JORGE L. GONZALEZ
PRESIDENT & CEO, ST. JOE CO., WATERSOUND
After Hurricane Michael devastated large swaths of the Florida Panhandle, Gonzalez quickly got to work playing a critical role in the region’s recovery.
As head of the largest private landowner and developer in Bay County, Gonzalez last year started development or construction of 27 projects, sold 379 home sites, the most in 13 years, and rented 216 new apartment units, providing needed workforce housing. In addition to 930 home sites under contract in early 2020, “we have an additional 768 apartment or assisted living units, 597 hotel rooms and over 130,000 square feet of commercial and hospitality spaces under construction to meet demand,” Gonzalez said in February.
Current projects include three hotels under construction around the hard-hit region and development of a 200-acre retail and residential village in Mexico Beach, the small Gulf-front town devastated by Michael. St Joe is also partnering with Minto Communities to develop Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, a 55-plus community, and has broken ground on three developments providing mid-priced housing for the region’s workforce.