Master developer Minto Communities USA, global lifestyle brand Margaritaville Holdings and The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) on Thursday announced the official formation of their joint venture to develop Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, an active adult community in Florida’s Panhandle region located in Bay County near Panama City Beach and the scenic 30A corridor. The community is projected to break ground by the end of 2019.
Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is in the heart of St. Joe’s Bay-Walton Sector Plan that is entitled for 170,000 homes. St. Joe owns approximately 15 miles of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway connecting West Bay with Choctawhatchee Bay, and it is expected that the community will receive the benefit from the spectacular vistas and recreational opportunities that surround it.
The first phase of the project is anticipated to include approximately 3,500 homes with supporting sales center, community amenities and infrastructure for the 55+ community. The sales center, model homes, and first phase of the Latitude Margaritaville Watersound community will be located west of Highway 79 and north of the intersection with Highway 388 in Bay County.
Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is the third Latitude Margaritaville community to be developed by Minto and the first to be developed in partnership with St. Joe. The first two Latitude Margaritaville communities are located in Daytona Beach, Florida and Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Jorge Gonzalez, president and CEO of St. Joe stated, "We are pleased to announce the execution of the definitive joint venture agreement with Minto and the project groundbreaking in late 2019. The planned Latitude Margaritaville Watersound community is in close proximity to the Intracoastal Waterway, the Gulf of Mexico’s gorgeous white sand beaches, existing shopping and entertainment centers like Pier Park, and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport with non-stop service by Delta, Southwest, American, and United to 13 destinations. In addition to being in close proximity to these terrific natural amenities and facilities, the planning process for a new marina village and commercial district immediately adjoining Latitude Margaritaville are already underway.”
Minto’s Latitude Margaritaville Division President William Bullock said, “A little over a year ago, we announced our intent to join forces with St. Joe and, during that time, we have engaged in extensive research and planning culminating in the recent finalization of the partnership structure. The first increment of homes is being planned for 3,500 units with another offering on the drawing board after that. We are excited about the spectacular waterfront and stunning natural elements located at Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, and intend to fully embrace and design for connectivity with nature. This amazing property presents a unique opportunity to deploy the four pillars of the Latitude Margaritaville lifestyle: food, fun, music and escapism in one of the country’s most beautiful and desirable locations.”
John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville Holdings, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Jorge and St. Joe and expand our work with Minto, to create Latitude Margaritaville Watersound at an iconic and beautiful location on the Florida Panhandle. Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is about so many of the good things in life – friends, relaxation, fun, outdoor recreation and entertainment. The opportunity to build a community that has the potential to exceed 100,000 homes gives us the ability to create every dimension of our lifestyle and include everyone in the experience.”