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St. Joe Company's Big Plans and Drastic Impacts on Florida's Panhandle

The construction of a new airport and industrial district on Florida's panhandle characterizes the impact of the St. Joe Company, the state's biggest landowner and one in the midst of drastically changing the area's landscape.
August 19, 2009, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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This piece from Miller-MCCune looks at the history of the St. Joe Company's developments in Florida and how they could have a devastating effect on the region's environment.

"But the new Bay County International has an important backer: The St. Joe Company, one of the largest private landowners in Florida, a former paper company turned real estate visionary and likely the largest political force in the state. The airport will be built on 4,000 acres donated by St. Joe, and it will abut almost 78,000 acres of St. Joe lands that are today a largely inaccessible mix of pine forests, shallow swamps and blackwater creeks. If all works as planned, these lands will be transformed into industrial parks, neighborhoods, recreation areas and businesses. As Randy Curtis, the executive director of the Panama City/Bay County Airport, told a reporter, the airport will create fundamental change: 'The planning process isn't the same, but in a lot of ways the situation is comparable to Ft. Myers 25 years ago. The relocation of the airport is going to be the trigger to remake the entire Bay County area.'"

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Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 in Miller-McCune
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