The PGA TOUR unveiled plans for its new 187,000 square-foot global headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach on Jan. 19 at a special presentation attended by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President of Communications Laura Neal, St. Johns County Director of Economic Development Melissa Glasgow and others.
The new state-of-the-art headquarters designed by Foster + Partners, which is expected to be completed in 2020, will be located on a portion of the TOUR’s existing property on County Road 210 and surrounded by a large freshwater lake resembling the “Island Green” 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. The building will house the more than 750 employees who currently occupy 17 buildings throughout the area, with the capacity to accommodate several hundred more.
The headquarters will feature a pair of parallel three-story bays flanking a collaborative atrium and connected by 20-foot-wide bridges, wide terraces along the atrium to allow for flexible workplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, five large skylights designed to permeate the building with natural light and more. According to Foster + Partners, the design ultimately embraces new ways of working and collaboration for the PGA TOUR, as it responds to changing media landscapes and audiences in the future.
“We are excited for the opportunity to continue to grow in St. Johns County and believe the PGA TOUR’s new home will be a sense of pride for the entire area and state of Florida,” Monahan said, “while allowing us to become more efficient in the way we communicate, collaborate and operate as an organization. Although we have a growing international presence with offices and tournaments around the world, the PGA TOUR and our employees are very proud to be active members of the First Coast and Ponte Vedra Beach community, and call this area home.”
Glasgow said that golf is “woven into the very fabric” of Ponte Vedra and having the PGA TOUR headquartered in the area will strengthen the bond between the TOUR and the community.
“As the largest corporate headquarters in St. Johns County, the TOUR project represents an innovative public-private partnership that will generate extraordinary long-term benefits,” Glasgow said. “We thank the TOUR for their continued investment in our community.”
In October 2017, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) voted unanimously to support a $2.8 million economic incentives program for the company to construct the new headquarters facility. At the time of that vote, the PGA TOUR said it planned to invest $86 million into the construction of the building. The company also said it anticipated hiring an additional 300 employees who will be paid an average wage of $79,442, which is approximately two times the average wage in St. Johns County. According to county staff at the time, the tour’s financial investment will conservatively generate a net economic benefit of $24 million to the county over a 20-year period and $7 million alone to the county’s general fund.
During the event, Scott awarded Monahan with a Governor’s Business Ambassador Award for his commitment to creating jobs in Florida.
“When I became governor, one of the things I wanted to do was start highlighting businesses and business people that added jobs in our state," Scott said. "It's the most important thing you can do for a family. Everybody I know wants to have a job.”
The PGA TOUR moved to Ponte Vedra Beach from Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s with three employees who occupied a house in the Players Club development in Sawgrass. Monahan noted that his organization has grown from one tour to six around the world since 1982. He added that the changing media landscape has offered more opportunities to reach new marketplaces and tell the story of PGA TOUR athletes.
Scott also praised the TOUR for donating to a wide range of charities in the community. Mayor Curry said he was grateful for the PGA TOUR, referring to the organization as “the fabric of the City of Jacksonville.”