Economic Development

Overview

Economic Development is a top priority of our Board of County Commissioners.

St. Johns County, in Northeast Florida, is a highly desirable, amenity-rich location of choice for starting, relocating or expanding your business. Bordered by the scenic Atlantic Ocean and St. Johns River, St. Johns County embraces its historic heritage and uniquely diverse communities such as the City of St. Augustine — the Nation’s Oldest City; St. Augustine Beach, Ponte Vedra, and Hastings — the Potato Capital of Florida; which have attracted visitors for centuries. Capitalizing on its global appeal, St. Johns County is poised for economic growth through its strategic location, favorable climate, local economic development incentives, and outstanding community services.

Why Choose St. Johns County?

St. Johns County offers businesses and residents alike:

  • Top-ranked Florida Public School System
  • Lowest Overall Tax Structure in Northeast Florida
  • Florida’s Healthiest County
  • Comprehensive Transportation Network
  • Highly Educated Workforce
  • Growing Population
  • Expanding Regional Airport
  • Beautiful Natural Amenities
  • Partnership with the Business Community
  • Unwavering Commitment to Economic Development

Our Business-Friendly Environment

Economic development is a top priority of our Board of County Commissioners. The Board shares a unified commitment to attract new business development, to expand and diversify the tax base, and to create jobs for our local residents.

St. Johns County Economic Development Office is the designated primary partner with Florida Commerce’s Select Florida, the state’s economic development organization. Our office provides assistance to businesses interested in locating and expanding into the County including site selection, incentive negotiation, and other due-diligence requests. We are here to help with any questions that you might have about starting, relocating or expanding your business.

Coordinated efforts through the County, the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), and other resource partners bring a team approach to positioning St. Johns County as a highly desirable location of choice for business expansion and relocation.

Upcoming Events

June 3, July 19, August 1 & August 8, 2024:
Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Small Business Workshops

As of January 1, 2024, many companies in the United States are now required to submit a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report, which provides information about a company’s owners or those who control the company. This report is submitted to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To help with this new requirement, the Small Business Development Center of the University of North Florida (SBDC) has partnered with the St. Johns County Public Library to offer free workshops for small businesses.

The workshops will begin with a presentation about the new requirement. After the presentation, SBDC representatives will help business owners file the report. Computers and laptops will be available if needed. Filing is simple, secure and free of charge. RSVP for the workshops is requested.  

Here is a schedule of the upcoming workshops.

Monday, June 3 from 2-3 p.m.
Ponte Vedra Library
101 Library Blvd.
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Learn More and RSVP

Friday, July 19 from 10-11 a.m.
Main Library
1960 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Learn More and RSVP

Thursday, August 1 from 10-11 a.m.
Bartram Trail Library
60 Davis Pond Blvd.
Fruit Cove, FL 32259
Learn More and RSVP

Thursday, August 8 from 10-11 a.m.
Anastasia Island Library
124 Seagrove Main St.
St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080
Learn More and RSVP

To learn more about the BOI reporting requirements, including the types of businesses required to submit a report, visit www.fincen.gov/boi. To learn more about the workshops, contact Marge Cirillo, senior business consultant with the SBDC, at 904-209-1295 or m.cirillo@unf.edu.

About the SBDC

As the largest network of small business consultants in Florida, the Florida SBDC provides access to no-cost consulting, affordable and high-quality resources, innovative tools, and the knowledge of experienced small business experts. The SBDC is a partner of the St. Johns County Economic Development Department. For more information, visit www.unf.edu/sbdc.

August 19-20, 2024: Small Business Success Summit

The Florida SBDC Network is hosting its annual Small Business Success Summit in North Florida this year on August 19-20, 2024, at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra. Every year the summit is hosted in a different SBDC region around the state, and we are fortunate to have it in our region this year. The summit brings together small businesses from all around the state to connect business owners with resources needed to reach new limits and to encourage success and growth. The summit will also feature keynote speakers, breakout sessions and networking opportunities that will allow small business owners to walk away with strategies and connections to help further their business. 

Learn more and register – 2024 Small Business Success Summit – Florida SBDC

Latest News

St. Johns County Moves Forward with World Golf Village Plans

On April 16 the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved the $5.5 million purchase of all World Golf Foundation, Inc. (WGV) assets including the Tour Production Building, WGV Parking and WGV common space adding to County ownership of the Hall of Fame, IMAX Theater, and the grounds of the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort Convention Center and Hotel. At a future BOCC meeting, County staff will provide a summary of the citizen input acquired through various public engagement efforts since August 2023 along with a plan to move through a selection process of a partner for a development project.

World Golf Foundation, Inc. will lease back from the County the Tour Production Building until March 2025 to facilitate an efficient move of the production group to their new headquarters at TPC in Ponte Vedra. A ground lease includes an agreement with the Foundation to continue operation of the IMAX Theater and the responsibility to maintain the common space through the Property Owners Association until March 2025.

Joy Andrews, County Administrator, stated, “While some may criticize the use of public funds to acquire the World Golf Foundation assets, it’s crucial to recognize the broader context. With the decision made by the World Golf Foundation to move the World Golf Hall of Fame out of the World Golf Village and to relocate the PGA Tour Productions to PGA’s Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, the property was slated for unknown development, potentially outside of community interests. By seizing control through this acquisition, the community as a whole, gains the power to shape its future. This move allows us to invite the best private-public partnerships to enhance our residents’ quality of life and unlock revenue opportunities. By maintaining control over the development process, we ensure that only what’s best for our residents will be featured in the revitalized World Golf Village. Our goal is not just to meet expectations but to exceed them, creating a vibrant destination that our residents will be proud of. This investment represents a strategic opportunity to leverage public resources to positively shape the future of our community, ensuring that the World Golf Village evolves in alignment with our community’s vision and values.”

The County plans to fund this purchase with $2 million from American Rescue Plan Act Funds, $2 million from 2019 Capital Improvement Fund, and $1.55 million from Public Building Impact Fees.

The properties include:

  • World Golf Hall of Fame: a 64,113 square-foot multi-purpose facility.
  • World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theater: a 17,865 square-foot movie theater. The equipment (movie screen and audio/visual components) would remain in the building.
  • PGA Tour Productions: a 32,329 square-foot Class-A office building.
  • South Legacy Trail: 36.07 acres of various parking lots, rights-of-way areas, landscaping, and lakes.

In June 2023, the World Golf Foundation notified St. Johns County of its intention to move the World Golf Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX theater out of the World Golf Village, and to relocate the PGA Tour Productions to a new building on the Global Home Campus.

St. Johns County Announces $123 Million Regional Park Plan to Begin in 2024

On April 2, 2024, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) unanimously authorized the County Administrator to move forward with an estimated $123 million plan to construct five regional parks and community centers. The presented plan was modified by Commissioner Christian Whitehurst to include the consideration of a full-service library in Nocatee, considering the vast needs of the community of 32,000 residents. The approved plan also includes library hubs in the central (Shearwater) community park and northwest (Greenbriar) park.

The County Administrator and her staff will assemble a financing team to present a financing package back to the BOCC for consideration at a future meeting date. With this regional park plan combined with previous financial commitments to parks, St. Johns County will have a five-year investment of more than $200 million into county-wide parks and recreation facilities to support an array of programs and services.

County Commissioner Christian Whitehurst, who has been vocal about his advocacy for this plan since 2021, said, “Today we took the first big step towards meeting the needs for recreation space in St. Johns County. It’s exciting to think about how this will not only benefit children who live here today, but future generations of children that will call St. Johns County their home.”

Construction of the five-park campus project is expected to begin in 2024 and be completed by the end of 2026.

Ryan Kane, Director of Parks and Recreation, said, “Since COVID, we have begun a journey of investing in parks and additional recreational and sports opportunities for those who live and visit St. Johns County. The amount of investment this board has made to the community’s parks and athletic infrastructure is nothing I have seen.” He shared that this regional plan is guided by the County’s master plan initiative from December 2022 to April 2023 that engaged the public and community partners to identify needs and locations of future parks in St. Johns County.

A summary of the five park campus projects includes:

  • Northeast Community Park ($43M): Fields for baseball, softball, and multipurpose uses, pickleball and sand volleyball courts, splash pad, picnic pavilions, and a community center with indoor space to support the Supervisor of Elections and a full-service Public Library branch.
  • Central Sportsplex ($42M): Five multipurpose fields with synthetic turf fields, three natural grass multipurpose fields, areas designated for tailgating, ticketing and food trucks, and grandstands with a press box.
  • Central Community Park ($13M): Indoor space for recreational programs and to support the Supervisor of Elections and St. Johns County Public Library System services, courts for pickleball and basketball, a recreational field, a splash pad, and two playgrounds.
  • Northwest Community Park ($22.4M): Fields for baseball and softball, courts for pickleball and sand volleyball, a community center with a designated area for library services, and picnic pavilions.
  • Davis Park Turf Fields ($3M): Conversion of softball fields to baseball and to turf fields, and additional parking amenities.

Jesse Dunn, Budget Director, said, “It is important to note that no property taxes will be used to pay the cost of construction of these parks. Instead we will look to use a combination of existing accumulated impact fees paid by developments­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ and a debt issuance to fund a Commission-approved program. St. Johns County has solid credit ratings of Moody’s Aaa and S&P AA+. We will service the debt using impact fees, tourism tax dollars, and recurring State remitted revenue.”

Eric Henkel, President of the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association, said, “For the last several years, the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association has worked with the Board of County Commissioners and County Administration to identify solutions for a growing population with limited field space in St. Johns County.  The proposed Parks and Recreation development project will address a dire need for more parks facilities in St. Johns County.  It is conservatively planned, financially sound, and long overdue.  PVAA Board members met several times with county staff to provide feedback for the project regarding designs, timelines, and potential future needs, with a good portion of our feedback being included in the final proposal.  Our PVAA board is extremely pleased with the project’s approval and commend the Board of Commissioners and St. Johns County administration for their collaborative approach and partnership regarding this project.  We look forward to our families enjoying the benefits of these new facilities for many years to come.”

The BOCC’s current investment since 2021 exceeds $100 million in more than 30 new and existing park facilities. This includes projects in various regions in St. Johns County:

  • Northwest: New Mill Creek Park, Plantation Turf Fields, Mills Field Lighting/Playground
  • Northeast: Vilano Beachfront Park, North Beach Park Renovation, Bird Island Park Renovation, Cornerstone playground
  • Southwest: Flagler Estates Community Center, PAL Field Project Collaboration, Al Wilke Park Master Plan
  • Southeast: Treaty Park Expansion, New Collier Blocker Playground, Genovar Acquisition & Design, Gamble Rogers Turf Fields

St. Johns County Affirms Commitment to Keep IMAX Theater Open

Following the recent transition of ownership of the IMAX Theater and World Golf Hall of Fame building, St. Johns County has reaffirmed its dedication to keeping the IMAX Theater open to the public.

With the announced departure of the World Golf Hall of Fame Foundation in 2023, St. Johns County conducted a comprehensive community survey to gauge public opinion on the future of the IMAX Theater. While data analysis is ongoing, one of the most prevalent responses was a resounding desire from residents for the IMAX Theater to remain open.

Recognizing the importance of this cultural asset to the community, St. Johns County has been in discussions with the Foundation to ensure the continued operation of the IMAX Theater. The Foundation has graciously agreed to extend its operations at the IMAX Theater while the County explores various options for the long-term management of the facility.

“We want to reassure residents that there are no plans to close the IMAX Theater,” stated Joy Andrews, County Administrator. “We are actively engaged in ongoing discussions with the Foundation and are exploring all possibilities to ensure the continued enjoyment of the IMAX Theater for everyone. Despite rumors circulating about a potential closure date, St. Johns County remains committed to transparency and communication with the public regarding the future of the IMAX Theater.”

The next step will be a professional planning consultant presenting the findings of the community survey and a framework for possible paths forward for the World Golf Village properties at a future St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners meeting. This will include the IMAX Theatre, as well as the World Golf Hall of Fame multi-purpose facility, PGA Tour Productions building, and S. Legacy Trail.

St. Johns County School District Receives A Grade for 2022-23 School Year

In December, the Florida Department of Education released district and school grades for the 2022-23 school year, and the St. Johns County School District once again received an overall A grade from the assessment. This past year, the Florida Department of Education transitioned from using traditional high-stakes testing to now using Florida’s Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST), a progress-monitoring system that provides teachers, students and parents real-time, immediate and actionable data at the beginning, middle and end of the school year to drive student improvement. Florida is the first state in the nation to make such a transition for school assessments, and this year’s scores will be used as a baseline for future years.

For this year’s assessments, the St. Johns County School District received the highest overall point total in the region, and the second-highest overall point total in the state. The scoring categories included English language arts achievement, mathematics achievement, science achievement, social studies achievement, middle school acceleration, college and career acceleration, and graduation rate. The St. Johns County School District received the highest overall point total in the state for English language arts achievement, mathematics achievement, science achievement and social studies achievement.

For the St. Johns County School District, 42 schools were evaluated – 19 elementary schools, seven middle schools, eight high schools, and eight schools that have a combination of grade levels. The percentage of St. Johns County schools in each category that received an overall grade of A or B was 100% for the middle, high and combination schools and 84% for the elementary schools. Of all St. Johns County schools evaluated, 93% received an overall grade of A or B.

“St. Johns County’s excellent public school system is a major attraction for businesses looking to relocate here to the county,” said Colin Groff, Deputy County Administrator for St. Johns County. “We are proud of our school district and the excellent work they are doing to provide high-quality, top-ranked education for our students.”

Visit the following link for the full assessment reports. – www.fldoe.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades

Hastings Main Street Receives Florida Main Street Community Designation

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Cord Byrd recognized Hastings Main Street in St. Johns County as one of the two newest Florida Main Street communities. The Florida Main Street Program, administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns—the community’s heart and soul.

“I am excited to acknowledge Hastings Main Street and Eastside Jacksonville as the newest Florida Main Street communities,” said Secretary Byrd. “These organizations exhibit the pride and passion we seek in our participating programs. I look forward to their successes and achievements in the new year and in the future.”

The community of Hastings originated as an agricultural railroad town. During the late 1800s, Henry Flagler began investing in Florida, purchasing and expanding railroads and developing hotels along the Atlantic coast. As Flagler’s hotel empire expanded, he needed a fresh supply of produce to feed workers and visitors. To solve this problem, he encouraged his cousin Thomas Horace Hastings to establish a large agricultural operation. In 1890, a small farming community originally known as Hastings Station sprang up along the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). In 1909, the town of Hastings was formally incorporated. Although area farmers grew a variety of crops, Hastings became best known for its potatoes. Soon, it became known as the Potato Capital of Florida. The community entered a period of growth in the early 20th century, with a downtown that catered to the agricultural industry, particularly potato growing. Its location along the FEC railroad made it an important transshipment point for local farmers seeking to bring their produce to market.

Today, Hastings Main Street is working to capitalize on momentum and experience gained from recent community events, such as the Hastings Fall Festival of Art, to help generate buzz for what is expected to be an exciting 2024. Several businesses in the district anticipate holding grand openings, and the town will host numerous family friendly events, including a barbeque competition, barrel racing series, car shows, concerts, markets, expos, and the local tradition of celebrating Hastings’ history known as the Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Festival. The hard work and determination of the community will culminate when The Venue, a new event space, opens in the renovated historic Stanton Ford automotive dealership.

“Today marks a significant milestone for Hastings as we are recognized by Secretary of State Cord Byrd for our participation in the Florida Main Street Program,” said Jena Dennis, Chair of the Hastings Main Street Board of Directors. “Being part of this program is a tremendous benefit for our community. It not only acknowledges our rich history, dating back to the late 1800s when Henry Flagler and Thomas Horace Hastings played pivotal roles in our development, but also sets the stage for revitalization and economic growth. Receiving a Main Street designation means a commitment to preserving our unique heritage, while fostering new opportunities for our residents. It’s a testament to the dedication of our community members who have worked tirelessly to make Hastings a place where history meets progress. We believe that through this program, we can enhance our local economy, attract visitors, and create a vibrant and sustainable future for Hastings.” To learn more about Hastings Main Street, visit www.hastingsfl.org. To learn more about the Florida Main Street Program, visit www.floridamainstreet.com.

St. Johns County Administrator Joy Andrews Presents Update at Chamber EDC Breakfast

On Feb. 23, 2024, St. Johns County Administrator Joy Andrews presented an update to more than 200 attendees at the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Council Quarterly Breakfast, held at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort, 500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine.

Andrews provided insight regarding the infrastructure upgrades taking place across the County and how those improvements factor into the County’s long-range plans for growth management. St. Johns County continues to be one of the fastest-growing counties in the state, presenting new opportunities and challenges.

“It is so important for us to have an informed community,” Andrews said. “We want the community to tell us what they want their County government and home to look like. The only way to have that authentic, meaningful dialogue is when they are informed. It is on us, on County staff including myself, to go around this community and make sure that our neighbors are in the know.”

The key components of the presentation focused on growth and infrastructure, financial stewardship, open governance and transparency, and economic resiliency. The complete presentation can be viewed here.

“We are excited for the future and grateful for our partnership with St. Johns County,” St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Isabelle Renault said. “It is vital for our business community to know what to expect regarding upcoming infrastructure so they can make plans for their own business in the future and see where they want to grow.”

Pictured from left to right: St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Economic Development Scott Maynard, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chair Berta Odom, St. Johns County Administrator Joy Andrews, St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Isabelle Renault

The University of Florida Bullish on Investing in Northeast Florida

Jacksonville Daily Record

UF Health broke ground Feb. 21 on the Durbin Park hospital that it expects to open in late 2025.

By Dan Macdonald | February 21, 2024

University of Florida officials spoke glowingly Feb. 21 of the opportunities Northeast Florida presents to the school at the groundbreaking of the UF Health Durbin Park medical facility.

The university is focusing on St. Johns and Duval counties because of their growth, said Mori Hosseini, chair of the UF board of trustees.

Hosseini said Jacksonville is the fifth-fastest growing destination in the nation.

Northeast Florida is the only location in the state with both UF Health and Mayo Clinic in Florida, which regularly place first and second in surveys ranking health providers in the state.

“You decide between Mayo and UF Health. You are picking between the best of the best,” Hosseini said.

The 42.5-acre UF Health Durbin Park hospital campus is at 100 Flagler Health Way near Racetrack Road in Saint Johns. 

The 395,000-square-foot hospital, which is expected to be completed in late 2025, will have 150 beds.

It will focus on orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiovascular medicine and women’s services. 

The hospital will offer acute, intensive and emergency care.

The project is expected to bring 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs. UF Health, which has two hospitals and multiple other facilities in the area, will have 12,000 employees in Northeast Florida when Durbin Park is at full employment.

A medical office building is already under construction near the hospital’s footprint.

UF Health has 10 hospitals in the University of Florida health system including the teaching hospital at UF Health Jacksonville in Springfield north of Downtown.

In North Jacksonville, UF Health North has a medical campus at 15255 Max Leggett Parkway east of River City Marketplace.

UF Health also has opened three Jacksonville-based Emergency & Urgent Care Centers.

The Durbin groundbreaking follows the UF Health merger with Flagler Health+, which was completed Sept 1.

Flagler Health+ became UF Health St. Johns and Flagler Hospital became UF Health Flagler Hospital.

In June 2020, Flagler Health+ announced the purchase of 40 acres in Durbin Park, where it would construct its third Flagler Health+ Village. 

Over time, the University of Florida will have invested $1 billion in new facilities and workforce in Northeast Florida, Hosseini said.

“Our bold vision will let us accomplish great things together. When it comes to going bold, UF knows a thing or two. Make no mistake. The University of Florida does not make small plans,” he said.

UF President Ben Sasse said integrating AI technology is important in all facets of a UF education.

“We aren’t just preparing students for their first job. We need to prepare them for their third job in a sector that doesn’t even exist today,” he said.

Sasse had little to say about the proposed health and financial technology graduate center in or near Downtown Jacksonville.

Announcements about the graduate center would come on or after March 26, Sasse said after the groundbreaking. He gave no hint about where the school will be built.

He said he had no firm answers about funding because legislation concerning the proposed Jacksonville facility are in the Florida Legislature.

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Publix Central Fill Pharmaceutical Facility Coming to St. Johns County

The St. Johns County Economic Development Department is proud to announce a groundbreaking development that will shape the future of our community. Publix Super Markets, Inc. is set to establish an innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing facility right here in St. Johns County, assisting with economic growth and approximately 400 new jobs. Anticipated to be operational in 2026, this state-of-the-art central fill pharmaceutical facility will be strategically located in a 168,480-square-foot building within the industrial park of Legend Point Logistics Crossing at 200 Accolade Ave. in St. Johns.

The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has displayed foresight and commitment by approving an economic development reinvestment package totaling $5,821,779 over a nine-year period for the project. The Publix central fill pharmaceutical facility will bring more than 150 new jobs initially, growing to 400 new jobs to St. Johns County.

“We are thrilled to announce the establishment of Publix’s central fill pharmaceutical facility in St. Johns County,” St. Johns County Administrator Joy Andrews said. “This endeavor has been an incredible journey, showcasing the collaborative efforts of our dedicated economic development staff, growth management team, utility services, and building officials. Together, they have worked tirelessly to bring this transformative project to fruition. What makes this announcement truly special is the resounding support and unwavering commitment from the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners. Their unanimous backing not only underscores the immense significance of this venture but also speaks volumes about their dedication to reinvesting in our community. It’s more than commendable; it’s a commitment to crafting a future filled with high-quality jobs and unparalleled wealth-building opportunities. This project stands as a shining example of the incredible outcomes that emerge when public and private sectors join forces for the greater good.”

The project was introduced to the St. Johns County Economic Development Department by JAXUSA Partnership, the County’s regional economic development partner. The project is within St. Johns County’s target industries of advanced manufacturing and health/life sciences and will bring career opportunities to the residents of St. Johns County. Publix provides stable employment opportunities with competitive pay and benefits, including its Employee Stock Ownership Plan that is provided at no cost to Publix associates.

At the Sept. 5, 2023, BOCC regular meeting, the BOCC unanimously approved a motion instructing the County Attorney to draft an economic development incentive agreement for the project and place the proposed incentive agreement for consideration by the BOCC at a later regularly scheduled meeting. Today, the BOCC approved the agreement at its regular meeting as part of the consent agenda.

Small Business Development Center Offers Vital Resources for Small Businesses

The St. Johns County Department of Economic Development has a long-term partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida (SBDC at UNF) to offer no-cost business consulting services for prospective and existing small business owners in St. Johns County. Small businesses are a key part of both the St. Johns County and United States economy, making up more than 90% of all businesses in the United States. Since 1976, the Florida SBDC at UNF has helped more than 60,000 small businesses in an 18-county area.

Marge Cirillo, senior small business consultant, is the dedicated consultant in St. Johns County with an office located within the Growth Management Department building at 4040 Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine. Marge has extensive knowledge in operating small businesses, owning three successful restaurants and a catering business for eight years. She has also worked at the SBDC for more than 12 years and was awarded regional consultant of the year in 2023. Marge’s areas of expertise include lending, restaurant/retail operations, marketing and agribusiness. Marge’s expertise is backed by a team of more than 20 people within the regional SBDC office that provides additional support for business owners.

Small business consulting services offered through the SBDC include business startup, financial analysis, marketing and research, funding options, business planning, disaster preparation and recovery, search engine optimization (SEO) and online presence, among other services. Also, training is available both online and through in-person classes and includes topics such as QuickBooks, government contracting, cybersecurity and more. The SBDC offers networking opportunities on a regular basis as well.

Mochiatsu, a franchise in St. Johns County that serves mochi donuts, Korean hot dogs and boba started by owner Linda Zhou, is a SBDC success story. Linda reached out to Marge for assistance with marketing ideas. After working with Marge, Linda updated her marketing strategy to go beyond the franchisor resources. Marge assisted with the ribbon cutting event and marketing to local officials and businesses. She also encouraged Linda to network with the local business community to help get the word out about her location. When asked about her experience working with the SBDC, Linda said, “I am very grateful for all the help received from Marge, and I think every business owner and prospective business should use the services of the Small Business Development Center.”

For questions or to schedule a no-cost appointment, Marge can be reached at 904-209-1295 or m.cirillo@unf.edu. Also, to accommodate all schedules, virtual appointments are available during regular business hours as well as early-morning, evening and weekend hours. For more information about the SBDC and to view the schedule of events, visit www.sbdc.unf.edu.

St. Augustine Featured in National Geographic’s Best Beach Towns for Fall List

The City of St. Augustine is world-renowned for its charm and history. From cobblestone streets to beautiful oceanic and riverside views, visitors and residents alike have fallen in love with St. Augustine for hundreds of years. This fall, National Geographic recognized the Nation’s Oldest City once again by naming it one of the country’s best beach towns to visit in the fall.

In September, National Geographic’s Catherine Toth Fox wrote in recognition of St. Augustine.

“Forty-two years before the English colonized Jamestown and 55 years before Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés stepped onto Florida’s shores and declared the settlement St. Augustine,” Fox said. “Now it’s considered the oldest, continuously occupied settlement in the U.S. Stroll the redbrick streets lined with centuries-old buildings or hop on an Old Town Trolley tour. The City Gate, built with coquina blocks in 1808, and the González-Alvarez House, the oldest surviving Spanish colonial dwelling in the city, are just two notable points of interest. Less humidity in the fall means pleasant walks around the historic city and its 42 miles of sandy shores. Go horseback riding on Crescent Beach, or look for shark teeth at Mickler’s Landing Beach, known for its pink sand made from crushed coquina.”

KeHE Distributors Celebrates Start of Construction of $88.5 Million Facility

On Nov. 17, 2023, KeHE Distributors and Stotan Industrial, with support from St. Johns County, held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the construction of a new, premier facility. The Chicago-based developer Stotan Industrial is developing a 530,474-square-foot built-to-suit development for KeHE Distributors at 3800 Deerpark Blvd., Elkton, FL. The event heard remarks from James McGill, President/Principal of Stotan Industrial; Chris Sieburg, Executive Vice President, Operations at KeHE; and Vice Chair Sarah Arnold, District 2, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners.

“We are breaking ground on history,” Commissioner Arnold said. “Today marks a benchmark moment in the County, establishing a new level of economic development and growth. We are keeping a thriving and growing corporation here in the County. KeHE has a long history as an organic food distributor here in St. Johns County, but most importantly, they are a valued member of our community.”

“We were fortunate to be selected as the developer of KeHE’s new Southeast regional headquarters,” McGill said. “KeHE’s strong growth in the Southeast resulted in the need for a larger and more modern facility to handle this growth and customer requirements. All of us at Stotan Industrial are very excited to be part of this project and the journey.”

KeHE is the largest distributor of natural, organic, specialty, and fresh products to more than 31,000 natural food stores, chain and independent grocery stores, e-commerce retailers, and other specialty product retailers throughout North America. With more than 6,800 employee-owners, KeHE, a Certified B Corporation, drives its mission of serving to make lives better throughout all aspects of its operation. KeHE will utilize the property as one of its Southeast distribution centers, which will include 29,887 square feet of office space for employees, 390,000 square feet of dry warehouse, and 105,000 square feet of cooler/freezer space. The facility will serve several of KeHE’s key retail partners throughout parts of the Southeast. The total value of the land and equipment is assessed at more than $88.5 million. KeHE will retain 345 jobs and add another 100 jobs as a result of this new facility, with a focus on hiring residents of St. Johns County.

Additionally, the development will improve safety at the intersection of State Road 207 and Deerpark Boulevard, as a new traffic signal plan will be implemented as part of the County’s incentive agreement.

“We thought, at all costs, we have to keep them here,” County Administrator Joy Andrews said. “Their employees are family and they are putting food on the table for our families. We went through a number of sites to try to find the right solution for them, where there is adequate space, where there is room for future growth, and where there will not be a compatibility issue for the community around them. We found the perfect spot.”

“We’ve been in St. Johns County since the early 1970s with a company called the Tree of Life,” Sieburg said. “At this particular location, we have several hundred professional warehouse workers and professional truck drivers. It was so important to us that we picked a location where we didn’t have to build a new team because we already have an amazing team. There are great demographics in St. Johns County and it’s a growing County. We’ve got great roots here and we’re excited about staying here.”

Business Spotlights

American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group

American Roll-On Roll-Off Carrier Group, Inc. (ARC) provides global logistics and shipping services to the U.S. Government. ARC and its affiliates own and manage the largest U.S.-flag roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) fleet of vessels. This includes providing American-owned, managed and crewed Ro-Ro shipping and intermodal services committed to the requirements of the Department of Defense, other U.S. Government departments and agencies, and commercial customers. The company carries wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, trailers and aircraft, as well as other types of cargo, including household goods and breakbulk project cargo.

ARC relocated its corporate headquarters from New Jersey to St. Johns County in 2021 under the direction of Chris Heibel, senior vice president commercial. ARC’s corporate office is now located in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Chris shares his thoughts on working here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?

A: Selecting St. Johns County as the home for our business was a strategic decision driven by several compelling factors.

First and foremost, the proximity to the ports in the region played a pivotal role in our decision-making process. St. Johns County’s location provides easy access to crucial ports, both in Florida and Georgia, facilitating our operations.

The tax structure of Florida further solidified our choice. Florida’s business-friendly tax environment, with no state income tax, creates a conducive atmosphere for growth and financial stability.

Our familiarity with the Jacksonville area was a significant factor in the decision-making process. Having this previous knowledge was key in establishing strong partnerships and seamlessly integrating into the regional economy.

St. Johns County’s status as a logistics hub was another compelling factor. With prominent industry partners like Tote, Landstar and Sudduth in the vicinity, we recognized the potential for collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships. This concentration of local logistics expertise enhances the overall business ecosystem, providing a robust foundation for our business growth.

The county’s excellent infrastructure further influenced our decision. From well-maintained roads and transportation networks to state-of-the-art facilities, St. Johns County offers the essential infrastructure necessary for the smooth functioning of our operations.

Moreover, we were drawn to the fact that St. Johns County is a very pro-military community. This aligns with our values of supporting and engaging with the military, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.

Q: What is the best part about having a business here in St. Johns County?

A: The best part about having a business here in St. Johns County can be summed up in three words: location, location, location. This geographic advantage has offered a multitude of benefits that significantly contribute to our thriving business environment.

One of the standout advantages is the absence of state income tax in Florida. This favorable tax climate not only maximizes our profitability but also provides a competitive edge in hiring.

The presence of a good airport in the vicinity is another key asset. A well-connected and efficient airport makes travel for our team and clients convenient and time-effective. Plus, we get a lot more visitors now that we are in Florida.

Proximity to partners and ports is a game-changer for us. St. Johns County’s strategic location places us near key partners and ports.

Beyond the business landscape, the sense of community in St. Johns County is truly exceptional. The supportive and vibrant community enhances ARC’s workplace culture, making it a better environment for our employees.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date?

A: ARC’s biggest business success to date is rooted in the strong foundation we’ve built through our integration into St Johns County and the meaningful relationships we’ve developed, including via the Chamber of Commerce. From the outset, we recognized the importance of not just being a business operating in the community but becoming a productive part of it.

One significant measure of our success is our employee growth since our arrival. We’ve expanded our workforce by about 15%, contributing to the local economy, and hope to grow it further.

An often-overlooked success lies in the high morale at ARC. Our employees are not just part of a workforce; they are members of a close-knit team. Creating a positive and supportive work environment has been a priority for us, one that has been helped by our new location, and the resulting high morale has a direct impact on our success.

Q: What is your vision for the future of your business?

A: Our vision for the future of ARC is very optimistic, driven by a commitment to sustained growth, acquiring new business opportunities, and deepening our engagement within the community.

We envision a trajectory of continued growth, both in terms of existing markets and future opportunities. This growth encompasses expanding our business via new contracts and exploring untapped markets.

To realize our vision, ARC is dedicated to actively seeking and securing new business opportunities. By staying agile and adaptive, we aim to position ARC business as the preferred choice for partners in the government logistics space.

ARC also recognizes the importance of being a socially responsible corporate entity, and we aspire to deepen our roots within the community. This includes actively participating in local initiatives, supporting charitable causes, and contributing to the overall well-being of the communities in which we operate.

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: I cannot imagine I am a whole lot different than most residents of St. Johns: golf, fishing, the beach, nature.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: As I reflect on our decision to relocate to Florida, I am filled with gratitude and a sense of accomplishment. The move has proven to be a great decision, marked by several positive outcomes that have profoundly shaped ARC’s culture and operational dynamics.

One remarkable aspect of ARC’s relocation is the dedication and commitment demonstrated by our workforce. A staggering 80% of our team made the move from New Jersey to Florida, showcasing their loyalty and belief in our shared vision.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that the vast preponderance of those who made the move are not just content, but genuinely happy with the decision. The vibrant Florida lifestyle, coupled with the thriving local community, has contributed to a more fulfilling and satisfying professional and personal experience. For more information about ARC, visit www.arcshipping.com.

Future Friends

Future Friends, established in 2012, is a branding and design studio based in St. Augustine, led by owners Danielle and Luke Brodersen. St. Johns County recently launched a new brand designed by the team at Future Friends and thought the community would enjoy knowing more about this creative group of local Flagler College graduates and why St. Johns County is such a great fit for their company.

Danielle and Luke, Flagler College grads (both ’09), share their thoughts on being business owners in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?

A: Danielle was born in Jacksonville and raised in St. Augustine, so St. Johns County has been a home for her for almost as long as she can remember. Luke moved here to go to Flagler College, after tiring of moving around the world growing up. We both were invested in finding a place to start a business and raise a family and St. Augustine checked a lot of those boxes for us. We started Future Friends in 2012 and we have four employees who are also all Flagler College grads (Catherine Provenza ’08, Mackenzie Rockwood ’18, Ben Becker ’21, and Crystal Jones ’08) who round out our team.

Q: What is the best part about being a business owner in St. Johns County?

A: One of the best things is being able to have personal relationships with our clients, such to where we can speak into their projects and be able to give advice about anything that has to do with graphic design or even running a business.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date?

A: Our biggest success as a business is being able to work on projects that we love and can wholeheartedly stand behind. We are proud of all the brands that we work with and we take pride in putting the Future Friends “quality seal” on every job we do.

Q: What is your vision for the future of your business?

A: Besides global domination, we tend to think quite “small.” We really enjoy the tight creative bond that our team has and we want to show how a small agency can do the big things as well as the smaller ones. We also want to keep spreading the word of how good graphic design can make all the difference.

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: At Future Friends, we all share a love for good music and good food. We are also pretty diverse in our other recreational ventures. Whether reading, antiquing/thrifting, climbing, exploring new places, our team enjoys a good adventure.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: Whether you own a business or are starting a new one, remember that the visual “front” that you present is important to how your customers see you and how they first interact with you.

For more information about Future Friends, visit www.futurefriends.co.

Q-PAC

Q-PAC, established in 2012, designs and manufactures industry-leading fan systems for commercial air handling units used in hospitals, educational facilities, commercial plazas, office buildings and more. Led by CEO Matt Kent, Q-PAC is comprised of a team of 70 employees. In 2018, Q-PAC moved its headquarters to St. Johns County. Matt shares his thoughts on being a business owner here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?

A: St. Johns County has so much to offer residents and provides an excellent opportunity for us to recruit great people to our team. The natural attractions and charm of St. Augustine really boost our overall company culture. I grew up here in St. Augustine and feel very fortunate for Q-PAC to be headquartered here.

Q: What is the best part about being a business owner in St. Johns County?

A: We can have fun doing what we love to do at work and when we’re not working, we can enjoy Florida paradise with family and friends.

Q: It seems apparent that company culture is extremely important to you. What values do you look for in your team members?

A: Q-PAC is always looking for great people and has been since the very beginning. We look for people who are curious, relentless, agile, and passionate. We work hard and we play hard. We strive to be the best in the world at everything we do but also want every day to be fun and a positive experience.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date?

A: That’s tough to say, but I have to go back to our team at Q-PAC. We’ve been tremendously successful and have accomplished so much but it’s all because of the incredible team of people we have built over the last 10 years. But we do have a system in the White House which is pretty cool. Haha.

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: I love to go surfing, skateboarding, and fishing. My wife and I live on Anastasia Island and enjoy taking our two boys to play at the beach, going to the local farmers market at the amphitheatre, and walking around downtown St. Augustine.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: This is a wonderful place to build a business, raise a family, and call home. We should do everything we can to preserve the sense of community, character, and charm that we have here. I would like to thank the St. Johns County team for everything they do for our local businesses and residents.

For more information about Q-PAC, visit www.q-pac.com.

Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine

The Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine (CCM) is a museum, event space and classic car storage facility located at 4730 U.S. Highway 1 S. Established in 2020 by the Hobbs family – Sidney, Brenda and Madison – the museum has a calendar full of events and car shows, with many of those events benefiting community organizations. The Hobbs family shares their thoughts on being business owners here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?  

A: We are St. Johns County locals. We have been here over 20 years and plan to stay for generations to come. The community here feels like a family, full of business owners striving to contribute to the success of the community as a whole.

Q: What is the best part about being a business owner in St. Johns County?

A: As we all know, our county is continuing to grow. We have the amazing benefit of being a tourist destination as well as a tight-knit local community. This allows our outreach to stretch beyond the St. Johns County lines as well as cater to those within the community.

Q: How has your business focus of giving back to the community impacted both the community and your business?

A: As a 501c3 organization, we have hosted numerous charity events here at the Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine, in partnership with Classic Eventage. Since opening in 2020, we have given back around $250,000 to the community through these philanthropy-focused events. It is the heart and soul of what we do here at CCM.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date? 

A: We opened in June of 2020, which we all know as the “Covid year.” As a business, we were not completely sure what operations would look like choosing to move forward with our opening date under the circumstances of the world. However, we discovered it is just what the community needed. With our vast amount of outdoor space, we were able to host events that still remained under Covid protocol that our community was able to enjoy. We created a sense of community in the most trying of times. Through this time, we were able to build connections with those looking for a place to store their vehicles. We gained 30 storage vehicles here at CCM, which is the biggest business success to date as we are FULL and have over 100 cars for our customer’s viewing pleasure. The growth of our event company, Classic Eventage, is also continuing to grow as we gain more bookings each day.

Q: What are your future business growth plans?

A: We have some exciting new plans for growth! We are potentially getting a tenant for our restaurant site next door, looking into new building expansions, and discovering more opportunities for community involvement. Classic Eventage is also continuing to grow and expand community outreach in Madison’s efforts to plan, host and execute fantastic events that our guests love to attend!

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: We love supporting the local restaurants and shops here in St. Johns County! Most weekends are spent in beautiful downtown St. Augustine, at our stunning beaches, boating on the intracoastal, or enjoying our favorite artists at The Amp! We truly appreciate where we live and try our best to get out and support other local businesses here in the community.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: We as a family have dreamed of opening this business for as long as we can remember, and seeing this dream come to fruition is such a blessing. The heart of our business is that “you can’t out give God, but we try to every day” and we truly live by that statement. Whether you’re a car enthusiast, need a rainy-day activity, looking for a space to host your next event, or have a charity/cause that breaks your heart and need help finding a way to spread the cause, we are here to help!

For more information about the Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine, visit www.ccmstaug.com. Video footage of Commissioner Alaimo’s visit with Madison Hobbs can be seen on YouTube.

Rulon International

Rulon International, established in 1976, is the leading manufacturer of wood ceiling and acoustical wood wall panels that can be found in universities, hotels, government buildings, corporate headquarters and more. Led by President and CEO Wayne Robison, Rulon International is comprised of a team of more than 200 employees. In 2006, Rulon International moved its headquarters from Georgia to 2000 Ring Way in St. Johns County and has expanded its building and operations multiple times since then. The team members of Rulon International share their thoughts on having a business here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?  

A: It was a fantastic choice – excellent school systems, beautiful beaches as well as historical sites. 

Q: What is the best part about having a business in St. Johns County?

A: The business-friendly environment is a huge draw. Relocating to St. Johns County also helped with recruiting professionals to join our company from other parts of the country.

Q: What is the company’s biggest business success to date? 

A: The growth of the company since relocating to St. Johns County has been our biggest success.

Q: What are the company’s future business growth plans?

A: We plan to continue to improve and expand our manufacturing processes and product lines, which will continue to elevate the company in our industry as well as continuing to support charitable organizations that the company and our employees are passionate about.

Q: Outside of work, what activities here in St. Johns County are enjoyed by your team?

A: Rulon employees enjoy a variety of activities in St. Johns County from hitting the beaches for a relaxing weekend, golfing, fishing, boating, as well as many other things St. Augustine and St. Johns County offers.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: St. Johns County welcomed our business and employees when we relocated. It has become our home, and we are thankful to work, live and play here in St. Johns County.

For more information about Rulon International, visit www.rulonco.com.

Crème de la Cocoa

Crème de la Cocoa, established in 2016, is a high-end bakeshop that specializes in wedding cakes, hand-painted chocolates and custom desserts with a twist on traditional flavors. Led by owners Nils and Bailey Rowland, Crème de la Cocoa has 16 employees and is located at 299 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. Nils was recently a finalist on the Food Network’s Halloween Wars where he and his team created spooky Halloween displays that wowed the judges. The tasting treats he crafted on the show are now available in the shop to enjoy.

Nils and Bailey share their thoughts on being business owners here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?  

A: We are both originally from Gainesville but spent many summers and weekends in St. Augustine. We always considered St. Augustine our home away from home. After graduating from college at UCF in Orlando, we both thought St. Augustine would be the perfect place for two Hospitality Management Majors.

Q: What is the best part about being a business owner in St. Johns County?

A: The local love and support for our small business and many others has always been prevalent. We love the community here and the appreciation for our craft that we have received since opening.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date? 

A: That is a difficult question to answer. However, we would say that the biggest success is seeing the same customers consistently and most all of them being locals. We love being a part of the most special occasions of their lives.

Q: What is your vision for the future of your business?

A: We are currently working on a second location in our hometown Gainesville, FL. Bailey’s dad had a business in the same building for 40 years and it feels really special to keep the building in the family and utilize the space for our own business.

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: We have two boys, 5 and 6 years old, that we enjoy spending time with at the beach, fishing and visiting the Alligator Farm.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: We would just like to take a moment to thank everyone for their continued support. It means the world to our family and our team.

For more information about Crème de la Cocoa, visit www.cremedelacocoa.com.

Crave

Crave, established in 2013 by owners Andrés and Renée Guardiola, is a restaurant in downtown St. Augustine that serves local and healthy salads, wraps, bowls and smoothies. Crave’s motto is fast, fresh, friendly, which has been integral to their success. Crave began as a food truck off Riberia Street and in 2020 transitioned to their current brick-and-mortar location at 135 King Street with 10 employees.

Andrés and Renée, both Flagler College graduates, share their thoughts on being business owners here in St. Johns County.

Q: What inspired you to select St. Johns County as the home of your business?

A: We have lived here for awhile and absolutely love the community. We really wanted to spread our roots in this wonderful town.

Q: What is the best part about being a business owner in St. Johns County?

A: The best part about being a business owner here in St. Johns County is the wonderful support from everyone in the community.

Q: What is your biggest business success to date?

A: Our biggest business success to date is reaching our 11-year mark of being open.

Q: What is your vision for the future of your business?

A: We hope to franchise in the future. We also opened our second location this May here in St. Johns County in the Seabridge Square Plaza located at 1835 U.S. Highway 1 South.

Q: Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy here in St. Johns County?

A: We enjoy our beaches, amazing parks, and anything that immerses us in the outdoors.

Q: Do you have any parting thoughts you’d like to share?

A: We are very grateful and thankful for the support this community has shown us and we look forward to seeing you for many years to come.

For more information about Crave, visit www.cravestaug.com.

Property Highlights

Fort Wade Office Park

Fort Wade Office Park is a class-A office park in St. Johns County located in the Nocatee area at Fort Wade Road in Ponte Vedra Beach. The site features three buildings that total nearly 200,000 square feet of office space.  The office park has availability to accommodate additional tenants, and leasing is available through International Management Company (IMC).

The three buildings within the Fort Wade Office Park range in size from 74,284 square feet, 60,362 square feet, and 58,941 square feet. The three-story buildings feature high-end finishes, extensive available parking, onsite security, close proximity to restaurants and retail, and easy highway access.

The office park is conveniently located in the center of Nocatee with quick access to A1A and US 1, which provides direct access to nearby interstates. Also, the Jacksonville region, which this office park is located in, has a labor force of more than 1.7 million people.

Current tenants at Fort Wade Office Park include businesses in the industries of insurance, healthcare/medical, legal, education, mortgage, realty and others. More than a dozen businesses have offices at Fort Wade Office Park.

“Fort Wade Office Park offers a professional and vibrant office environment minutes from beaches, restaurants, and entertainment. This prime location combined with proximity to a highly skilled workforce and desirable neighborhoods makes the office park an ideal choice for companies seeking to establish or expand a presence in this dynamic Northeast Florida market,” said Brett McKee, Vice President, Property Services at IMC.

Fort Wade Office Park is within Nocatee, which is a master-planned community in St. Johns County encompassing 14,000 acres with abundant neighborhoods and amenities, including shopping, schools and recreation. In 2023, Nocatee was ranked the best place in Florida to raise a family by Niche, an online platform that provides neighborhood and college rankings.

Additional information about leasing opportunities at Fort Wade Office Park can be found by visiting https://imc-jax.com/buildout-inventory/?propertyId=ft-wade or by calling John Hodges with IMC at 904-737-8846.

IGP/95 Logistics Park at World Commerce Center

IGP/95 Logistics Park at World Commerce Center is an industrial logistics park coming soon to St. Johns County for light industrial and warehousing uses. The three-building site is located at World Commerce Center near SR-16 and International Golf Parkway and will offer a combined 509,900 SF of space. Leasing of the space is now available through Foundry Commercial.

The three buildings range in size from 205,700 SF, 193,600 SF and 110,600 SF and are scheduled to be complete in the second quarter of 2024. The logistics park will have modern building features and will include dock-high doors, intermediary ramps, and speculative offices that can be delivered with the building for fast tenant occupancy.

“The IGP/95 Logistics Park at World Commerce Center is uniquely positioned to serve a large population base, as St. Johns County is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s fastest growing counties. There’s really no better location than World Commerce Center – St. Johns County’s premier business park – to establish a foothold in the county,” said Mark Scott, Partner at Foundry Commercial.

The logistics park is conveniently located in the center of St. Johns County with quick access to I-95. The site’s location provides access to nearly 1.5 million consumers within a 30-minute drive. Also, nearly 1.3 million people make up the workforce available within a 45-minute drive.

According to CoStar, St. Johns County’s occupancy rate for industrial space is 96%, making this an important project to increase available industrial space in the county. There is a large demand for such space by St. Johns County businesses looking to expand and new businesses looking to relocate to the county.

Foundry Commercial’s regional office is based out of the Jacksonville area. In total, the company has more than 2,000 associates operating from 11 markets. Additional information about IGP/95 Logistics Park can be found by visiting www.igp-95logisticspark.com or calling Mark Scott with Foundry Commercial at 904-699-3518.

Legend Point Logistics Crossing

Legend Point Logistics Crossing is new master-planned industrial development in St. Johns County located at County Road 210 and US 1 off Accolade Avenue. The project consists of two phases. Phase one is complete and comprises of three speculative warehouse buildings totaling 345,027 SF. Phase two can accommodate build-to-suit opportunities up to 500,000 SF or two spec buildings totaling 547,000 SF.  Leasing of the space is currently available through Cushman & Wakefield.  

The commerce park, developed by Scannell Properties, meets the needs of various types of industrial tenants by providing flexible warehouse sizes. The site also offers rear load configuration and ample parking capabilities.

“This has been one of the more exciting industrial developments in St Johns County history and it provides a great opportunity for St. Johns County industrial occupiers from 30,000 SF to 500,000 SF,” said Jacob Horsley, Executive Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield.

The industrial park is conveniently located in the northern part of St. Johns County with quick access throughout the region by multiple interstates. The site’s location provides access to approximately 1.3 million consumers within a 30-minute drive. Also, more than 1.2 million people make up the workforce available within a 45-minute drive.

Available industrial space is in demand in St. Johns County as well as throughout Florida with St. Johns County’s industrial occupancy rate at 96%, according to Costar. As stated in an insights story posted on Cushman & Wakefield’s website titled Florida’s Industrial Stabilization 2023, “At mid-year 2023, all Florida markets maintained their high occupancy rates with an average of only 3.2% vacancy across the state. The high level of leasing demand positions Florida as a top contender amongst the Southeast region. Remaining available space under construction continues to be a necessity as limited supply persists and magnifies the need for a large quantity of industrial space to enter the construction pipeline.”

In Jacksonville and throughout Florida, Cushman & Wakefield is consistently ranked among the top brokerage firms, and it has the largest property management portfolio in Florida. Additional information about Legend Point Logistics Crossing can be found by visiting www.legendpointlc.com or calling Jacob Horsley with Cushman & Wakefield at 904-380-8335.

Services

Resources

FAQs

Do I need a license to do business in St. Johns County? 

St. Johns County requires all businesses to have a business tax receipt through the St. Johns County Tax Collector Office.

The first step to obtaining a business tax receipt is to get zoning approval for your business location. If your business is located within St. Johns County and not within the City of St. Augustine or City of St. Augustine Beach, then you will need to get zoning approval through the St. Johns County Planning and Zoning Division. Information and the application can be found by clicking the following button. If your business is a home office, then only page one of the application will need to be completed.

For the zoning approval, there is a $22 application fee. You will need to have your signature on the application notarized if not signed in front of County staff. If you're submitting the application electronically, then you will need to send a copy of your driver’s license for verification. If you are operating your business out of a home office and live within a homeowners association, then you will need to include a signed affidavit for certificate for a home-based business with the zoning application. See below for additional information if your business is located within the City of St. Augustine or City of St. Augustine Beach. To submit the application in person, the Planning and Zoning Office is located at 4040 Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine. To submit the application electronically, email plandept@sjcfl.us.

Once the application has been submitted and approved through St. Johns County Planning and Zoning, then the approved zoning application will need to be taken to the St. Johns County Tax Collector Office along with the completed business tax receipt application, which can be found by clicking the following button.

To submit the business tax receipt application in person, visit a Tax Collector Office location, which can be found by clicking the following button.

Business tax receipts through St. Johns County range in cost, depending on the business service, from $18 to $30. Also, state licensed professionals will need to provide a copy of their current State of Florida license when obtaining a business tax receipt. Businesses in sales will have to provide a sales tax number.

If your business is located within the City of St. Augustine or City of St. Augustine Beach, then zoning approval and a business tax receipt will need to be obtained from those offices. For more information, call 904-825-1065 for the City of St. Augustine or 904-471-2122 for the City of St. Augustine Beach. Once you have received zoning approval and a business tax receipt through either city, then the business tax receipt can be taken to the St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office to also obtain a business tax receipt through the county.

For additional information about business tax receipts, call the St. Johns County Tax Collector Office at 904-209-2250 or click on the following button.

How can I determine the zoning and future land use of a property I am considering for a project?

This information can be found on iMap. Visit iMap at https://www.gis.sjcfl.us/Html5Viewer/index.html?viewer=iMap. Once on iMap, type in the parcel number or address at the top right corner. The information about the property will appear on the left – click on the information and it will show up on the map. Next, click on the layers tab (to the right of the printer icon) and select zoning. To determine the future land use of a parcel, follow the same steps except select future land use in the layers tab.

Where can I find information about current economic conditions and economic trends in St. Johns County?

The St. Johns County Department of Economic Development produces a monthly economic indicator report that provides such information and can be found at the following link. - https://www.sjcfl.us/monthly-economic-indicator-reports

Where can I find information about the latest projects and developments in St. Johns County?

St. Johns County has a Development Tracker map that can be found at the following link. - https://www.sjcfl.us/development-tracker Once on the map, zoom into the area and click on the circle or highlighted area. Information will then display about the project.

Where can I find information about the Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) in St. Johns County and the entitlements within the PUDs?

St. Johns County has a PUD Development Activity map that provides such information and can be found at the following link. - https://www.gis.sjcfl.us/entitlements/ You can either select an area on the map or type in the name of the project on the right. Information about the PUD will display on the left. To see the entitlements for that PUD, click on the project number button on the left. On the next screen, click on the entitlements button on the right. Scroll down and you will see a list of the entitlements and square footage for those entitlements.

Where can I find information about a particular property within St. Johns County, such as parcel ID, acreage, ownership, etc.?

Such information can be found at the St. Johns County Property Appraiser office at www.sjcpa.gov. Once on the website, select search in the top navigation bar, and it will take you to a page where you can search for a particular property through multiple options.

Where can I find all available maps for St. Johns County?

St. Johns County has a Map Mart, which provides 90+ maps in PDF, including proposed transportation improvements, zoning, community redevelopment areas, education facilities, boat ramps, parks and much more. The Map Mart can be found at the following link. - https://sjcfl.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MinimalGallery/index.html?appid=b3a3949584524e61b6f920786e8bcd99

As I start my small business, what resources are available to me?   

The Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida in partnership with St. Johns County offers a full-service location for small businesses in St. Johns County with an office located in the Growth Management Permit Center, 4040 Lewis Speedway, at the main County complex in St. Augustine. The SBDC consultant, Marge Cirillo, also travels regularly to serve business owners in other areas of the county. Marge is a certified business analyst who works exclusively with small business owners in St. Johns County to provide management advice and technical assistance with little to no cost. Appointments are available by calling 904-209-1295.

Where can I download demographic reports for St. Johns County?

ESRI demographic reports such as business summary, community profile, housing profile, traffic county profile and more for St. Johns County can be found at the following link. - https://bit.ly/49LGjmN

Where can I find if a property is within one of St. Johns County’s two opportunity zones?

St. Johns County has two opportunity zones. Visit the following link to view the opportunity zones in St. Johns County on an interactive map to determine if a property is within one of the two opportunity zones. The opportunity zones are outlined in blue on the map. - https://bit.ly/3Pis954

How can I determine if my project is eligible for economic development incentives?

The St. Johns County Business Incentive Program has an established point system for determining a base value an applicant could receive for each of these categories: locating a new industry, expanding an existing business, or developing speculative space within the county. Visit the Business Incentive Program page for the category overviews and point systems. - https://www.sjcfl.us/business-incentive-programs