St. Johns County Moves Forward with World Golf Village Plans

World Golf Village IMAX

St. Johns County recently took a big step toward the future of the World Golf Village properties with the approval by county commissioners to purchase the assets of the World Golf Village Foundation assets for $5.5 million, according to a county media release. The assets include the Tour Production Building, WGV Parking and common space adding to the county’s ownership of the Hall of Fame facility, IMAX Theater and the grounds of the Renaissance St. Augustine Resort Convention Center and Hotel.

According to the release, county staff is preparing a summary of citizen input on future use of the properties to county commissioners.

World Golf Foundation, Inc. will lease back from the County the Tour Production Building until March 2025 to facilitate an efficient move of the production group to their new headquarters at TPC in Ponte Vedra, the release states. A ground lease includes an agreement with the Foundation to continue operation of the IMAX Theater and the responsibility to maintain the common space through the Property Owners Association until March 2025.

“While some may criticize the use of public funds to acquire the World Golf Foundation assets, it’s crucial to recognize the broader context,” said County Administrator Joy Andrews, in the release. “With the decision made by the World Golf Foundation to move the World Golf Hall of Fame out of the World Golf Village and to relocate the PGA Tour Productions to PGA’s Headquarters in Ponte Vedra, the property was slated for unknown development, potentially outside of community interests. By seizing control through this acquisition, the community as a whole, gains the power to shape its future. This move allows us to invite the best private-public partnerships to enhance our residents’ quality of life and unlock revenue opportunities.

Andrews said by maintaining control over the development process, county officials can ensure future use of the site will benefit residents.

“Our goal is not just to meet expectations but to exceed them, creating a vibrant destination that our residents will be proud of,” she said in the release. “This investment represents a strategic opportunity to leverage public resources to positively shape the future of our community, ensuring that the World Golf Village evolves in alignment with our community’s vision and values.”

The County plans to fund this purchase with $2 million from American Rescue Plan Act Funds, $2 million from 2019 Capital Improvement Fund, and $1.55 million from Public Building Impact Fees.

In June 2023, the World Golf Foundation notified St. Johns County of its intention to move the World Golf Hall of Fame and the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX theater out of the World Golf Village, and to relocate the PGA Tour Productions to a new building on the Global Home Campus.