Author Topic: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession  (Read 16355 times)

Dog Walker

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2010, 12:25:51 PM »
Quote
Where FDOT, JTA, and others of their ilk open themselves up to wide ranging criticism from ALL sides is in their failure to fully consider their projects beyond the scope of just an engineer's perspective.  The voices of the community at large are effectively marginalized (public hearings be damned) and the driving forces of development at all costs are front and center.  In the end, most criticism is a byproduct of this poor process for delivering such projects.  When the process is changed for the better, the criticism will likely ratchet down (of course, never to zero) tremendously.



You are absolutely correct here!  It took many years of people and organization pounding on FDOT to get them out of the "engineers" perspective on the Bridge of Lions and to come up with the present solution.  Too often they come in with a preferred solution and then spend all of their time in the public meetings defending it and getting it stuck in their thinking.

Engineer joke:  How can you tell an outgoing engineer from the average engineer?  When talking to you, he stares at your shoes instead of his own.  (Told to me by a friend who employs a bunch of them.)
When all else fails hug the dog.

FactCheck

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2010, 09:54:56 AM »
FYI
The FDOT did not design or build the Palm Valley Bridge, it was the US Army Corps.
http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisions/RealEstate/BasculeHwyBridge.htm

St. Johns County completed a study to replace the two lane Palm Valley Road with a four lane roadway,but didnt have the funds to construct.

The bridge and the road would have been constructed with or without the adjacent development...once the County generated tax proceeds or received grants to pay for its construction.

stjr

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #62 on: January 19, 2010, 10:29:18 PM »
Factcheck, interesting. I never realized the Army Corps was into bridge building like this.

My comments about engineers still hold true.  Consider the Army Corps of Engineers under the category of "...and others of their ilk."
;)
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

fieldafm

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2010, 09:58:03 PM »
Nocatee: A town slowly rises despite economic slowdown
The housing bust has altered the developer’s plans. The vision has adapted to changing needs. And they’re in it for the long haul.


http://jacksonville.com/business/2010-09-05/story/nocatee-town-slowly-rises-despite-economic-slowdown

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By Kevin Turner
Since Doug and Lauren Senecal moved their family to Nocatee in late 2007, they have seen new roads and new subdivisions spring from what was only vast forest acreage.

“We’re still amazed that there is so much building and so many families moving into the community, despite the fact that so many across the country are having a hard time,” said Lauren Senecal, 30, a stay-at-home mom for the couple’s three children. The Senecals were the first family to move into the Willowcove at Nocatee subdivision when they arrived from Gainesville in December 2007.

“It’s exciting to see the changes in the last two and a half years,” she said.

A new amenities center, complete with visitors center, exercise center, swimming pools, water slides and a “lazy river” pool opened April 10. Northeast Florida’s largest Publix, the anchor for Nocatee’s Town Center, opened Feb. 13. There’s a network of neatly landscaped streets and two-way golf cart paths, and home sales are active in a half-dozen subdivisions.

Later this month, a $150-million, four-lane Nocatee Parkway — complete with a flyover ramp from U.S. 1 and stretching four miles to a bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway — will be finished. It will become a major east-west artery between Ponte Vedra Beach and the Fruit Cove area of north St. Johns County.

A changing vision

But while some aspects of the 14,000-acre planned community have continued unabated, others have stalled because of the recession or are being altered because of changing buyer preferences.

No golf courses have been built, for example. The project is permitted for as many as three, but it may build only two because demand for golf-anchored developments isn’t what it used to be, said Richard Ray, managing partner of the Parc Group, Nocatee’s master developer.

When ground first broke in 2005 for what was envisioned to be a self-contained “town” of houses, retail stores and office space, the developer estimated 6,000 people would live in 2,000 homes within the first five years. But today, Nocatee has about 1,500 people in 500 homes. The 30-year plan calls for it to have 14,000 homes at build-out.

“In a normalized market, we would be double where we are,” said Ray, who points out construction is ongoing in several communities and bulldozers are clearing ground for morehomes.

The Senecals’ subdivision was one of the first in Nocatee, and had houses selling from $250,000 to $300,000 at the low end up to $1.4 million. But higher price-point homes aren’t selling as well anymore, and Nocatee has diversified its offerings to adjust to the change, Ray said.

“With a project time that’s a 30-year project, we always have to be reacting to current market conditions,” he said.

The Parc Group has responded with two projects with less expensive homes. The new Kelly Pointe offers houses from $200,000 to $275,000 and in Greenleaf Village, where ground is just being broken, prices range from $160,000 to $250,000.

They’re still actively selling the  middle and high-end subdivisions, even as the newer, lower-priced communities diversify the developer’s offerings, Ray said.

The Pulte/Del Webb subdivision of Riverwood will have 2,000 houses when complete; it has 150 now. It’s aimed at people in their 50s and older, mostly empty-nesters.

Upscale developer/builder Toll Brothers is building Coastal Oaks, Nocatee’s high-end, gated housing community with 891 homes when built out. It has about 146 now, Ray said.

In other single-family developments, the Parc Group is the developer and partner builders construct the homes. Willowcove, built by David Weekley  Homes and Lennar, has 67 of 350 homes built. Builder Taylor Morrison’s Austin Park, where Nocatee’s first home was completed in 2007, has built 103 of that project’s 189. David Weekley Homes and Richmond American are building in newly opened Kelly Pointe, where four homes out of 176 have been constructed. Nocatee’s condominium development, Tidewater, built by Pulte, has sold 40 units out of 100, he said.

Pulte’s North Florida Division Vice President Jay Thompson said it soon will begin construction of townhouses in Willowcove, bringing the company’s stake in the development to three.

“In a normalized market, I think it will seem like a tremendous value,” he said. “That’s why you’ve got builders going in there, even now.”

Nocatee’s community development district sold $300 million in bonds to pay for all the development’s planning, infrastructure and amenities. The bond payments, as well as maintenance costs, are spread over an internal network of partnerships that makes all landowners— from builders to developers to home owners — partners in the overall operation, Ray said. A homeowner with a one-fifth acre lot pays about $1,700 a year toward the bond, and the owner of a larger, one-third acre lot pays $2,400, he said.

'Preferred location’

Thompson said he’s confident that when normalcy returns, Nocatee will prove to be more than just a good place to build.

“When you think about any major market, there’s one place people find compelling and special. In Jacksonville, it was Julington Creek. In the next decade, it will be Nocatee,” Thompson said.

Retail developer Regency Centers owns about 25 acres in the heart of Nocatee’s Town Center. So far, the Publix-

anchored shopping center has just a few tenants — a sushi place, a hair stylist, a dry cleaner — but Tom Fleming, Regency Centers vice president of investments, said the company is there for the long haul.

“We’re big believers in Nocatee, although it’s certainly challenging in the current environment,” Fleming said. “It’s going to be one of the most preferred locations in the area.”

But that may come after a five- to 10-year wait, he said. Demand for housing at Nocatee is better this year than last year, but still is slower than had been anticipated, he said.

“We think we’ve met it today. We’d love to be able to expand what we’ve got,” he said.

Plans include building a “Main Street” lined with shops, but that will come when demand and Nocatee’s population increases, Fleming said.

What’s happening today at Nocatee is part of a plan that began unfolding 12 years ago. The owners of the then-vacant land — the Davis family, founders of Winn-Dixie — retained the Parc Group and began the approval process for a “development of regional impact.” But the first house wasn’t sold there until April 6, 2007, and by the time home sales began in earnest, the real estate market’s boom had turned to bust.

The 30-year plan allowed for a couple of recessions but couldn’t predict what form they would take, Ray said.

“We were disappointed to see how quickly it came, and then the duration,” he said.

Still, Ray is perenially upbeat about Nocatee’s present and future. Partner builders are committed to the project, and its infrastructure continues to grow to accommodate expected growth, which is slowly returning, he says.

And for Nocatee, the developer believes the community is  more like a  marathon than a 50-yard dash.

CS Foltz

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2010, 10:42:33 PM »
At least they built their own roads rather than using  our tax dollars for it......but they have no and did not plan for any rail option! Seems to me to be short sighted for supposedly taking into account market conditions and a long range point of view!

Jason

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #65 on: September 10, 2010, 02:34:27 PM »
They are still poised for a rail connection along the US1 corridor.  Nocatee as a whole is and likely always will be a suburban style development.

north miami

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Re: Nocatee Development Slowed by Recession
« Reply #66 on: September 10, 2010, 03:48:47 PM »
The press of Population.

Even corn fields in far flung sections of the mid west can be transformed to planned unitized package.