Raydient Places + Properties is set to begin the next phase at Wildlight in 2022.
The first phase, 2,900 acres of the master-planned mixed-use community in Nassau County, north of Jacksonville, began development in 2016.
The next phase will increase the community’s footprint by about 15,000 acres, Wes Hinton, vice president of Raydient at Wildlight, said Jan. 6.
About 15,000 residential units, comprising single-family homes and apartments, are included in the next phase, along with 1.2 million square feet of commercial space and 500 acres of parks and trails.
“It’s the next step. We’ll be focused on job creation with retail space and offices,” Hinton said.
About 7,000 acres in the second phase will be added to the Conservation Habitat Network to be preserved in perpetuity.
The area will be a natural park ecosystem with paths and trails connecting natural features, active parks, schools, civic areas, village centers and neighborhoods.
The plan includes 500 acres for new Nassau County public parks.
Through the end of 2021, more than 120 new homes were sold in Wildlight, leaving fewer than 150 in inventory.
More than 730 additional single-family units are planned in three new neighborhoods that are part of the first phase, including a gated Del Webb community for active adults.
Resident amenities opening in 2022 include a Publix Super Markets Inc. grocery store, garden-style offices and Grumpy’s Restaurant.
Wildlight’s commercial property so far comprises a YMCA and a UF Health facility, First Federal Bank and retail businesses, including restaurants and child care centers.
All of the land in the 30-year Wildlight development plan is owned by Rayonier with acquisitions beginning in the 1930s.
The acreage is operated as forestland and will continue to be until parcels are cleared for the new development.
“Until we break ground on a new neighborhood, it will remain a forest,” Hinton said.
Raydient is working with Nassau County to plan for five new public schools, parks, about 15 miles of road improvements and public safety.
Hinton said Raydient has donated a site to the county for a fire station and plans to donate property for two or three more in the second phase of development.
“We want Wildlight to have its own economy,” Hinton said.
Hinton said the proposal documents to be presented to the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners are nearing completion.
Raydient hopes to have approvals in place by the end of 2022.
After that, the pace of development will be dictated by the market, Hinton said.