by Chris Shee, Mastercraft Builder Group
As the old saying goes, “The only thing constant in life is change.” That’s certainly the case for those of us that call St. Johns “home.” It seems impossible to drive anywhere around here for more than five minutes without seeing new development occurring. While the common uninformed naysayer is grumbling under their breath after reading that, if you take a good look at what’s going on here in our community and the bigger picture of how our area is shaping, it’s actually really exciting to see how many wonderful new changes are coming our way.
9B / 2209 Extension
If you’ve driven along the areas of St. Johns Parkway (2209) and Race Track Road over the last couple months, you’ve seen many trees being cleared over a very long swath of land. What you’re seeing is the new 2209 extension that will run from 210 through the Durbin Creek National property (see map) and connect to I-95, 9B, and 295. It’s part of the same roadway construction you see from I-95 just south of Old St. Augustine Road. Once Silverleaf begins development, you’ll see 2209 continue south of 210 crossing through the new Outer Beltway (which creates another connection to I-95) and connecting to 16 at 16A. As the major north/south corridor for our part of the county, 2209 will provide relief to many of the bottlenecks we’ve become so used to hating.
St. Johns’ Town Center…and not the one you’re thinking
If you remember the article I wrote last year, you’ll remember me mentioning these new roadways on the horizon and how 2209 will tie into the Durbin Creek National property, which will be “our ‘St. Johns’ town center.” Durbin Lakes, the name of this exciting new development, is expected to break ground on Phase 1 in early 2017 and will eventually bring a total of 2.4 million square feet of retail, 2.8 million square feet of office, 350 hotel rooms, and nearly 1,000 multifamily homes. Durbin Lakes will provide wonderful new opportunities for us to shop, dine, work, and even live right here in our own backyard. It will also provide a nice boost in property tax revenues and hopefully help St. Johns County gain some much needed employment centers.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that “real estate” was a bad word. As we all know, location will always be the most important variable influencing the value of real estate. Being in the best location is always the safest place to weather the economic cycles affecting real estate. I don’t know about you, but there’s not a better place to live in my opinion than St. Johns County. As one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, I’m not the only one to share this opinion and it shows. The supply of homes for sale in our market is ridiculously low, even causing bidding wars in some instances. Values are and have been on the rise for a few years due to both the higher demand and lack of supply. Homeowners are able to sell their homes quickly and for great prices. Magnificent new communities like Shearwater (see map) are developing and not only welcoming new homeowners to St. Johns County, but also welcoming large numbers of neighbors that are selling their older homes in the 210 and Julington areas to move into a new home with the latest and greatest in design, energy efficiency, community amenities, etc.—but the important point is that they (you) are staying right here.
St. Johns Magazine blog features articles written by & about the people, places and events of St. Johns and the surrounding communities.