Business Briefs


First Coast YMCA opens new Winston Family Y in Riverside

The First Coast YMCA celebrated the grand opening of its new riverfront Winston Family YMCA with a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 26, kicking off a weekend full of tours, health screenings and opportunities to use the building’s new fitness facilities.

Attendees had an opportunity to tour the new Y and use some of its new offerings, which include an aquatic center with two pools; a gymnasium; a spiritual wellness center; dedicated rooms for yoga and other fitness classes; and an expansive fitness center and indoor track with sweeping views of the St. Johns River.

“The reactions we get the most are a lot of ‘Wows’ and ‘This is amazing!’ and ‘I cannot believe the view!’” said Tim Burrows, director of member experience.

The new Winston Y also offers a KidZone – where children can participate in supervised activities while their parents exercise or take part in other Y activities – a café, and locker rooms for families and people with special needs. A special highlight of the new facilities, Y officials said, is the new Healthy Living Center: Through partnerships with Florida Blue, Baptist Health and Brooks Rehabilitation, the center will offer a wide range of preventive and rehabilitation services along with information on health insurance coverage options.

“This will really be a one-stop-shop for Jacksonville residents to get healthier,” said Matt Davidson, Florida Blue’s operations director at the Healthy Living Center.

While the Ponte Vedra YMCA was previously known as the Winston Y – after Jacksonville civic leader and philanthropist James H. Winston – Y officials decided to name the new Riverside facility for Winston after several anonymous donors contributed gifts to its construction in his honor. Moving forward, the local First Coast YMCA on Landrum Lane will be known as the Ponte Vedra Y.

$25 million indoor sports complex proposed for Race Track Road

A proposal to build a $25 million indoor sports complex on Race Track Road is scheduled to come before the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners Sept. 20.

Known as Project Family, the project would build a 175,000 square foot indoor complex with facilities for everything from football and basketball to volleyball and gymnastics. Plans also call for the complex to house batting cages and a full-sized baseball infield as well as a sports bar and restaurant.

Constructing the facility – to be located at 5404 Race Track Road – requires that the land be rezoned from rural/silviculture to intensive commercial. The SJC Planning and Zoning Agency voted unanimously to recommend approval of the zoning change at its Aug. 18 meeting, clearing the way for the Board of County Commissioners to consider the change at its Sept. 20 meeting. Should the project receive the necessary county and state approvals, developers have estimated that work could begin on the complex in early 2017.

Palm Valley Outdoors, St. Johns River Taxi to offer Intracoastal cruises, water taxi service

Local residents who want to visit St. Augustine without fighting the traffic and hunting for parking will soon have a new option for visiting the Ancient City.

Palm Valley Outdoors is joining forces with St. Johns River Taxi & Tours to offer roundtrip water taxi service on the weekends from PVO to St. Augustine. Taxi service and tours will leave from Palm Valley Outdoors at 9 a.m. on a 50- or 80-passenger boat and return from St. Augustine at 2 p.m. Hourlong sunset cruises as well as cruise/dinner packages are also planned.

For reservations or more information, call (904) 999-4140, (904) 834-7183 or visit

Berkshire Hathaway to host home buyers’ forum

The Ponte Vedra Beach office of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty will host a home buyers’ forum Thursday, Oct. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the office, located at 333 Village Main St., Suite 670 in Sawgrass Village.

Hosted by Realtors Peggie Black, Joan Dickinson and Stephanie Lancer and EverBank’s Mike Henderson, the event will enable attendees to learn more about the home buying process, including how much house they can afford and the benefits of owning versus renting. Appointments will be available to receive preapproval.

In addition to wine and cheese, the forum will offer the opportunity to win door prizes, including a beach cruiser. To register online, visit or call (904) 616-2651 for more information.