Can The St. Joe Co. Remake The Florida Peninsula?

The St. Joe Company appears to be streamlining its real estate operations as work begins on a new regional airport that could open up the The Florida Peninsula.

"After years of planning, plotting and plodding, a groundbreaking is scheduled today for a major new airport in Panama City, Fla., that will serve the Florida Panhandle.

It will also serve the St. Joe Company, which donated 4,000 acres for the airport itself, and another 9,800 acres as a conservation easement. And it will ease access to the developments that Joe has opened and is planning on its vast holdings in the region."

... Just as important, St. Joe has a long history of cooperating with governments at all levels, such as by providing land for roads or other infrastructure projects. The planned airport, expected to open in 2010, is the most notable example, even though there was some opposition from environmental groups. But Joe's efforts to spur the airport, including its land offerings, will pay St. Joe back many times over, as the airport provides easier access the Florida Panhandle to homebuyers and vacationers from colder climates, thus spurring tremendous real estate growth.

Remaking the region will take a good many years, decades even, but St. Joe is nothing if not a long-term player. The Florida Panhandle, long underdeveloped, is destined to be the house that St. Joe built."

Thanks to Peter Slatin

Full Story: Joe Set To Fly

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