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.