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Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 12, 201912:03 PM EST

Davis family, The PARC Group planning 4,000-home community in Clay County

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Development will be along the First Coast Expressway west of U.S. 17 and include offices, retail.

Developers of the Nocatee and eTown residential and commercial communities in Duval and St. Johns counties have turned to Clay County for a large project.

The Davis family and The PARC Group intend to develop more than 3,000 acres in Green Cove Springs west of U.S. 17 and north and south of the First Coast Expressway under construction.

They intend to develop a master-planned community with about 4,000 homes and a mix of retail and offices.

Through GCSD LLC and GSCE LLC and other entities, the Davises bought the land from sellers affiliated with Gustafson’s Family Enterprises Inc.

The buyers paid at least $13.3 million for the bulk of the property, deeds show, including almost $12.7 million for about 2,700 acres.

“Nocatee has been recognized as one of the best-selling communities in America, and we look forward to working with The PARC Group in Clay County on this community,” said Jed Davis, president and CEO of DDI Inc., the family-owned entity involved in the property purchase.

A news release posted to The PARC Group’s Facebook page said the timing for development will be tied to completion in Clay County of the First Coast Expressway, so no development is expected for several years.

The expressway is a limited-access toll road to link Interstate 10 in Duval County with Interstate 95 in St. Johns County. The last of the three phases, including a new Shands Bridge, is expected to start in 2023.

A map of the projects shows the development on both sides of the First Coast Expressway.

“PARC’s vision for the community will include a focus on lifestyle including recreation, nature trails, and a dedication to preservation and conservation,” the release said. 

Roger O’Steen, The PARC Group chairman and founder, said the developers look forward to the Clay County project.

“We have had numerous productive discussions with the leadership in the county and look forward to working closely with them as we develop plans for the new community,” he said.

The property has been known Governors Park, the name of its Development of Regional Impact. 

A 2019 Governors Park Planned Unit Development document describes it as a mixed-use, master-planned community on 3,112 acres around the future interchange of the First Coast Expressway and the Green Cove Springs Bypass.

A map of the development area.

The preliminary concept shows four village districts: Town Center; Governors Creek; Oak Ridge; and Springbank.

Residential use will account for the largest space, at 1,394 acres; followed by 800 acres for open space; 214 acres for golf course use; and the rest for light industrial; commercial; office; hotel use; and parks.

Although the uses can be modified, for now the PUD shows up to 4,000 single-family homes, 2,000 multifamily units, 840,000 square feet of commercial space, 700,000 square feet of office space, 400 hotel rooms and 2 million square feet of industrial space.

A 2018 description by The Oakwood Companies, which was marketing the site, explained the property is part of the Gustafson Ranch, know for its dairy products.

The ranch was established in 1905 with a cow and expanded to become one of the largest dairy farms in the U.S., with 10,000 cows on about 9,600 acres at its peak, Oakwood said.

It stated that for the first time in more than 100 years, the Gustafson family planned to sell the 3,267 acres known as Governors Park.

The acreage for areas of the proposed development in Clay County.

The property fronts Governors Creek for more than 9 miles, it said.

The agents are the England-Thims & Miller Inc. civil engineering firm and the Rogers Towers law firm.

A 2018 report by Jacksonville Daily Record news partner News4Jax said the 46-mile First Coast Expressway is expected to cost $1.9 billion and be completed in 2030.

In southern Duval County, The PARC Group is developing eTown, a 1,500-acre mixed-use project at Interstate 295 and Florida 9B. In northern St. Johns and southern Duval counties, it is developing the 14,000-acre Nocatee residential, commercial and retail community.

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