In 2009, The PARC Group was happy to report that Nocatee’s builders had sold 68 homes during the year. Nine years later, the business is selling that number of homes in Nocatee in about three weeks, with an average of 1,000 homes sold per year over the last four years.
“There’s been a pretty radical change,” The PARC Group President and CEO Rick Ray said to the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach last Thursday, Oct. 11. “We’re busier now than we really have been since we started.”
Addressing the local Rotary Club at its weekly meeting at Marsh Landing Country Club, Ray discussed the growth of Nocatee, its residents and its impact on St. Johns County as the club’s keynote speaker.
In addition to highlighting the dramatic rise in home sales, Ray noted the growth in communities and builders in Nocatee. In 2009, he said Nocatee was home to seven communities offered by 11 different builders. The PARC Group, he said, was opening communities that met the current market demand during the recession, including Greenleaf Village with homes starting at $175,000. Another community, Ray noted, was for the cost-conscious buyers with homes starting at $150,000.
Now, Nocatee has 30 communities featuring 20 different builders, and the average selling price for a home is $465,000. Ray said the community is approaching the 7,000 mark of new home sales, which is a little more than 60 percent of total build-out, and has surpassed a population of 20,000. Almost 70 percent of the land, he added, is sold and in some stage of active development.
In addition to rooftops, Ray said the business community is growing in Nocatee, as seen with the development of the Nocatee Town Center and nearby restaurants, office space and medical facilities. He noted that The PARC Group is planning to make a number of announcements in the near future regarding expanded medical services, too.
Ray attributed the growth to the Nocatee lifestyle and brand. He said a recent survey revealed the No. 1 reason people are choosing to live in Nocatee is the lifestyle, compared to in the past when people chose the community for its proximity to beaches and top-rated schools.
“I would love to think we can create that as developers but we can’t,” Ray said about the Nocatee lifestyle. “We’ve been very fortunate. A lot of it is just the people who have moved into Nocatee have created that lifestyle. We can create events, activities and build things, but they’re able to breathe life into that for us.”
Ray noted that the community’s amenities, such as the Splash Water Park Spray Park and other wow factors, play a big part in creating that lifestyle.
Ray provided several fascinating statistics concerning the residents of Nocatee.
Perhaps the most noteworthy is that about 68 percent of the community’s residents are coming from somewhere outside of Jacksonville’s five-county area. They’re coming from elsewhere in Florida but also from all over the world, Ray said. Of those moving to Nocatee from the Jacksonville area, Ray noted that one-third are coming from the Beaches, with most coming from Ponte Vedra Beach to either downsize or build a new home.
In addition, Ray said about half of Nocatee’s new residents are products of a job transfer or relocation. Surprisingly, 38 percent of the community’s residents are retired, he said, and 20 percent work from home. Also on an employment note, Ray said 6 percent of Nocatee residents work at the Beaches.
The median age in Nocatee is 40, Ray said, and the median age of just adults is 50.
Impact on St. Johns County
Ray said the community’s new home property value is approaching a combined $3 billion, which he noted is a significant property tax base that’s been brought into the county on land that was not too long ago agricultural.
In addition, he said St. Johns County has collected more than $70 million in impact fees from Nocatee residents. On top of that, Nocatee residents, Ray explained, pay an assessment every year to pay for their road system, which was built by funds being repaid by the residents. The Nocatee Parkway alone, Ray said, cost $160 million, and the community’s internal collector roads are worth $100 million combined.
The community now has three schools, including Ponte Vedra High School, which Ray said mostly benefits Ponte Vedra Beach students, and Valley Ridge Academy and Palm Valley Academy.
Ray added that Nocatee has over 300 acres of parks, half of which is for the benefit of nonresidents. He also said The PARC Group is continuing its commitment to preserve two-thirds of the land in the community.
Future of Nocatee
If Nocatee were to maintain its current growth rate, Ray said it would take another four or five years to reach the end of development. He noted, however, that their pace may be slowed, especially if a future market correction takes place.
“We’re very cautious as we’re looking at 2019,” he said. “All we can do is take all the data from all the experts … and try to make our own determinations for when this market is going to slow down, or if we’re going to see some kind of correction.”
Overall, however, Ray said The PARC Group is seeing home values held up at very substantial prices in addition to a resale market that he said is strong.
“We’re very optimistic about the future,” he said.