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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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"If all goes according to plan, in three years, residents will be able to stroll along a riverwalk on the San Sebastian River before having lunch overlooking the shrimp boats and an afternoon outing at a museum of railroad memorabilia."
That’s how Olivia Mayer, staff writer for the Florida Times Union, opened her March 1988 article announcing the city’s purchase of the final parcel completing the San Sebastian redevelopment project.
Even though some things have changed in the 18 years since that article was published, including the demise of the shrimping industry and the site of the proposed railroad museum becoming a successful winery, work towards a revitalized western entrance to down town has continued. The hard work is paying off now that the San Sebastian project is a vibrant and exciting reality.
Located on the city’s King Street corridor, just off US-1 along the western shore of the San Sebastian River, the Sebastian Inland Harbor has been accurately described by Mayor Gardner as part of the city’s largest public works program since construction of the Castillo de San Marcos over three centuries ago.
In September of last year, San Sebastian Harbor Partners of Ponte Vedra Beach hosted the official ground breaking for the $70 million project. When completed in the winter next year, Sebastian Inland Harbor will include an 83 room high-end boutique hotel, a marina with 65 slips, 96 condominium units, 24,000 square of retail space, 8,000 square feet of banquet facilities and 15 loft units, ranging from 1,500 to 2,250 square feet.
The road to finalizing the deal on the sale of the land and start of the project has not been an easy one. First, one of the five parcels purchased by the city to put together a complete 14+ acre area is the former site of the Atlanta Gas Light Company. When it was determined that the site was polluted, the former owner successfully cleaned-up the site in 2002 by removing more than 80,000 cubic yards of contamination soil and 22 million gallons of water at a cost $7 million.
Then, Vestcor/Hutson of Jacksonville, the original developer ranked highest by an evaluation panel comprised of former St. Augustine Mayors, decided to pull out of the project citing a depressed financial market following 9/11. With that, the process of selecting a developer had to start all over again.
The scope of the project was accurately described by one of the city’s former mayors, Greg Baker when he said "This is not a land sale. This is an urban renewal project."
It has been a long time coming, but with work well underway St. Augustine is closer every day to celebrating the completion of a project that will serve as the catalyst for the entire community.
For a complete overview of the project, visit the San Sebastian Inland Harbor web site at http://www.sebastianinlandharbor.com/.