Grace Point 30A held a groundbreaking ceremony last week on what was touted as the last sliver of available land south of 30A.
Located on the east end of County Highway 30A next to St. Joe's WaterSound development, Grace Point is designed as a boutique gated community.
Phase I is already underway and 14 of the 28 lots have been sold, said developer Jason Benedict, and he does not seem worried about being able to sell the rest.
Phase I is being constructed on the community's east and west sides and will consist of five- to seven-bedroom homes that are a minimum of 4,000 square foot. These are selling for $1.9-$3.5 million.
Benedict said that in developing the community he and his partner Matt Fuller plan to deliver on the values for which they stand: grace, beauty, and sustainability.
Although Grace Point has no beach access of its own, which could have been problematic, through a deal arranged with St. Joe, Grace Point will have that valuable beach access through its next door neighbor, WaterSound.
A gate on Grace Point's west side opens onto a walkway to WaterSound Beach Club, which is 100 yards away. This amenity will be available to Grace Point homeowners who purchase memberships. WaterSound is a gated community with six parks, children's play areas, and a dog park. Lifestyle Club memberships are extended to owners, including golf at Camp Creek, Sharks Tooth, and Origins.
Grace Point's Phase II is in the final stages of planning and will include homes with views from the southernmost parcel of the development.
"My vision is a community within another community yet we are individually managed and controlled," said Benedict. "Hence we are able to offer a unique lifestyle and a financially stable investment as I control it. That gives buyers a sense of comfort."
Benedict said another differentiator for Grace Point is the craftsmanship buyers will find. That craftsmanship comes through an 18-year third-generation carpenter from Georgia named Matt Fuller who is bringing his talent to the coast.
Fuller is an Albany native and a University of Georgia grad who in 2001 started his own custom cabinet and furniture business. He has owned property on 30A since 2006 and has been building homes along 30A since 2008. He mills all the custom cabinetry, flooring, and trim for the homes he builds, and uses reclaimed beams and antique flooring.
"I am proud and excited to be a part of this," said Fuller.
Phase II will consist of seven four- and five-bedroom homes with 2,600-3,000 square feet on larger lots. There will also be tennis courts constructed on the south side.
Grace Point will be made up of all single-family residences with no condominiums s or townhomes.
Benedict is keeping Phase III under wraps and won't say what he has planned there, which will be on the north side along 30A.
A Louisiana native, Benedict has been coming to the Emerald Coast since the 1980s. He sold a business in Chicago prior to beginning Grace Point. He plans to split his time between 30A and his farm outside St. Louis. He has previously developed communities there and outside Chicago and Colorado.
"I like to develop where I like to go," he said. "This was an opportunity to invest in something I have great passion for."
Grace Point is currently the only Coastal Living Community on 30A and is designed for primary homeowners and heavy-use second home homeowners.
"We wanted to do something special and take it up a notch," said Architect Rick Lowe.