JOE Leases Site for Reopening of Seaport at Port St. Joe
Jacksonville, FL (December 17, 2008) - The St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE) announced today that it has entered into three agreements designed to stimulate economic growth and job creation in Northwest Florida. The agreements open the way for the reopening of a deepwater seaport in Port St. Joe, link the port with the national rail system and provide workforce training region-wide.
Site Leased for Reopening of Seaport
A long-term agreement with The Port Authority of Port St. Joe, FL (Port Authority) provides for a lease of a 63-acre site on St. Joseph Bay to be combined with 68 acres of contiguous port-owned property. The arrangement paves the way for the development of a functioning deepwater seaport.
The lease agreement with a 30-year term, plus two 5-year extensions, allows the Port Authority to resume port operations for the first time since the port was shuttered in 1998.
JOE also signed a short-term, 3-year lease with the Port Authority for a separate 20-acre site with a 1,000-foot bulkhead that will allow the port to begin shipping operations while simultaneously undertaking the planning and permitting of the 63-acre facility. The port's 68-acre site is already permitted and is expected to be ready for operations in early 2009.
"We are now in a position to talk to customers who can utilize our port and rail system and start creating jobs," Port Authority Chairman Allen Cox said. "We appreciate the efforts of The St. Joe Company to work with the port and the community on the critical need to stimulate economic development in Northwest Florida. We are creating a logistic intermodal hub of regional significance with access to maritime, rail, highway and intracoastal waterway transportation."
Agreement Links Port with National Rail System
JOE entered into an agreement for Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (NYSE:GWR) to operate the Apalachicola Northern Railroad under a 10-year lease, with three 10-year renewals. The 96-mile railroad connects the Port of Port St. Joe with the national rail system in Chattahoochee, FL.
"We look forward to AN Railway's growing role in building sustainable commerce and creating economic opportunities for the residents of Northwest Florida," said Jack Hellmann, CEO of Genesee & Wyoming. "We intend to be a catalyst for increasing the flow of freight and commodities through this gateway and enhancing the region's transportation infrastructure."
"We are working with the Port Authority, Genesee & Wyoming and local officials to leverage the geographic advantages of Gulf County for the benefit of both its citizens and the shareholders of JOE." said Britt Greene, President and CEO of JOE. "These two agreements put the 'port' back into Port St. Joe."