St. Johns County OKs purchase of 36 acres in World Golf Village


St. Johns County Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday, April 16, to purchase 36.07 acres of property at the core of World Golf Village in what Commissioner Henry Dean characterized as temporary ownership.

“We’re serving as a transitional agent,” he said, predicting that the county would not likely retain ownership for more than a year.

The purchase price is $5.5 million and includes $202,500 for the inventory of the Hall of Fame, the IMAX Theater and the PGA Tour Production Building. The purchase also includes the lake, common area and parking spaces. The county already owns the Hall of Fame structure.

The cost of property closing is estimated at an additional $50,000.

The lone dissenting vote came from Commissioner Krista Joseph.

In July 2022, the World Golf Foundation informed the county of its intention to move the World Golf Hall of Fame to Pinehurst, North Carolina, its original home. The Hall of Fame had been located in St. Johns County since 1998.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, operations had ceased at the Hall of Fame and the 64,113-square-foot building was conveyed to the county. The theater measures 17,865 square feet, and the production building measures 32,329 square feet.

The county sought public input and has been under agreement with the foundation to continue operation of the theater.

Tuesday’s action terminates a 1991 tourist development agreement and a 1995 ground lease. The PGA Tour and World Golf Foundation have requested to lease back the production building until March 2025 in order to move the production operations to the PGA Tour Global Headquarters in Ponte Vedra.

Funding for the purchase includes reallocation of $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds and $2 million from the 2019 Capital Improvements Fund that had been approved for construction of a library in that community.

The commission also voted to apply $1.55 million from public building impact fee reserves to the purchase.

Further information on the county’s plans for the property are expected to be made public in May.