Two builders — Paytas Homes and Toll Brothers — have bought land worth over $6 million in Town Center, and permits are also being submitted to the city of Palm Coast for what will be known as the Entertainment District, according to Jeff Douglas, of Douglas Property and Development.
Paytas Homes already has a presence in Palm Coast; the company developed 380 single-family homes in Hidden Lakes, which is essentially sold out. The company recently bought Tract 19 in Town Center for $3.06 million and plans to build 200 homes (in sections of 25 at a time). Ground will break in the third quarter of 2021, according to CEO Jim Paytas Jr.
The Paytas homes will range between 1,700 and 2,800 square feet and will be priced in the mid-$300,000s.
"Our market niche caters to the buyer that is expects more features in the home and is possibly on a move up or settling into retirement or semi retirement," Paytas said in an email to the Palm Coast Observer.
Toll Brothers is new to the area but could also signal to other high-end developers that Palm Coast is worth investing, Douglas said. The company bought Tracts 21A and 21B recently for $3,455,000, to build single-family homes and paired villas.
“This is the affirmation,” Douglas said. “It signals economic health.”
The fact that 88 apartments in the Palms and 233 in the Venue are already full in Town Center is a sign that more housing is needed here, Douglas said, but they also were an essential element in attracting the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University to expand to Palm Coast.
“They wouldn’t be here if those apartments weren’t there,” he said. The apartments are also essential for future health-related companies moving here. “They want to know, ‘Where can my employees live?’ It’s right on their questionnaires. They’re doing their due diligence.”
In addition to the housing component, Douglas said architectural design is complete for the Entertainment District, and permits will soon be requested from the city of Palm Coast so that construction can begin on a 14,000-square-foot building for shops or restaurants on Central Avenue, near Bulldog Drive. One of the hallmarks of the plans is that no building is planned for the corner itself; instead, it is conceived as a sort of gathering place where people can eat, socialize, listen to music, and enjoy a downtown atmosphere. The foot traffic would then vitalize the shops.
“It keeps it healthier that way,” Douglas said. “It’s a longer-term approach.”
People who visit Town Center in the future, he added, will be attracted by the activity and the atmosphere.
Brian McMillan and his wife, Hailey, bought the Observer in 2023. Before taking on his role as publisher, Brian was the editor from 2010 to 2022, winning numerous awards for his column writing, photography and journalism, from the Florida Press Association.