CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County leaders are eyeing major improvements to their tourism industry that could bring everything from a huge waterfront shopping district in Green Cove Springs to a major convention center and outdoor parks.
A real estate expert said that could transform the real estate market in the county.
The Clay County plan is almost like a wish list for families who want more to do in the county. Right now, the plans are all speculation, and nothing’s concrete, but leaders have ideas. First, there’s the thought of turning Reynolds Industrial Park in Green Cove Springs into a major shopping district.
Then there’s talk of competing with the Prime Osborn Convention Center in Jacksonville and Clay building its own convention center.
There are also other things like building major outdoor attractions like the Southern Rock Hall of Fame or more attraction restaurants like a Dave & Busters.
News4JAX spoke to locals about this who say it would be welcome in Clay.
“I think clay county needs more things like that. I think it would be good for the local economy,” resident Scott Lowden said.
The company Clay County hired made a presentation with the big ideas to the county commission this month. The goal is to work with developers to bring the ideas to life.
Emiliya Mustafaeva is a local realtor who said the projects could transform Clay County into a destination kind of like St. Johns County. She said when she shows homes to families they ask first about schools, but right after that, they ask what there is to do in the area. Right now, Clay County is losing a lot of shoppers to Jacksonville and St. Johns County.
This is all in the planning stages with Clay County leaders right now, but leaders said they want to make the county as inviting as they can for developers to build things that will attract tourism.
One thing that was brought up to county leaders was making sure the county didn’t become too touristy meaning it would impact the quality of life for locals by bringing too many people who want to vacation in Florida to Clay County.
To read Clay County’s full strategic plan, see below: