johns County fell to its lowest level since May 2016 last month and remained the second-lowest in the state. The March unemployment numbers were released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Unemployment Lowest Since May 2016

Frontier Service to Philadelphia Resumes Friday

St. Augustine Record, April 21, 2017. Frontier Airlines resumed its seasonal service between St. Augustine's Northeast Florida Regional Airport and Philadelphia International Airport on Friday. The airline announced in December that the service would restart for the vacation season. Frontier Resumes Service to Philly

St. Vincent's Health Center Planned for CR 210 Area in St. Johns County

St. Augustine Record, April 6, 2017. St. Vincent's HealthCare recently broke ground on a new health center in St. Johns County at County Road 210. The center is one of two added or being added in North Florida. St. Vincent's HealthCare Planned for CR 210 Area

Advanced Disposal CEO Pleased with Move

St. Augustine Record, April 2, 2017. The last few years have brought a lot of changes for national environmental services company Advanced Disposal. First, the company moved its corporate headquarters to Ponte Vedra Beach — first announced in late 2012 — despite much courting by communities near Atlanta, Milwaukee and Charlotte. CEO Pleased with Move

St. Johns County Rated Healthiest in Florida

St. Augustine Record, March 30, 2017. Already a place of rapid growth, St. Johns County added yet another reason for its appeal with the recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In the foundation's 2017 County Health Rankings, St. Johns County was listed as the healthiest county in Florida — based on a variety of factors. Healthiest County in FL

St. Johns County Sees Unemployment Rate Fall to 3.6 Percent

St. Augustine Record, March 25, 2017. St. Johns County remained one of the best places in Florida to find a job last month, according to information released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. With an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in February, the county had the second-lowest rate in the state, behind only Monroe County at 3.1 percent. Individual county rates are not seasonally adjusted. Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.6%

New Census Data Show that St. Johns County Grew at Rate of 3.7 Percent

St. Augustine Record, March 23, 2017. With signs of St. Johns County's growth nearly everywhere, a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau has provided some hard numbers. The new information released Thursday showed that between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, the county gained a net of 8,429 residents for a total population of 235,000. That rate of 3.7-percent growth left the county just outside of the fastest-growing counties (percentage wise) in the country. County 3.7% Growth Rate

14-acre "Crystal Lagoon" Set to Break Ground in St. Johns County in March

Jacksonville Business Journal, March 9, 2017. A 14-acre man-made lagoon will break ground in Northern St. Johns County on March 23, according to the developer of Crystal Lagoons US Corp. The Crystal Lagoon will be located in the Twin Creeks development off County Road 210. There's been about $35 million of road construction around the Twin Creeks development as the area prepares for the Durbin Park development, which will be one the largest commercial project in St. Johns County when complete. Crystal Lagoon Groundbreaking

Durbin Park Work Underway to Bring Largest Shopping Area to St. Johns County

St. Augustine Record, February 24, 2017. Work is now well underway on a massive mix-used development that will include what is expected to become the largest shopping area in Northeast Florida, on property Gate Petroleum owns in St. Johns County. Called Durbin Park, Gatlin Development Company recently posted an aerial video (inside this story) showing the progress. Durbin Park Work Underway

Wal-Mart, Home Depot in First Phase of Pavilion at Durbin Park; Bass Pro Shops in Second Phase

Financial News & Daily Record, February 2, 2017. One of the area's largest and most anticipated retail developments is about to take off in northern St. Johns County. Gate Petroleum Co. and Gatlin Development Co., both based in Jacksonville, are launching the 80-acre Pavilion at Durbin Park within the much larger Durbin Park project. Durbin Park First Phase

7 Retailers Opening this Fall at Nocatee Town Center

Jacksonville Business Journal, January 27, 2017. Residents of Nocatee will have more options to shop and dine as soon as this Summer as seven retailers have signed leases at the Nocatee Town Center. Four of the retailers will go into a shopping center being developed by Regency Centers that is just southeast of the Publix Supermarket in Nocatee. 7 Retailers Opening this Fall

Nocatee Town Center Adds Full-Service Restaurant

Jacksonville Business Journal, January 24, 2017. Another company will open in the Nocatee Town Center at the end of 2017. South Kitchen + Spirits opened less than four months ago in Avondale at 3638 Park St., but is already expanding the concept into the fast-growing retail center at the Nocatee Town Center. Full-Service Restaurant

NEFAR: Northeast Florida has Best Sales Year in Decade

Jacksonville Business Journal, January 11, 2017. The number of homes sold in Northeast Florida in 2016 came in at 27,873, which is more than the area has seen in over a decade, according to the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.The number of homes sold in 2006 was 26,861. NE FL Best Sales Year

Nocatee Stays Third-fastest Growing Master-planned Community in US

St. Augustine Record, January 10, 2017. Despite a bit of a slowdown in sales in 2016, St. Johns County development Nocatee was still ranked as the third-fastest growing master-planned community in the country for the year. Nocatee Third-fastest Growing

St. Johns County Seeing Expanding Labor Force, More Jobs

St. Augustine Record, January 21, 2017. St. Johns County closed 2016 with a lot more people enjoying the fruits of employment. In a trend that has seen the county's population grow, information released Friday from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity showed there were about 3,300 more employed residents at the end of 2016 compared to the previous year. Expanding Labor Force


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