County commission approves park and public library for Nocatee


A park and public library will be coming to the Nocatee community in a couple of years following a recent decision by the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners to approve the project.

Residents will begin to see progress being made sooner rather than later with construction of the project is expected to start later this year with completion estimated by the end of 2026.

The new facilities will be built on 49 acres of land donated to the county by the Davis family and The PARC Group, who are the developers of the Nocatee community. 

The vote by the board of county commissioners was unanimous and authorized an estimated $123 million plan to construct five regional parks and community centers across the county, and the Nocatee project is included as part of the larger picture. 

The Nocatee project will account for an estimated $43 million of the $123 million overall plan.

The northeast community park in Nocatee will feature several amenities for residents, including baseball, softball, soccer and other multipurpose fields, as well as pickleball and sand volleyball courts.

However, the park will be more than just a place to play various sports, but also a place intended for the entire family to come out and find something to do and enjoy a day together. 

There will be several activities available for residents, such as, a children's splash pad, picnic pavilions, a fishing pond with kayak dock, climbing wall and plenty of play areas and paved walkways around the grounds.

A community center with indoor space will also be part of the park property intended to support the county’s supervisor of elections.

The park’s plans also include the construction of a full-service public library branch to be included as part of the county’s library system and serve the needs of the community's 32,000 residents.

"The PARC Group thanks the St. Johns County commissioners for making this project possible," said Rick Ray, CEO of The PARC Group. "We especially appreciate the efforts of commissioners Christian Whitehurst and Henry Dean for championing the addition of a full library, a long-awaited and welcome addition to the Nocatee Community."   

The next step in the project will be a financing package which will be presented to the BOCC for consideration at a future meeting date, according to St. Johns County Administrator Joy Andrews.

The county suggested that no property taxes will be used to pay for the construction costs, as it plans to use a combination of existing accumulated impact fees paid by developments­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ and debt issuance to fund the projects.

The plan, combined with previous financial commitments to parks, means that St. Johns County has invested $200 million over the next five years into countywide parks and recreation facilities to support various programs and services.