Patriot Place certified ‘Florida Green’ by coalition


St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP), a nonprofit that develops affordable housing, announced on April 4 that Patriot Place has earned Gold Certification under the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) Homes Standard.

“We are excited to be part of this important project,” said FGBC President Bill Kachman. “Homes for transitional veterans, built on a beautiful infill lot with an incredible live oak for them to sit and relax under. To be involved with this project means so much knowing that Patriot Place will be able to house an at-risk or homeless veteran after everything they have done for our country.”

Patriot Place comprises six new, low-income residences to address St. Johns County’s critical need for housing for at-risk and homeless veterans. Residents began moving in at the end of 2023.

Green building practices were utilized throughout the construction process to address FGBC criteria such as energy performance; water conservation; site conservation; health, air quality and moisture, materials, and disaster mitigation.

“Patriot Place is a good example of what can be done when the public and private sectors come together,” said SJHP Executive Director Bill Lazar. “I want to congratulate all the partners, donors and supporters that made Patriot Place a reality for an at-risk segment of our community. Affordable housing must be sustainable over time both in terms of actual affordability and debt service along with building performance and long-term maintenance.”

Founded in 1996, SJHP has helped expand housing options for the greater community, not just to benefit veterans. To achieve that, the group brings together public and private sectors, including investors on projects that create low- and moderate-income housing, rebuild neglected homes and revitalize neighborhoods in disadvantaged areas.

The project is a collaboration between MountainStar Partners, a real estate investor and developer, SJHP and St. Johns County. The total cost of Patriot Place was $1 million, including infrastructure improvements

MountainStar Partners committed more than $500,000 for land acquisition and construction costs. Patriot Place marks the first time that a density credit exchange for low-income housing was created and housing delivered to the community.

Patriot Place was built by Robert Marshall of World Island Builders and designed by Architect Bryan McCloskey. Financial partner Ameris Bank financed the construction.

Patriot Place took five years to complete, including finding and purchasing the lot, securing financing for construction, permitting and zoning. The one-bedroom apartments are 630 square feet each and veterans will pay about 30% of the market rate with the balance subsidized through the partnership with Flagler CareConnect.

Patriot Place residents will be managed by the UF/ Flagler Health+ social health program UF/Care Connect+, which links area residents with resources like safe housing, food pantries, counseling services, workplace readiness and transportation.

Former St. Johns County Development Services Director Suzanne Konchan conceived the original idea for Patriot Place and St. Johns County commissioners Roy Alaimo and Henry Dean helped Patriot Place become reality.

The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, Bo Strange with Lovely Loo and the Snodgrass Family Foundation donated additional funds, time and materials.

Other contributors and supporters included The Home Depot Store No. 6334, Eagle Scout Michael Korfhage and Boy Scout Troup 243, University of Florida IFAS Master Gardeners and FGBC certifying agents Kachman and Ralph Locke, both military veterans, who waived their fee and volunteered their time. The entire solar panel system was donated by Everybody Solar, JinkoSolar and Synergy Solar.

FGBC is the state’s leading certifier of green projects. The FGBC Certification Program tailors’ carbon-reducing, green building standards to the Florida climate, allowing builders, developers and communities to meet green building standards while simultaneously constructing sustainable properties best suited for Florida’s ecosystem.

Going Green? In Florida you have a choice. Contact the Florida Green Building Coalition at, go to or call 407-777-4914.