World Commerce Center

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World Commerce Center (WCC) is an approved Development of Regional Impact (DRI) under Section 380.06 of the Florida Statutes.[1] It is intended to be the commercial and office development center for St. Johns County, Florida,[2] one of the fastest-growing counties in the United States during the 2000s.[3][4]

History[edit]

The World Golf Hall of Fame opened on May 19, 1998, inside the World Golf Village. It was intended as a golf Mecca for players and fans of the game. A new interchange on Interstate 95 in Florida was constructed to permit direct access to the site. On December 10, 2002, the St. Johns County Commission approved the World Commerce Center DRI which included a location for Ring Power, the first tenant. The mixed use development consists of 966 acres (391 ha), located south of the World Golf Village.

Tenants[edit]

Ring Power, a heavy equipment company previously located in Jacksonville, Florida, built a new 414,000 sq ft (38,500 m2) facility on 95 acres (38 ha) in the WCC and moved there in March, 2005. Their center includes a four-floor corporate headquarters building facing I-95 and separate shop units.[5]

The Rulon Company announced in May, 2005 that they would construct a new corporate office and manufacturing facility at WCC, then relocate from their present Brunswick, Georgia location. The company manufactures high end acoustical ceiling and wall systems using wood and plastic for commercial customers.[6]

The Sevilla residential development is a gated community of 405 homesites in the center of the WCC. Construction began in 2005 with phase 1, which sold briskly. By the time phase 2 opened, the 2008 economic meltdown had occurred, and sales were slow.[7] As of December 2013 Sevilla was completely built out. Construction of the $26 million, 120-bed Clyde E. Lassen State Nursing Home for Veterans is scheduled to be completed in June, 2010. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs allocated $10 million for the project, with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs contributing $16 million. The 15.7-acre (6.4 ha) site was donated by the Steinemann Company, developers of the World Commerce Center.[8] The State of Florida operates five other nursing homes for veterans.[9] A Gate Gas Station and Convenience Store at International Golf Parkway and World Commerce Drive opened in July 2015. A Burger King is slated for opening in January 2017.

Proposed[edit]

The Lion's Gate project was an open air retail shopping complex that was announced in the spring of 2007. When completed, it was expected to encompass 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of retail space on 100 acres (40 ha) in the southwest corner of the WCC.[10] After the initial announcement, market conditions deteriorated, the company never purchased the land and the project died.[11]

Segovia at World Commerce Center was a planned multi-family development on the west side of WCC. The land was cleared, the road and storm retention pond were constructed, but lots were never plated. As of 2010, it was unoccupied.[12][13] As of October 2015 half of the proposed 220 town homes were constructed. As of March 2018 all 220 homes were constructed and occupied.

Prior to the recession of 2008, Flagler Hospital announced plans to build a 288-bed facility in or near the WCC. An office park to be named, Golf Park Center was also proposed. Those plans are still on hold.[2][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Florida's Statutes Official website
  2. ^ a b Conte, Christian: “World Commerce Center office condos planned” Jacksonville Business Journal, August 11, 2006
  3. ^ "Census Day is April 1, 2010: St. Johns Counts!" St. Johns Board of County Commissioners, February 4, 2010
  4. ^ "100 fastest growing counties" U. S. Census Bureau, March 16, 2006
  5. ^ Lackey, Jaime: “Mixed Use Spotlight” Southeast Real Estate Business, May 2004
  6. ^ Commerce Center “Manufacturer is second World Commerce Center tenant” Jacksonville Business Journal, May 5, 2004
  7. ^ “Sevilla at World Commerce Center” Press release, June 8, 2005
  8. ^ "Resolution 2007-79" St. Johns County Commission, March 20, 2007
  9. ^ Guinta, Peter: "VA home almost complete" St. Augustine Record, December 29, 2009
  10. ^ a b Conte, Christian: “World Commerce Center mall planned” Jacksonville Business Journal, April 13, 2007
  11. ^ Conte, Christian: “Projects on hold waiting for better market” Jacksonville Business Journal, February 12, 2010
  12. ^ "Road Construction" St. Augustine Record, June 9, 2008
  13. ^ "Bond released" St. Johns County, February 11, 2010

External links[edit]