- 2014 - January - 7th -

St. Joe sells RiverTown, last area tie

By Mark Basch, Contributing Writer

The St. Joe Co. said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday that it is selling the remaining property in its only Northeast Florida project, RiverTown in St. Johns County, to Mattamy Homes.

Canada-based homebuilder Mattamy agreed to pay $43.6 million to buy 4,057 acres of property and the development rights to RiverTown, the filing said.

St. Joe, then headquartered in Jacksonville, began activities at RiverTown almost 15 years ago. However, development of the community in northern St. Johns County, along the St. Johns River, has been slow.

Construction began in 2007 but the company sold only 30 of a planned 4,500 homes when the recession stopped activity in 2008.

Although development resumed after the recession, activity has continued to be slow. St. Joe’s last annual report showed it sold 13 homesites in RiverTown in 2011, producing total revenue of $400,000. It sold 36 homesites for $1.6 million and one home for $1.2 million in 2012.

In the first nine months of 2013, St. Joe sold 44 homesites in RiverTown, producing revenue of $1.6 million, according to its last financial report.

St. Joe in 2010 moved its headquarters to WaterSound in the Florida Panhandle, where most of its real estate projects are located. RiverTown is its only remaining tie to Northeast Florida.

Mattamy has been building homes in a number of communities in the Jacksonville area, including RiverTown. The company operates in four other U.S. markets, according to its website: Minneapolis, Charlotte, Phoenix and Orlando.

The SEC filing said that in addition to the $43.6 million payment, Mattamy will be required to buy certain RiverTown-related impact fee credits from St. Joe as RiverTown is developed. Based on current development plans, St. Joe estimates it will receive $20 million to $26 million over five years, it said.

Mattamy will also assume Community Development District obligations from St. Joe as part of the deal.


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