Plans for Active Senior Retirement Community Continue

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BAY COUNTY Plans for an active senior retirement community in Bay and Walton counties are moving forward.

The company in charge of the project provided an update earlier today.

They still have a long way to go until the retirement community breaks ground.

Senior Vice President of St. Joe company, Jorge Gonzalez, has been working with the Bay County Economic Development Alliance for years, planning and designing a new retirement community spanning almost 110,000 acres.

Ninety-nine percent of that land sits in Bay County.

The 50 year long term master plan is geared toward active seniors, especially baby boomer retirees.

Gonzalez says about the project, "It's not seasonal, so it seems to be a steadier proposition throughout the entire year, it's less susceptible to recession cycles. It's not susceptible to the same cycles a real estate market is, and we think it could be complimentary to the existing economies of Bay County, which is military and tourism."

St. Joe will be targeting the southeast and the midwest states for potential residents, battling head to head with Ocala's "The Villages", the largest retirement community in Florida.

But unlike The Villages, this community will not be age restricted.

Gonzalez says they'll also be building single-family homes.

EDA Executive Director Neal Wade adds, "We're looking forward to it. It's going to add potential new part time workers for people who want to move here, retire here but aren't ready to rock in a rocking chair but they want to do some part time work. Those are important."

Gonzalez submitted his project application to Bay and Walton counties in April.

He's now waiting for approval before moving forward with more planning meetings.

Gonzalez says the community is still a couple years from breaking