The St. Johns Board of County Commissioners approved an economic development incentive agreement 4-1 with the PGA Tour on May 18 with an estimated value of $16,778,760.
The agreement, previously code-named Project Breeze, would create a 150,000-square-foot broadcast media building for the PGA Tour.
The tour would relocate its PGA Tour Entertainment arm from its 32,329-square-foot building in World Golf Village to the new facility adjacent to the new PGA Tour Global Home along Palm Valley Road in Ponte Vedra.
The tour could receive $16,778,760 in incentives, which includes 25 years of ad valorem taxes paid on capital improvements and 25 years of tangible business personal property taxes paid by the applicant.
Commissioner Jeb Smith voted against the agreement, saying the 25-year term was too lengthy considering similar economic incentives were for four years.
“A lot can happen in 25 years,” he said.
Commissioner Paul Waldron proposed an amendment that would allow the tour and the commission to reevaluate the deal every five years of the 25-year contract. That was approved as part of the agreement.
The PGA Tour said it expects to invest more than $100 million in the project, including land, construction and equipment costs.
If the tour decides to move forward with the project, it estimates completion in 2024. Construction would begin in March 2022.
PGA Tour Entertainment would use the space to “design, originate, produce, edit and broadcast original content” for “worldwide partners,” said the amended economic development application.
It anticipates creating 45 new jobs at an average wage of $79,442 by 2035.
Commissioner Henry Dean argued the commission should pass the agreement, given the impact the PGA Tour and Players Championship have had on St. Johns County over the past 30 years through job creation and charitable giving.
“It’s hard to put a number on those benefits,” he said.