30A New Transit Hub and Parking lot

A schematic drawing shows the proposed layout for a parking lot on Walton County Highway near Walton County Road 30A, a popular tourist route. The lot includes a trolley station as part of an effort to boost public transit.

A parking lot planned for a 2-acre tract on Walton County Road 393 South near County Road 30A could become more than just a parking lot, according to Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) Director of Beach Operations Brian Kellenberger.

The planned lot, a short distance north of the regularly crowded Ed Walline Regional Beach Access on 30A west of Blue Mountain Beach, will include a structure that will serve as a stop for a planned public transit system designed to help get cars off 30A. The two-lane beachside road is a popular route for visitors to the county’s beaches that can also get jammed with workers heading to businesses along the route.

Kellenberger expressed optimism Thursday that as it develops, the public transit along 30A will be used by visitors and workers.

“The biggest catalyst for change is pain, and it’s painful to drive your car down 30A right now,” he said.

 The transit structure, to be designed in the “coastal cottage” architectural style that defines Seaside and other communities in the south county, will include an air-conditioned space and restrooms for people waiting for the trolley-style vehicles proposed as a public transit option for the area, Kellenberger said at the sparsely attended Thursday workshop seeking public input on the parking lot.

Beyond the trolley station, the lot is planned to have 87 regular parking spaces, two handicapped-accessible parking spaces, 11 spots for golf cart parking and 168 spaces for bicycles in racks arrayed around the lot.

Both the purchase of the land for the lot and its construction are being funded with proceeds of the 5% “bed tax” charged to people staying in local accommodations while visiting the county.

Bids for construction of the parking lot and its trolley station will be sought after the Walton County Board of County Commissioners approves the conceptual plan unveiled at Thursday’s workshop. That decision could come at the commission’s Sept. 28 meeting.

Kellenberger said he doesn’t foresee any difficulties getting bids for the project. “We’ve had decent participation in our construction invitations to bid,” he said, adding that the lot and the transit structure are “a fairly easy project.”

Not contemplated at the time the lot was initially being designed — but necessary now in light of the County Commission’s recent passage of an ordinance establishing a pilot program for private electric stand-on scooter rentals — will be places for those devices, Kellenberger said Thursday.

At present, both parking and the planned trolley service will be free, although there is a possibility that could change in the future. But there is a good reason for keeping at least the transit service available at no charge, Kellenberger noted Thursday.

“You want people to ride it,” he said. “You want people to get out of their cars.”

There will be no overnight parking allowed at the lot, but Kellenberger conceded that, given nearby presence of short-term vacation-rental properties, some visitors might decide to park there around the clock.

“Do I expect some people to try and take advantage of that (available parking)?” Kellenberger asked. “I do, but we’ll keep an eye on it.”

The lot, which will be lighted, won’t have any specific hours of operation other than signs being posted to warn against overnight parking. Kellenberger estimated that, given the proximity of a nearby commercial district, vehicles likely could be in the lot as late as midnight on some nights.

Violators of the overnight parking ban will initially get a courtesy tag on their vehicle, but after that, tickets will be issued, said Kellenberger, who noted that the county’s code compliance office has added a couple of new parking enforcement personnel to its ranks.

In comments aimed at allaying any concerns of nearby residents and business owners, Kellenberger said TDC personnel “will touch the lot every day” to ensure that it stays free of trash. Its lawn and landscaping will get weekly attention. Lighting installed on the lot will be shielded to avoid undue infiltration onto neighboring properties.

Not necessarily connected but already planned for the area is the installation of a traffic signal at CR 393 and 30A, Kellenberger also said.

In comments near the end of the workshop, he suggested that the focus on parking and transit options for the county’s popular beaches may be a signal that the local government has turned a corner in its handling of growth and tourism.

“I like to think we’re in the phase of polishing the apple,” he said. “We’re not completely built out, but we’re pretty darn close, and we’re taking efforts to polish things up to make it the vacation destination it needs to be for the people that live here and the people that come visit here.”

Source: The Walton Sun


30A Spa and Wellness Experiences


In addition to picturesque beaches and striking New Urbanist towns, 30A is also home to several standout spas offering relaxation, rejuvenation, and remedies for your aches and stresses in both the body and the mind. Schedule in some self care at these great local businesses highlighted below.

It’s important to note that in light of the global pandemic, spa offerings may be limited and hours are subject to change. For detailed information on current operating procedures and safeguards in place to protect customers and staff, please contact the businesses directly.


Vivo Spa Salon

This full-service spa in Rosemary Beach is owned by husband-and-wife team Michael and Erin Jordan (both Aveda Purefessionals), who also run Polished 30A Nail Bar in partnership with Christa Champagne (a former Vivo employee). All spa treatments performed in their four private treatment rooms are customized and employ organic products plus Ayurvedic aromas and philosophies.


“Vivo Spa offers one of a kind services only found here, developed by a Global Advanced Spa Educator, and performed by highly trained and tested spa therapists,” Michael told 30A. “Our Vivo Power Massage was recently adopted by Theragun to launch with their fitness pros and wellness experts to be incorporated with their newest equipment. 2020 marks our 10-year anniversary as a premier spa on 30A.”

Highlights include a Hot Stone & CBD Massage (with optional enhancements including cupping and reflexology), Couples Massage, Splendid Dirt Nutrient Mud Mask (boosts radiance and improves the appearance of uneven skin tones) and Tibetan Sound Therapy and Massage (a revitalizing and grounding massage which uses harmonizing sacred singing bowls).

Vivo Spa Salon is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Book an appointment online or call (850) 231-6801.


30a Wellness Studio

In Grayton Beach, this boutique acupuncture, massage, and alternative medicine clinic is owned by Dr. April Bradley, an Acupuncture Physician and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. 30A Wellness Studio has services for everything from addressing chronic issues to stress reduction and pain relief.

“What sets us apart is our ability to offer clinical and therapeutic results in a beautiful spa-like setting,” April told 30A. “People leave our office feeling better and often comment on how they feel heard and cared for which is unfortunately hard to get from many medical practitioners these days.”

Highlights include acupuncture (treatments may also include cupping, gua sha, gemstones, essential oils or flower essences), massage (deep tissue, sports massage and more) and a flower essence consult (vibrational, energetic elixirs crafted from flowers and plants).

30A Wellness Studio offers acupuncture, cupping, nutritional testing and hair tissue mineral analysis by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Massages are offered Monday to Saturday by appointment only. Book an appointment online or call (850) 231-6000.


Serenity by the Sea Spa

At the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Miramar Beach, this 14,500-square-foot spa offers an immersive relaxation experience. They recommend guests come in early to experience their amenities which are complimentary with a spa booking, starting with microfiber robes with slippers plus a selection of fresh juices, teas, and healthy snacks. Luxury spa treatments include pampering facials, massages, moisturizing scrubs and hydrating wraps.

“Serenity by the sea Spa is inspired by the tranquil seaside setting of Miramar Beach,” Shanelle Lucas, spa director, told 30A. “Our talented therapists create an ultra-luxurious experience for every guest and our goal is to relax the mind, calm the body and revive the spirit. With 16 treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room and waterfall whirlpool we are able to create a serene space that leaves guests feeling truly refreshed.”

Highlights include a Voyager Massage (a sensory experience where warm steamed bags of orange, clove, ginger, and seaweed are gently massaged into the body), Warm Spiced Mud Wrap (a firming and toning wrap infused with aromatic ginger and orange) and Deluxe HydraFacial (featuring a specialty booster and customized mask for your skin-specific coconeeds plus LED light therapy).

Currently, Serenity by the Sea Spa is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day by appointment only for spa and salon appointments. Spa lounges are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at a limited capacity. To book an appointment, call (850) 622-9595.


WaterColor InnSpa


WaterColor Inn’s on-site spa in Santa Rosa Beach offers a variety of rejuvenating services, including massages, facials and body treatments. For those short on time, they have 25-minute express treatments, and for those looking to go all-out there are packages which include multiple treatments (with small discounts and complimentary enhancements).

“The InnSpa offers a full treatment menu inspired by the beach and aimed at revitalizing the skin,” Gabrielle Testa, general manager of WaterColor Inn, told 30A. “Whether it’s with a targeted or full-body massage or a facial with natural ingredients, every treatment can be customized to meet the needs of our guests. We also offer waxing and have a curated selection of wonderful retail items, including the SkinCeuticals line––one of our favorites.”

Highlights include a Deep Tissue Massage (dual treatment room available for couples, friends and family members), Instant Refresher Facial (featuring five intense exfoliants and resulting in a radiant complexion) and Dry Brush Rejuvenation (rejuvenates the skin, stimulates the lymphatic system and increases circulation).

WaterColor InnSpa is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and closed on Sunday. To book an appointment, call (850) 534-5010. The InnSpa is open with limited services and sanitation procedures in place, in adherence with current safety guidelines. For the latest updates on current operations, please visit https://www.watercolorresort.com/covid-19-update.html.


Spa Pearl


Located inside The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, this intimate spa offers facials, massages, and body treatments in four poolside treatment rooms, plus manicures and pedicures in their spa parlor.

“At Spa Pearl we’re all about utilizing the therapeutic elements of the water, as well as the healing powers of our namesake gemstone, to create an innovative yet personalized spa experience for our guests,” Dave Merryman, general manager of The Pearl Hotel, told 30A. “Our private poolside treatment rooms provide an intimate and relaxing setting for our signature body treatments, massages, and facials, but we can also offer in-room massages for those guests staying at The Pearl.”

Highlights include a Triple Illuminating Facial (which exfoliates, plumps fine lines and wrinkles, and leaves skin smooth and radiant), Pearl Stone Ritual (featuring a crushed rice foot scrub, lemongrass and coconut essential oil lotion, and warmed stones) and Mother of Pearl (a detoxifying full body scrub with a light scalp massage).

Currently, Spa Pearl is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and closed on Monday and Sunday. Walk-ins and same-day appointments are not accepted and all treatments must be booked 24 hours in advance. To book an appointment, call (850) 460-9041. Spa Pearl is open with limited services and sanitation procedures in place, in adherence with current safety guidelines. For the latest updates on current operations, please visit https://www.thepearlrb.com/covid-19-update.html.


For the Health of It


In Blue Mountain Beach, this organic grocery, juice and smoothie bar, and massage therapy clinic has been serving customers in the 30A area and beyond since 1995. They have four treatment rooms and offer massage therapy packages with a 10% discount for purchasing five massages at once and a 15% discount for purchasing 10 massages.

“Our massage therapy clinic and staff take great pride in serving 30A and our community with professional therapeutic massage for over 25 years,” Ed Berry, owner, told 30A. “We strive to create a nurturing clinic at rates that locals and visitors can afford without jeopardizing quality.  We have three of the most requested and professional therapists anywhere around. June, Mark and Gwen have made our clinic their home for nearly 60 years combined––that’s a milestone that we are certainly proud of.”

Highlights include neuromuscular therapy (a deep tissue massage for pain management and easing tension), Aroma Therapy (featuring pure essential oils) and Pregnancy Massage (offering benefits for mom and baby).

Currently, For the Health of It’s massage clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. To book an appointment, call (850) 267-0558.


30a Medical Spa

Located in Inlet Beach, 30A Medical Spa offers a range of non-invasive aesthetic and spa services. This includes injectables (like Botox), microblading (for filling in eyebrows), dermaplaning, microneedling and waxing plus traditional spa services like facials, massages and body scrubs.

Highlights include HydraFacial (a multi-step treatment that simultaneously cleanses, hydrates, nourishes and protects the skin, resulting in a brighter, more radiant complexion), a Gentleman’s Facial (tailored to address hair bumps, ingrown hairs, and uneven texture) and Medical Massage (focuses on alleviating acute or chronic pain in a specific muscle or muscle group).

30A Medical Spa is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and Saturday by appointment only. To book an appointment, call (850) 502-4252.


Beach Ready Spa

Located in Seaside, this spa with a sauna offers services and packages for men, women, and kids. Party packages perfect for birthdays, bachelorette parties, and other special occasions include two services, and parties of four or more have the spa to themselves. Signature services include a Renewal Massage, Rejuvenation Deluxe Facial, Hydrating Massage Body Ritual, and Perfect Manicure and Pedicure.

“At Beach Ready Spa, we believe in taking time to listen to our clients’ needs not only physically but mentally as well,” Mel Corey, owner of Beach Ready Spa, told 30A. “Someone who plays tennis might have different massage needs than someone who isn’t active, and someone who is in a high-stress job or household carries their stress in a different way. Massage has numerous benefits for our emotional, spiritual, and physical wellbeing.”

Highlights include a Too Much Sun Facial (a calming and restorative treatment for sensitive skin), Hot Shell Massage (using heated tiger clam shells), and Chakra Balancing Massage (aimed at balancing the body’s energy centers to restore harmony and focus).

Beach Ready Spa is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. To book an appointment, call (850) 468-0925.

Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach This Week

Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach, the area’s premier immersive art event, will be held as “A Drive-Thru Experience” for 2021, in accordance with the CDC’s guidelines for social safety.

Presented by The Alys Foundation, the event is scheduled to take place May 12-15, 2021, with the May 15 event date is reserved for Alys Beach homeowners and festival sponsors.

Tickets for standard vehicles will be $80.
Vehicles with 8 or more passengers will be $150.
Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Each ticket will be issued with a designated time slot. Time slots will start at 8PM, will be limited to 20 cars per time slot, and will be blocked in 20-minute intervals. Tickets must be pre-purchased and will not be sold onsite. Ticket time slots and limited availability will be enforced in order to safely control the flow of traffic. Vehicles must not exceed a height of 9-feet. For optimal viewing, vehicles without dark window tinting and with windows that can be opened are recommended. In the interest of safety, pedestrians, golf carts and other modes of open-air and/or non-vehicular traffic will not be permitted.

Latitude Margaritaville WaterSound Part of St. Joe’s Vast Bay-Walton Plan

Latitude Margaritaville Watersound partners, Minto Communities USA (“Minto”), Margaritaville Holdings, and The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) (“St. Joe”), announce that the  13 island-styled model homes will open for by-appointment preview tours April 3-24.

Due to the unprecedented interest in Latitude Margaritaville communities, and current need to avoid large crowds and maintain social distancing, advance appointments to tour Latitude Margaritaville Watersound are required. Those scheduling in-person tours or phone appointments from April 3-24 will have the opportunity to complete a reservation agreement to enter a virtual, live-streamed drawing on May 1 for the first sales release of homes. At that time, all reservation agreements from the April preview period will be drawn in random order to determine the order of scheduling appointments to purchase a new home.

Inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation, Latitude Margaritaville’s dynamic, all-new approach to active adult living has captured the imagination of today’s vibrant and active 55-and-better home buyers. Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is the third Latitude Margaritaville to be developed by Minto and Margaritaville, and the first to be developed in partnership with St. Joe. The first two are located in Daytona Beach, Florida and near Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is located on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast between Pensacola and Panama City, near Panama City Beach, and situated in the heart of St. Joe’s vast Bay-Walton Sector Plan that encompasses approximately 110,500 acres with approximately 15 miles of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway.

Just a short drive from the famed Scenic Highway 30-A corridor with its beautiful white-sand beaches, this region is the embodiment of the relaxed, beachy vibe that is at the heart of the Latitude Margaritaville lifestyle. The community’s initial phase is anticipated to include approximately 3,500 homes.

“This amazing property presents a stunning setting in which to deploy the four pillars of the Latitude Margaritaville lifestyle — food, fun, music and escapism — in one of the country’s most beautiful and desirable locations,” notes Minto’s Latitude Margaritaville Division President William Bullock. “The area’s natural terrain is breathtaking and the planned Latitude Town Center amenities will provide spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway.”

A virtual preview is available now at LatitudeMargaritaville.com/watersound where floor plans, site plans, amenity renderings and more details about the community can be viewed. Four distinct home collections, the Conch Cottage Collection, Caribbean Villas Collection, and Beach and Island Collections of single-family homes, capture the “no worries” tropical vibe that defines Latitude Margaritaville. Floor plans range from 1,204 to 2,564 square feet under air with pricing from the mid $200s.

“We’re delighted with our relationship with Minto, St. Joe, and the community we have planned for the Florida Panhandle,” shared Jim Wiseman, President of Margaritaville Development. “We look forward to this tremendous opportunity for Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, where fun and relaxation meet at home.”

Plans call for Latitude Margaritaville Watersound’s impressive resort-style amenities to include a Latitude Town Center with a Town Square for concerts, dancing and movies, featuring a thatched-roof bandshell with full-size concert stage and jumbo screen, a Fins Up! Fitness Center with indoor pool and spa, Paradise Pool with beach-style entry and Tiki Island, a two-story Latitude Bar & Chill restaurant overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and Changes in Attitude Bar. There are also plans for tennis and pickleball courts, nature trails and a Barkaritaville Dog Park. Future planned amenities include a Workin’ N’ Playin’ Center with a Last Mango Theater, Hangar Workshop for golf cart tune ups and Barkaritaville Pet Spa. In addition, St. Joe has plans for a future full-service public marina and commercial village adjacent to the community.

“The start of tours and the beginning of the home sales process brings us one step closer to welcoming the first residents to Latitude Margaritaville Watersound,” said Jorge Gonzalez, President and CEO of St. Joe. “This location, the quality of the homes and the amenities that are planned will make this the ideal place to call home for those 55 and better.”

Image credits: Courtesy Minto Communities.


  1. The Latitude Margaritaville Watersound sales center opens soon for tours by appointment.
  2. Latitude Margaritaville Watersound provides an irresistible concoction of food, fun, music and escapism.
  3. The state-of-the-art Fins Up! Fitness Center plans include an indoor pool and spa.
  4. A planned two-story Latitude Bar & Chill restaurant will overlook amazing views of the Intracoastal Waterway.
  5. The natural terrain at Latitude Margaritaville Watersound presents a stunning setting.
  6. Thirteen model homes, include cottages, villas and single-family homes to open soon for touring by appointment.

Important Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements regarding the anticipated timeline for development, Minto’s and St. Joe’s anticipated success of the joint venture and prospective interest in a Latitude Margaritaville project in Bay County and our expectations regarding the new marina and commercial village adjoining Latitude Margaritaville, as well as the growth potential of a Latitude Margaritaville community in Bay County. These forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by cautionary statements and risk factors set forth in St. Joe’s filings with the SEC, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and subsequent current report filings, as well as the following: (1) the ability of St. Joe and Minto to successfully complete the proposed project, and (2) the continued interest of prospective buyers of a Latitude Margaritaville project in Bay County, Florida.

About Latitude Margaritaville

Latitude Margaritaville is a new portfolio of active adult communities developed by master developer Minto Communities and global lifestyle brand Margaritaville Holdings. Offering resort-style amenities, Latitude Margaritaville is the ideal destination for those looking to live the Margaritaville lifestyle as they grow older, but not up. The communities feature a resort-style pool, fitness center, live entertainment, signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, arts and learning programs and more. Ranked the nation’s most popular active adult community of 2018 by 55Places.com and 2019’s Best 55+ Community of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders, Latitude Margaritaville communities are now open in Daytona Beach, Florida and near Hilton Head, South Carolina. Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, located on the Emerald Coast in Florida’s Panhandle, opens April 2021. Additional Latitude Margaritaville communities are planned for some of the nation’s most popular destinations.

About Minto Communities 

Minto Communities USA, based in Florida since 1978, has represented integrity, financial strength and enduring value for over 40 years. Minto builds exceptional new homes and communities to meet every lifestyle, with more than 26,000 new homes built in 48 communities. Minto is dedicated to continuous improvement in design, quality and customer experience. These are just some of the elements that set Minto apart as an exceptional homebuilder and community developer and have earned the company national recognition that includes consistently high rankings from Eliant Customer Service Surveys. Minto has been recognized with multiple national awards from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for community and home design, including Best Single-Family Community Over 100 Homes for Westlake in the City of Westlake; Best Mixed-Use Community and Best Clubhouse for The Isles of Collier Preserve in Naples, Florida; and Best Clubhouse for the Harbour Isle Beach Club in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. Minto is also recognized throughout the homebuilding industry as an expert in developing active-adult communities. The NAHB named Minto Communities as 2019’s 55+ Builder of the Year. Minto’s Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach was awarded 55+ Community of the Year for 2019, and Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head was awarded 55+ Community of the Year for 2020.

About Margaritaville

Margaritaville, a state of mind since 1977, is a global lifestyle brand inspired by Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation. Margaritaville features over 20 lodging locations and over 20 additional projects in the pipeline, with nearly half under construction, two gaming properties and over 60 food and beverage venues including signature concepts such as Margaritaville Restaurant, award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill. More than 20 million travelers every year change their latitude and attitude with a visit to a Margaritaville resort, residential real estate destination, vacation club, vacation home rental or restaurant. Consumers can also escape everyday through a collection of Margaritaville lifestyle products including apparel, footwear, frozen concoction makers, home décor, a satellite radio station and more. For more information on Margaritaville, visit www.margaritaville.com. Follow Margaritaville on Facebook at www.facebook/margaritaville, and on Twitter and Instagram at @Margaritaville. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville | Official Site Official site for Jimmy Buffett Tour Dates and Margaritaville Restaurants, Hotels, Casinos, Resorts, Vacation Club and Products www.margaritaville.com.

About St. Joe

The St. Joe Company is a real estate development, asset management and operating company with real estate assets and operations in Northwest Florida. The Company intends to use existing assets for residential, hospitality and commercial ventures. St. Joe has significant residential and commercial land-use entitlements. The Company actively seeks higher and better uses for its real estate assets through a range of development activities. More information about the Company can be found on its website at www.joe.com. On a regular basis, the Company releases a video showing progress on projects in development or under construction. See https://www.joe.com/video-gallery for more information.

St Joe Company 2021. “Watersound”, “St. Joe®”, “JOE®”, the “Taking Flight” Design®, “St. Joe (and Taking Flight Design) ®” are registered service marks of The St. Joe Company or its affiliates.

Minto is authorized to use the Latitude Margaritaville name by virtue of a license agreement from Margaritaville

Paula Robertson (for Minto)
Paula Robertson & Associates

Marek Bakun (for The St. Joe Company)

Mike Kerrigan (for The St. Joe Company)

Caroline Andrew (for Margaritaville)
FINN Partners

Source: The St. Joe Company

New Pedestrian Underpass Coming to East End of 30A

New Pedestrian Underpass Coming to East End of Scenic 30A


The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), Scenic WaltonVisit South Walton, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners, and the Florida Department of Transportation hosted the official groundbreaking of the U.S. Hwy. 98 pedestrian underpass at Inlet Beach on Friday, March 26, at 3:00 pm

This $5.6 million project will be the first pedestrian and cyclist underpass to be constructed in the county and will be located at the corners of U.S. Highways 98 and Scenic 30A.

Once the underpass is complete, it will provide safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists underneath US Highway 98 through a lighted tunnel. Scenic Walton is partnering with the Cultural Arts Alliance to create a public art component that will be part of the CAA’s Art in Public Spaces program. It will include two mid-sized sculptures installed next to each tunnel entrance and murals created on the tunnel’s interior walls. Lighting will be stylistically installed on the ceiling, and the floor will remain unobstructed for clear and safe passage. The tunnel will measure 12 ft wide x 8 ft high x 136 ft long.

A open national artist invitation will go out in April 2021, with finalists chosen in July and commissions selected in August. Concepts will be reviewed and chosen by a panel of representatives from the creative, public, and private sectors, and the community at large. Two artists/teams will create and install the sculptures, and one artist/team will create the interior murals with collaboration by local students through the CAA’s ongoing partnership with the Walton County School District.

The overall project outcome will be a safe, practical, and necessary crossing that also provides an enhancement to the surrounding area through indigenous landscaping and beautiful, engaging, and thought-provoking artwork. Artistically and conceptually, and in recognition of this underpass being the first in the area, the theme of the art installations will be “connectivity” and “relationship” among and between humans and connection with our built environment through creativity. The artwork will be installed in Spring 2022.

This project will be a continuation of existing or developing public art projects located in the adjacent communities, including the CAA’s Monarch Art Trail along South Watersound Parkway, the Rosemary Beach Sculpture Exhibition, Alys Beach’s permanent sculpture collection, and future public art installations at Watersound Origins. The underpass will be an obvious thoroughfare, but it will also add value to the practical environment and become an experience for those who live, work and vacation in our community.

What Does Record Low Housing Inventory Mean for You?

The real estate market is expected to do very well  in 2021, with mortgage rates that are hovering at historic lows and forecasted by experts to remain favorable throughout the year. One challenge to the housing industry, however, is the lack of homes available for sale today. Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their existing home sale report, which shows that the inventory of homes for sale is currently at an all-time low. The report explains:

“Total housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.07 million units, down 16.4% from November and down 23% from one year ago (1.39 million). Unsold inventory sits at an all-time low 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.3 months in November and down from the 3.0-month figure recorded in December 2019. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.”
(See graph below):

What Does This Mean for You?

If You’re a Buyer:

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however,  be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be prepared to make a competitive offer from the start, and know that a shortage in inventory could mean you’ll enter a bidding war.  Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home and lean on your real estate professional as an expert guide along the way. The good news is, more inventory is likely headed to the market soon, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, notes:

“To their credit, homebuilders and construction companies have increased efforts to build, with housing starts hitting an annual rate of near 1.7 million in December, with more focus on single-family homes…However, it will take vigorous new home construction in 2021 and in 2022 to adequately furnish the market to properly meet the demand.”

If You’re a Seller:

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there’s a shortage of an item at the same time there’s a strong demand for it, the seller is in a good position to negotiate the best possible terms. Whether it’s the price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to request more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout 2021. Know what that means for you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both.

Alys Beach’s Newest Restaurant, The Citizen, Now Open

30A’s newest restaurant, The CITIZEN, a coastal tavern and restaurant located within the luxury seaside community of Alys Beach, is now open. Situated on the street level of The May in Alys Beach’s Town Center, The Citizen presents approachable and innovative cuisine featuring locally and regionally sourced fare inspired by coastal communities from around the globe. As a celebration of community and a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, The Citizen boasts a dynamic food and beverage program paired with elegant and modern interior design.

Open to the public as of Friday, January 22nd, The CITIZEN is guided by long-time industry veteran and member of the Alys Beach community, Jeremy Walton. Walton brings more than 25 years of experience in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry, having worked with luxury hotel groups Auberge Resorts, Montage International, and Sea Island prior to his time with Alys Beach. He has also served as a consulting partner for James Beard Award-winning chef, Chris Hastings.

The CITIZEN features approachable, yet innovative cuisine with a menu that centers around locally and regionally sourced foods and draws inspiration from coastal communities near and far. Land- and sea-driven dishes highlight such focal points as Gulf shrimp and grouper, filet of beef and house made Tagliatelle with Benton’s bacon, vegetables, and herbs, each with beautiful preparations and accompaniments both familiar and exotic. The CITIZEN will initially offer an evening experience, with expansion into lunch and brunch offerings on the horizon.

The cocktail menu is comprised of inventive, seasonal libations organized by flavor profile and featuring reimagined classics alongside familiar favorites. The “Zero Proof” section of the cocktail menu offers elevated mocktail creations based on distilled, non-alcoholic spirits. A thoughtfully curated wine and beer list will round out the menu.

The CITIZEN is conceptualized in a celebration of food and community, a gathering space for neighbors and friends old and new. Khoury-Vogt Architects designed the space, replete with thoughtful details, functional vintage character pieces, and exquisite modern accents. The space comes together around an expansive bar, a stand-alone custom raw bar, a mixture of booth and table seating, an open kitchen featuring a seven-foot wood burning hearth, and expansive views of the Alys Beach Amphitheatre and Scenic Highway 30A.

Currently, The CITIZEN is following social safety protocols including facial coverings worn by employees, social distancing including limited capacity seating, and increased sanitation procedures. The CITIZEN will also follow Alys Beach’s standard of operations.

Long Awaited WaterColor Phase 5 Lots Open for Bidding Sept 29th

The Park District at WaterColor

The Park District neighborhood, with a focus on primary living, is the final chapter in the WaterColor community story. Featuring 41 custom homesites, the Park District homes will be vacation rental restricted, making it the ideal enclave for primary living and true second home ownership.

The Park District is adjacent to Grayton Beach State Park and the WaterColor Crossings shopping center which includes a grocery, restaurants and other services. Park District residents will have access to all of the existing amenities offered in the WaterColor community, including the sugar-sand beaches of South Walton, the WaterColor Beach Club, Camp WaterColor, miles of trails and multitude of parks. In addition, the Park District neighborhood will be home to a neighborhood pool open to WaterColor homeowners only.

20 Lots are being released initially and minimum offers start in the mid 500,000’s.  Please call or email me for full information and assistance. Cathy@30AHomeListings. come or 850.502.3422

Thirty-One on 30A Beachfront Condominium Close-Out

An Uncommon Offer. An Exceptional Opportunity.

The first Gulf-front condominium project introduced on Scenic Highway 30A in more than a decade –Thirty-One on 30A – is entering its final sales cycle with an offer that is sure to turn heads. Developer incentives ranging from just over $100,000 to upwards of $350,000 will accompany the purchase of the last nine residences as The Premier Property Group (PPG) completes yet another celebrated development and successful real-estate venture.

“It was our aim from the beginning to bring something fresh and new to the Emerald Coast, and the response we have received since closing the first residences at Thirty-One last fall suggest that we reached our goal,” said Jason White, COO of PPG. “This development’s popular standing in the market was reinforced by its attractive price point combined with a smart mix of high-end, contemporary design elements and amenities.”

Of the 27 units available in the four-story development, 17 were sold by early September 2018, when the first closings were completed at the property. Six additional transactions, including  resales, have occurred at Thirty-One since the beginning of the year. The remaining units—ranging in size from approximately 2,500-3,300 square feet—are currently listed for between $2.175 million and $3.945 million.

White noted that three of the remaining residences are designer-ready and will offer credits of $325,000 or $350,000 depending on the size and cost of the condominium. Rena Anderson, an interior design consultant with PPG and the Developer’s Representative for Thirty-One on 30A , is available to guide buyers through the process of putting the final touches on their new property, or owners can make their final choices independently. Six additional units are move-in ready and will offer a credit of between $100,000 and $200,000.

The $70 million Thirty-One on 30A condominium development was designed with a distinctive, refined lifestyle in mind that draws on the latest design trends and state-of-the-art amenities. Notably, each residence offers a large gulf-front balcony overlooking 335 feet of beach frontage (the size of a football field). That means that each of the 27 units is afforded more than 12 feet of beach compared to just over one foot in many neighboring communities.

The property offers owners an unmatched level of privacy as residences are accessed from a secure, underground garage via seven private elevators, each providing entry to four units—one on each of the development’s four floors. The garage is also equipped with a secure storage area for each residence.

Convenience and maintenance-free lifestyles are central to the vision behind Thirty-One, which offers a wide variety of concierge packages and services through Live Well 30A and La Dolce Vita. In addition, beach service is automatically included with all residences to ensure a seamless, hassle-free experience for owners. A fleet of street legal golf carts is also available that can be used for dinner outings or simply enjoying the eclectic offerings of nearby 30A communities. An onsite catering kitchen, club room, outdoor kitchen and owner’s area with firepit make entertaining easy.

For more information on Thirty-One on 30A, Contact Cathy Turner  at 850.296.2366.

Click here for photos and details of all Thirty-One on 30A units for sale

Seagrove Beach, New Construction, 2 Blocks to Beach Access and Great Cash Flow

This brand new construction 5 bedroom home under 1 million with a small pool is only 2 blocks from the beach access and with a mortgage with 25% down after rental management fee, taxes, insurance and utilities could still cash flow over 10,000 per year! Call or email me for costs breakdown, survey, specification sheet, rental projections, etc. Cathy Turner 850.502.3422 or Cathy@30AHomeListings.com

Click here for all photos and MLS info