International Airport As Real Estate Speculation
"Northwest Florida Beaches International, is also noteworthy because it is perhaps more of a real estate project than an effort to address a pressing transportation problem. Backed by a major Florida landowner, it is part of a plan to create 'a new national and international destination,' as one investor presentation proclaims, in a relatively sleepy region of beaches, barrier islands and wetlands.
'Silicon Valley at one point was out in the middle of nowhere,' said Britt Greene, president and chief executive of the St. Joe Company, the Florida developer that donated the land for the new airport and is the driving force behind the project. 'We think we can do the same.'"
The project is costing more than $300 million for what some say is an airport nobody needed. But its developers hope the new facilities will increase air traffic and visitors to the region.