There seems to be a big boom happening in the 904 area code and we’re not talking about a baby boom. The housing in the County Road 210 area, which includes the tail end of Fruit Cove, Julington Creek and Durbin Creek, is growing at an alarming rate. This area is in St. John’s County and I-95 runs straight through it.
“I believe the spark of the boom was the need for people to have great schools in an affordable area,” said Jenn Kjellman, marketing manager at Dream Finders Homes. “Living at the beaches is expensive on its own, and unless you are in a perfect school zone, homeowners are having to add private school funding onto those high living costs. So, the 210 area offers buyers the opportunity to buy bigger, nicer homes and utilize A-rated public schools, while still being only a 20-minute drive from the beach.”
According to Kjellman, out of the 30-plus communities in which Dream Finders Homes is building new homes, 14 of those communities are in St. Johns County. Of those 14 communities, five are along the 210 corridor.
“For one builder to have that many communities in a concentrated area is a sign of a major housing need in this area,” Kjellman said.
This level of housing growth is a win-win for families who are trying to have it all. The 210 area isn’t too far from tourist hotspots like the St. John’s Town Center, the St. Augustine Outlets, area beaches, and other shopping and dining destinations. If families must commute to downtown Jacksonville, I-95 is easily accessible and a direct route to downtown businesses. For those who work in the Gate Parkway area, the commute can be congested, but still a simple drive.
“We have a lot of great subdivisions and affordable housing as compared to many coastal regions,” said Suzanne Konchan, Growth Management Director of St. John’s County Growth Management Department. “St. John’s County has even had the best schools in Florida for the past seven years.”
According to Konchan, State Road 9B is currently under construction and is expected to open summer 2018.
“Soon 9B will directly connect with I-95 and I-295,” said Konchan.
This construction is proving to be more convenient for those who don’t want to travel far and is making it overall easier to get from Point A to Point B. Not to mention, with 9B under construction, there’s a new shopping center being built called Durbin Park.
“There’s not a lot of housing product in the Beaches, so that’s probably why people look more inland,” Konchan said.
Considering the 210 region is more affordable than beach or city living, many middle-class families are flocking to this area. The ending result is a housing boom in an overall newly developed part of St. John’s County.
“People are getting better quality and more house for less money and have all the modern conveniences they could need. It just makes sense,” Kjellman said.