2015 News and Announcements

St. Johns County Snapshot

St. Johns County Snapshot: Facts and Advantages

Where the Money Lives – Education, Lifestyle the Lure in St. Johns

Jacksonville Business Journal, November 20, 2015. The First Coast has plenty of pockets of affluence – but if you're looking for a concentration of wealth, St. Johns County sets the bar. The most affluent area, of course, is Ponte Vedra Beach, with the 32082 ZIP code standing head and shoulders above the rest of the area. Where the Money Lives

ViaAir Extends Flight Service to/from St. Augustine, FL into 2016

ViaAir Press Release, November 10, 2015. ViaAir announces it will be extending its flight service to/from Northeast Florida Regional Airport into 2016. After a successful year of direct flights to/from Raleigh County Memorial Airport and nonstop flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, ViaAir will continue scheduled service into 2016. Twice weekly departures will continue to be on Thursdays and Sundays. Flights are currently available for sale through the end of April 2016. ViaAir Extends Flight Service

AT&T Launching Previously Announced Ultra-High-Speed Internet Service in Jacksonville

Jacksonville Business Journal, November 2, 2015. Fulfilling a promise made just over a year ago, AT&T is launching its 1-gigabit Internet service in Jacksonville today. The first areas to get the service are a number of multifamily properties, the company said, including Cabana Club near the St. Johns Town Center, Plummer’s Creek in Yulee and SpyGlass in the Baymeadows area. AT&T Launches Ultra-High-Speed Internet

Office Space Breaks Ground in Nocatee

Ponte Vedra Recorder, October 22, 2015. International Management Company (ICM) broke ground on a new three-story office building in the Nocatee community this week. The building is the second of three planned office spaces in Nocatee. In attendance at the groundbreaking were St. Johns County Commissioners Rachael Bennett and James Johns, IMC Vice President, Raja Saoud, and representatives from Nocatee's master developer, The PARC Group. Office Space Breaks Ground in Nocatee.

St. Johns County Lands Spec Office Building in Nocatee for $8.5M

Daily Record, October 16, 2015. As Raja Saoud prepared for the ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday for his family company's $8.5 million speculative office building in Nocatee, he drew attention to the adjacent building site. That will be next. It likely will be built as soon as the new 62,751-square-foot structure is completed, expected in July, and leased. Spec Office Building in Nocatee

St. Johns County Unemployment Rate Falls, Second-lowest in State

St. Augustine Record, October 16, 2015. The St. Johns County unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in September, again ranking the county second-lowest in the state behind Monroe County at 3.6 percent.
St. Johns County saw its rate drop 0.2 of a percentage point from August and 0.8 of a percentage point from September 2014. The numbers were released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Both the overall labor force (109,503) and total number of people employed (105,298) rose in September compared to the previous month. Unemployment Rate Falls

Office Space Developer Follows Growth Into Northern St. Johns County

St. Augustine Record, October 15, 2015. Raja Saoud said there's nothing particularly brilliant—and he hopes nothing too risky, either—about putting up a speculative office building in Nocatee. Saoud is the vice president of International Management Company, which owns the land and the 62,000-square-foot building that's going up in the growing community in the northern part of St. Johns County. Office Space Developer Follows Growth

Commercial Boom Expected to Follow Residential Expansion in North Part of St. Johns County

St. Augustine Record, October 11, 2015. For those who only occasionally visit the northern part of St. Johns County, the area likely appears vastly different with every drive-by. New housing developments have constantly sprung up in the last two decades, and activity at the county planning and building department shows the growth is not abating. But with the recent announcement of IKEA's intention to put a new store in Jacksonville, it's clear that the one thing missing in northern St. Johns County's growth is the addition of the “big box” retail outlets. Commercial Boom Expected

St. Augustine Planning Board Approves Lagasse Racing Headquarters on San Marco

St. Augustine Record, October 7, 2015. St. Augustine racer Scott Lagasse Jr. is poised to have a serious presence in downtown St. Augustine. Plans for the renovation of a 1978 building at 283 San Marco Ave. that would be the headquarters for Scott Lagasse Racing were approved Tuesday at the meeting of the city Planning and Zoning Board. Board Approves Lagasse Racing HQ

Coastal Community Health Allies Baptist Health with
Hospitals in St. Augustine, Southeast Georgia

Florida Times-Union, October 6, 2015. About two years ago, Baptist Health, Southeast Georgia Health System and Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine announced they were exploring ways to collaborate. That collaboration has now been formalized as Coastal Community Health, a nonprofit corporation with a 12-member board made up of representatives of the three hospital systems. Coastal Community Health

Small Businesses Can Apply for Program to Help Them Grow in 2016

University of North Florida, September 22, 2015. Small business owners looking to scale up and grow in 2016 will soon have the opportunity to do just that. ScaleUp North Florida will accept applications for its 2016 program year from August 15 – October 31, 2015. This will be the second year of the program, which is designed to create local economic impact by helping small business owners create jobs, increase sales and access capital for business development. Scale Up North Florida

Unemployment Drops to 5.3 Percent in Florida

Sunshine State News, September 18, 2015. On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott announced the state unemployment dipped down to 5.3 percent for August as more than 20,000 private-sector jobs were added across the state. The current rate is the lowest Florida has seen since February 2008 when it stood at 5.2 percent. Unemployment Rate Drops

St. Augustine in Spotlight as Top Leaders Attend US-Spain Council

St. Augustine Record, September 18, 2015. More of a historic powerhouse than an economic or political one, St. Augustine has a good bit of the world's attention on all those fronts this week with a royal visit and as host of the U.S.-Spain Council. With St. Augustine celebrating its 450th year as a European-settled city, King Felipe VI of Spain made the city part of his first official visit as king to the United States. St. Augustine in Spotlight

State Road 9B Extension into St. Johns County Begins

News4Jax.com, September 18, 2015. Construction is now underway on the third and final phase of State Road 9B from Interstate 95 to St. Johns Parkway in St. Johns County. The final segment of SR 9B extends 2.3 miles from I-95 to County Road 2209 (St. Johns Parkway) and includes new intersections at Peyton Parkway (Race Track Road connector) and County Road 2209. 9B Extension Construction Begins

Progress at Shipyard Development Unveiled

St. Augustine Record, September 11, 2015. St. Augustine Shipyard project manager and partner Robert Million sometimes thinks of the thousands of cars that drive right by the development every day without realizing all the work that’s happening there. He knows it won’t be a secret much longer. Shipyard Unveiled

Gov. Scott Here to Celebrate Success of Carlisle Interconnect Technologies

St. Augustine Record, September 11, 2015. Gov. Rick Scott returned to the area for the second time in the past week and half, visiting Carlisle Interconnect Technologies at its facility near State Road 16. The purpose of the trip was to recognize the company for its strong job growth. It recently announced that its workforce has grown from about 400 in 2011 to about 600 currently. Governor Celebrates Carlisle Success

St. Johns County Numbers Boost Northeast Florida Single-Family Home Permits

Florida Times-Union, September 9, 2015. Last month was the busiest August for new single-family home permits in Northeast Florida since 2007. But that was driven by St. Johns County. In Duval County, only 142 permits were issued, according to the Northeast Florida Builders Association. SJC Numbers Boost NE FL

St. Augustine Company Shakes up the Digital Dining Experience

Jacksonville Business Journal, September 1, 2015. A year ago, St. Augustine startup Menuat had just begun looking beyond the boundaries of the Sunshine State for more businesses to sign on to its digital menu board service. Now, Menuat, an alumnus of Jacksonville’s One Spark and the former Kyn business accelerator program, is scaling new heights, geographically and otherwise. Menaut Shakes up Digital Dining

Advanced Disposal Receives Job Creation Award

St. Augustine Record, August 29, 2015. Advanced Disposal CEO Richard Burke was presented with the Job Creator Award by Gov. Rick Scott recently as part of Enterprise Florida’s board meeting. The company was recognized for its continued success and growing its Florida employee base to 855, including 128 corporate employees. Advanced Disposal Award

SR 9B Extension Expected to be Lift for County Businesses, Residents

St. Augustine Record, August 22, 2015. A new road that will be just 1.5 miles long has the potential to change the lives of a lot of people who regularly travel between northwest St. Johns County and Duval County.
The road project, an extension of State Road 9B, is about to see work begin, and for many it can’t happen soon enough. SR 9B Extension

St. Augustine's The Floridian Hopes to Broaden Horizons With New Location

Jacksonville Business Journal, August 21, 2015. When Jeff and Genie McNally were offered an opportunity to take over a larger spot in St. Augustine, it was an instant gamechanger. The Floridian co-owners and husband-and-wife duo faced an ultimatum: either continue their lease at the existing location, which would have required them to close for extensive renovations, or set up shop in a new location — a place they could grow with and own. The Floridian's New Location

How NTE Energy is Making a Power Play

Jacksonville Business Journal, August 21, 2015. NTE Energy has flown under the radar in this area since Seth Shortlidge founded it in St. Augustine in April 2009, but it recently took a first step toward locking in decades of explosive growth. NTE has spent the past couple of years developing three natural gas-fired electric power plants that it will build, own and operate. NTE Energy Making a Power Play

Major Building Materials Wholesaler Returns to Northeast Florida

Jacksonville Business Journal, August 17, 2015. After more than a four year absence from the Northeast Florida market, major building material wholesaler 84 Lumber Co. is returning to St. Augustine.
The store located at 3670 Deerpark Boulevard in Elkton will serve professional residential and commercial contractors, as well as DIY home renovators in the region. 84 Lumber Returns

FCTC Launches Clean Diesel Program as Demand Grows For Automotive, Alternative Fuels Education

St. Augustine Record, August 17, 2015. Automotive students at First Coast Technical College are staying ahead of the curve and changes anticipated in the industry. In short, these aren't your grandfather's mechanics. FCTC Launches Clean Diesel Program

New Publix on its way to St. Augustine

Jacksonville Business Journal, August 13, 2015. Skinner Bros Realty Co. will be building a 54,000-square-foot Publix in the Moultrie Square Shopping Center in St. Augustine as part of a "large-scale enhancement project" of the center. A 48,500-square-foot store is at the site now; that will be demolished (although the pharmacy will stay open throughout the project). New Publix on its Way

Ideal's move to St. Augustine Just One More Step Toward Vitality

St. Augustine Record, July 19, 2015. Now firmly planted in its renovated home off Inman Road near the Interstate 95-State Road 16 interchange, Ideal is growing at a rate of about 35 percent per year with expectations of continued growth of at least 20 percent annually. Ideal's move to St. Augustine

K9s for Warriors Opens Expansive New Nocatee Home Ready to Help Veterans for Free

Florida Times-Union, July 8, 2015. Just a week ago, K9s for Warriors operated out of a four-bedroom house in Ponte Vedra Beach. Sunday, it opened the doors of a new 17,000-square-foot facility six miles away, complete with five fenced-in dog parks, 27 climate-controlled kennels and a bone-shaped pool with a fire hydrant fountain. K9s for Warriors

West Augustine Overlay District Approved

St. Augustine Record, June 16, 2015. St. Johns County Commissioners on Tuesday voted in favor of the West Augustine Overlay District, moving forward with a measure that is intended to draw economic development. Tuesday was the final adoption hearing for the land development code changes, which create “a limited commercial overlay district” that includes parts of West King Street and North Volusia Street, according to backup materials. West Augustine Overlay District Approved

St. Augustine Ranks No. 4 in List of Top 100 Best Small Towns

St. Augustine Record, June 1, 2015. St. Augustine has been getting a lot of attention lately for its beaches, celebrations, churches and more. Now the city's progressive business climate, history and art community have allowed it to trump Livability's inaugural list of top 100 Best Small Towns. Out of the 100 named towns, St. Augustine was listed at No. 4 Monday on livability.com. No. 4 in Top 100 Best Small Towns

West Augustine Family Dollar Could Open by December

St. Augustine Record, May 29, 2015. A Family Dollar in West Augustine could open by the end of the year. In December, the St. Johns County Commission approved a rezoning application for a Family Dollar on West King Street, east of North Volusia Street. The store could open in December, said Stephen Pistorius, real estate manager for Family Dollar developer Twin Rivers Capital. Family Dollar Could Open by December

How Jacksonville Made Florida the Second Best State for Business

Jacksonville Business Journal, May 29, 2015. Florida has been ranked the second best state for business by Chief Executive Magazine. High-profile deals like the one that's bringing General Electric to Jacksonville are helping build Florida's reputation as a go-to place for business development. Florida Second Best State for Business

St. Johns County had Second-Lowest Unemployment Rate in Florida During April

St. Augustine Record, May 22, 2015. St. Johns County had the second-lowest unemployment rate in the state last month, according to information released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. For April, St. Johns County had a rate of just 3.7 percent, trailing only Monroe County, which had a rate of 3.6 percent. The St. Johns County's rate declined 0.4 of a percentage point from March and was down 0.7 of a percentage point from a year ago. Second-Lowest Unemployment Rate in Florida During April

Northrop Grumman Shows Off New Building to Employees

St. Augustine Record, May 11, 2015. Although they've been watching it grow quickly over the last few months, most Northrop Grumman employees have only been able to stare and wonder what the enormous new building was like inside. That changed Monday when St. Johns County's premier private employer opened Building 100 to many of the hundreds of people who will eventually work there. The company's expansion of its St. Augustine campus includes the addition of the nearly 400,000-square-foot structure near the Northeast Florida Regional Airport. Northrop Grumman Shows Off New Building to Employees

St. Augustine Outlets Adding Old Navy, Renovating Interior

St. Augustine Record, April 21, 2015. A release from Lightstone has announced the addition of two new anchor stores at St. Augustine Outlets and a multi-million dollar interior renovation. Leases have been signed with two new major retailers, the news release said. Old Navy was named as one of the new anchors, and the other is simply called a "major fashion forward retailer." St. Augustine Outlets Adding Old Navy

St. Johns County Named Healthiest County in Florida for Fourth Consecutive Year

Health Department Press Release, March 25, 2015. For the fourth year in a row, St. Johns County has been ranked #1 in Florida in Health Outcomes (measures of today's health) and #1 in Health Factors (measures of tomorrow's health). The study highlights the many community factors that influence health such as the physical environment, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care. Healthiest County.

H & M to Open in St. Augustine Outlets; Torrid and Swarovski Also Coming to St. Augustine Premium Outlets

St. Augustine Record, March 11, 2015. St. Augustine's two outlet malls off State Road 16 will soon offer some new choices. H&M, Hennes & Mauritz AB, one of the world's largest fashion retailers, announced that a new store will be added to the St. Augustine Outlets in the fall. ....Just down the road, Torrid and Swarovski will open at St. Augustine Premium Outlets. New Choices at the Outlet Malls

Second Phase of Sawgrass Village to Include Peterbrooke Chocolatier, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Jacksonville Business Journal, March 11, 2015. Demolition recently began on several office buildings and lakefront shops for the second phase of the Sawgrass Village commercial redevelopment in Ponte Vedra Beach. The demolition will make way for new restaurant and retail buildings, including Aqua Grill, Peterbrooke Chocolatier and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty. Sawgrass Village

See Inside Metro Diner's New St. Augustine Location — Already a Hit with the Ancient City Crowd

Jacksonville Business Journal, March 5, 2015. To say Metro Diner's first location outside Jacksonville is a hit is an understatement. The popular eatery — known for its signature fried chicken and waffles — opened its St. Augustine store Monday and the 3,500-square-foot space has been packed ever since, workers said Wednesday. Metro Diner Already a Hit

Optimum Spring Solutions

SBDC at UNF, 2015 1st Quarter Report. When Optimum Spring Solutions was established in 2007, owners Andrea de Palma and Marco Fortini had years of experience in the business because of their involve-ment with de Palma's family who had been manufacturing springs in Argentina since 1970. The company, located in Ponte Vedra, FL manufactures compression, extension, torsion springs, and spring conduits composed of specialty alloy wire suitable for operating under high temperatures and in corrosive environments. Optimum Spring Solutions.

Northrop Grumman Takes its Next Giant Leap in Florida

Enterprise Florida Cover Wrap for The Economist, February, 2015. State-of-the-art aircraft and unmanned systems are the lunar modules of today. In the past year, Northrop Grumman has expanded its Aerospace Systems sector—and its Florida presence—with the decision to build two of five nationally-designated Centers of Excellence within the state. Northrop Grumman Takes its Next Giant Leap in Florida

Upscale Residential Communities List: Greatest Growth from 2010

Jacksonville Business Journal, February 19, 2015. Based on Northeast Florida's Association of Realtors (NEFAR)'s 2014 Annual Report, St. Johns County Southwest had the greatest percent change in median homes price from 2010 to 2014 at 80.79 percent. St. Johns County (St. Augustine Area, East of U.S. 1) came in second with a 50.6 percent increase in median homes price from 2010 to 2014. Greatest Growth from 2010

St. Johns Closer to Landing Bass Pro Shops

Financial News & Daily Record, February 5, 2015. Bass Pro Shops, the only announced anchor for a proposed northern St. Johns County development along Interstate 95, should find it easier to reel in the site. On Tuesday, the St. Johns County Commission approved the Durbin Urban Services Area, which encompasses 1,624 acres east and west of I-95, south of Race Track Road. Bass Pro Shops.

More Than 1,600 Acres in St. Johns County Designated for Future Development

St. Augustine Record, February 3, 2015. St. Johns County voted in favor of several changes for 1,624 acres in the northwest, which officials see as a key opportunity for commercial development. County commissioners voted unanimously in favor of four Durbin Creek National LLC items related to the land south of Race Track Road, which stretches east and west of Interstate 95. 1600+ Acres Designated for Future Development.

County Unemployment Numbers for St. Johns County Released

St. Augustine Record, January 23, 2015. Florida's unemployment rate continued to fall in December, and the rate in St. Johns County followed the trend as well. In a report released Friday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor, Florida's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported as 5.6 percent for December, a decline of 0.2 of a percentage point from the previous month. County Unemployment Numbers.

ViaAir Says it Will Continue its Service Between St. Augustine and Charlotte Through 2015

St. Augustine Record, January 23, 2015. Following a successful run of "seasonal" service, ViaAir announced Friday that it will continue offering commercial airline service between Charlotte, N.C., and St. Augustine. The airline sent out a release detailing its commitment to flying to/from the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine. ViaAir Will Continue Service.

Famous Toastery Restaurants Will Soon Pop Up In North Florida

St. Augustine Record, January 16, 2015. There's going to be a new choice for breakfast in St. Augustine, but diners will need something to hold them over for a while until it gets here. The Famous Toastery restaurant chain, which serves only breakfast and lunch, is in the process of opening a handful of stores in North Florida, and St. Augustine is on the list. Famous Toastery Restaurant.


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