The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) yesterday announces plans to construct, own and operate a new branded hotel, immediately adjacent and convenient to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP).
Following St. Joe’s business strategy of expanding its portfolio of income producing properties, as well as growing its resorts and leisure segment, the Company plans the development of a 110-125 room hotel with a full service restaurant and bar, as well as meeting space. This new hotel will be located adjacent to the airport which is located within St. Joe’s 110,500 acres known as the Bay-Walton Sector Plan.
The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport has experienced a significant increase in passenger traffic since its relocation. In 2009, the airport had one airline carrier with one direct destination. Today, after re-opening in its current location, it has four carriers with ten non-stop direct destinations. In that same period of time, annual passenger traffic increased from approximately 300,000 passengers at the end of 2009 to over 900,000 passengers at the end of 2017. “We are pleased that St. Joe has chosen their property adjacent to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport for this much needed hotel,” said Parker W. McClellan Jr., AAE, Airport Executive Director. Mr. McClellan added, “Additional lodging options with a trusted company like St. Joe will be a great enhancement for our region servicing travelers visiting our area whether on business or leisure.”
Located adjacent to the proposed hotel site and the airport, St. Joe continues to develop VentureCrossings Commerce Park, with anchor tenants Harris Corporation and GKN Aerospace. In addition to its commercial activities, St. Joe recently announced plans for the Latitude Margaritaville Watersound active adult community, to be located in close proximity to the airport and within the Bay-Walton Sector Plan property, which is entitled for up to 170,000 homes. The new community will be developed by a joint venture between St. Joe and Minto Communities USA and is planned for 3,000 homes in its first phase. Model homes are scheduled to open in 2020.
“We are pleased to announce the addition of a new hotel property adjacent to the growing airport and our neighboring commercial and residential projects,” said Jorge Gonzalez, President and Chief Executive Officer of The St. Joe Company. Mr. Gonzalez added, “With the growth of the region as a whole and St. Joe’s upcoming projects, along with the increase in airport passenger traffic, we believe now is the right time to add this new hotel for the increasing number of travelers. This location is an ideal fit for a new hotel offering travelers another great lodging option. This hotel announcement constitutes the third new hotel for the Company, including the 250-room Embassy Suites at Pier Park, which is expected to break ground in 2019 and the 124-room TownePlace Suites in Panama City Beach, which broke ground in October 2018.”