The Caribbean-influenced development of Gulf Place rests at the northwest corner of the two-laned County Roads of 30A and 393S with a view towards the
The property consisted of 160 acres at one time that were owned by Dr. R.B. Spires of DeFuniak Springs. The original plat of land stretched from 393S to The Palms and included part of what is now the Santa Rosa Beach Golf Club fairway on 30A.
"We would get out of school in DeFuniak and come down and stay here," recalls Gus Andrews, Jr.,
To create value, his dad, Gus Andrews, Sr., helped get the charter for the Santa Rosa Beach Club and sold the club three Gulf-front lots for about $25,000 each to build the club. The family also gave the easements. In return, the family was given lifetime memberships.
Santa Rosa Beach Golf Club started with just nine holes, and Andrews' first job was at the golf club.
"We dug all the sand traps for first nine holes," he remembers.
Andrews bought 72 acres of the wooded land from his grandfather, and began developing it in 1990.
He started with a 110-lot subdivision, which he situated across from what is now The Vue. The property borders the Santa Rosa Beach Golf course on the west and
He laid out the now-gated subdivision with walking trails meandering throughout the wooded property.
Andrews was aware of what was being built down the road at
To accomplish that goal, he went with bigger lots for larger homes to offer more of a place to live year around instead of to just visit. Lots on the south end offer a Gulf view and residents can easily walk to the beach, the golf course, shopping, or dining.
The subdivision was Phase I.
To the east of the subdivision Andrews constructed townhomes and a community pool that offer a buffer between the subdivision and the Gulf Place town center on the corner, which has work/live units, with many overlooking the Gulf.
The main street running east/west he named Andrews Drive. The one running north/south is Laura Hamilton Boulevard, named for his daughter, who was a toddler when he built Gulf Place.
The town center was built around a large open green where concerts are held and a farmer's market sets up on Sundays.
The buildings are filled with shops and eateries that have condos above that are rented. There is also a bank, a pharmacy, and a veterinarian.
"We were trying to create a sense of place on this end of 30A," said Andrews. "There was no place to hang out at this end in 1990."
Andrews lives within walking distance of Gulf Place, on the gulf side, on a piece of property that originally belonged to his grandfather. He is still a member of the club, although he gave up the lifetime membership. His daughter attends
"I remember taking the family truck down to the old Grayton Store when I was 14," said Andrews. "Everybody from age 3 to 83 would congregate there."
He said he is pleased with the way his development has turned out.
"We were trying to create a sense of place and it's done that," he said. "We have sold all the commercial buildings. Our vision was to have a club to increase value and we have that. Yes, it's been everything we thought it would be."