Nocatee Community Construction Begins

6 10 2005

After almost a decade of planning and permit applications, developers are beginning construction of the planned Nocatee community, launching a project that expects to bring 14,800 housing units and about 25,000 residents to an undeveloped area of Duval and St. Johns counties.

Construction will start immediately on the project’s first step — a new County Road 210, which will be a four-lane parkway similar to J Turner Butler Boulevard.

Within a month, The PARC Group also plans to announce details about Nocatee’s first three residential communities and their developers. It is expected that construction will begin on those communities, which will offer a mix of single- and multi-family homes, in spring 2006. Construction costs are estimated between $2 billion and $3 billion.

The PARC Group won approval for the construction of the new County Road 210 from the Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday, clearing the final hurdle before actual roadwork could begin.

The road, which developer The PARC Group plans to name “Nocatee Parkway,” will stretch from the Intracoastal Waterway to U.S. 1 and eventually replace the existing County Road 210, now a twisting, two-lane road through mostly undeveloped land.

About the project

In addition to the residential units, the new development’s 15,000 acres will encompass 4.2 million square feet of office space, 1 million square feet of commercial and retail space, and 250,000 square feet for light industrial use. About 8,600 acres will remain undeveloped in preserves and greenways.

About 2,200 acres will be in Duval County, with the other 12,800 acres in St. Johns County. Full development of the community will take about 25 years. A large portion of land in Nocatee will be devoted to playgrounds, schools, ball fields and preservation.

Just west of Nocatee, Gate Petroleum Co. has purchased 5,460 acres of land near Interstate 95 between Race Track Road and County Road 210. Plans haven’t been disclosed yet, but the area is zoned for single-family, multi-family and commercial uses.

In addition to servicing the Nocatee community, the road will serve as a hurricane evacuation route for the Beaches area.

Credit Score Tips

6 10 2005

A key rule for homebuyers: Don’t do anything that would hurt your credit score.
But a lot of savvy Internet users hurt their credit scores inadvertently because the act of applying for a mortgage can, by itself, lower a borrower’s credit score, and applying is easy to do online. A loan inquiry raises a red flag to lenders, suggesting a possible financial problem, and multiple loan inquiries automatically lower a credit score if done over a period of time.

To offset problems for mortgage shoppers, most credit scores ignore multiple mortgage applications submitted within the 30 days prior to a credit check because they assume people will shop around for the best rate. Beyond 30 days, credit scores will consider mortgage inquiries as separate events within each 14-day period. Anyone who shops for a loan for three months could find themselves getting offers and interest rates that are progressively less attractive. Best advice for your buyers: Use the Internet for research but only apply for a mortgage when you’re ready to make a commitment, apply to a handful of companies, and make a decision within 30 days.

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