WaterColor -- a newbie on the A

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 03:06 PM.

"St. Joe owned a lot of land, but the best of it was in Walton County ," Rester says today. "And, best of all, it surrounded Seaside . People didn't know where the Florida Panhandle was, but everybody knew where Seaside was."

Even though St. Joe owned so much more land than the 80 acres Seaside occupied and the giant corporation had so many more resources to tap, people thought it foolish to attempt to improve on Seaside.

" Seaside was built on the premise of New Urbanism and the theory of separating people from their automobiles, which was a novel idea," said Rester. "However, it became apparent that you could not separate people from their automobiles that easily and Seaside became a traffic and parking nightmare. People liked that concept but they wanted more room and parking and we tried to give them that in planning WaterColor."

Rester recalls that it took three days to name the development.

"All the corporate folks were here and seated around a table," said Rester. "We wanted a name that reflected the area and the beautiful color of the water. On the third day, Chick Grant, vice president of design and development, referred to the colors on a watercolor print he had seen. It was then that everyone agreed on the name WaterColor."

The property consisted of 500 acres and surrounded Seaside on three sides, a fact that Seasiders were not happy about.

" Seaside was up in arms when we started WaterColor," said Rester. "Our architect Jaque Robertson called an open meeting with Seaside to help diffuse things. Seaside made suggestions and he incorporated some of them. Such as there are two connecting roads in Seaside that would have allowed mutual access between the properties. But Seaside wanted to maintain its separate identity. So we put up barriers to prevent free access. The roads still aren't connected but I think they will be some day."

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