New Development at the Coast

Florida's forgotten coast is beginning to transform from hidden beaches to waterfront property. Development is underway in Franklin County with the summer camp project leading the pack. This may be a sign of the times.

Imagine owning a home where the front yard is a white sand beach, the backyard is a wooded canopy of trees, where the best of old Florida still remains. These are just some of the selling points the St. Joe Company is banking on.

“It's about story telling, tree houses, and beach walks. It's the return to the days of yesteryear in a beachfront setting,” says Tim Edmond, President of Capital Region Arvida.

Those beachfront settings are already hot sellers at the brand new summer camp sale center in Tallahassee. The 500-home development planned for St. James Island is just the beginning of a visioning process for 50,000 acres in Franklin County.

“We're still in the process of developing a vision- it's not going to change land use but it will give the community the opportunity to see what it will look like 100-years from now,” says Billy Buzzett.

As St. Joe moves forward, complaints roll in, many surrounding the environment and an old fashioned way of life where folks could fish peacefully along the waterfront.

“That's the way our grandfathers had it and that's the way we want to keep it, but management is the main thing we've got to have,” says John Towles, a concerned citizen.

“Again, it's very low density, it's about protection and conservation, so we think we'll make a mighty good neighbor,” adds Tim Edmond.

St. Joe says it plans to conduct more public meetings concerning future developments. As for summer camp, 4,000 people have already shown interest in the 47 lots now open.