Northwest Florida - Brimming with Possibilities
Florida's Northwest grows new business on solid military, aviation and tourism roots
Jackson County’s economic development strategy is helping to create a logistics and distribution corridor along Interstate 10, where a distribution park, construction services park and intermodal park have been built at strategic interchanges.New uses for old products
Swedish-owned Green Circle Bio Energy Inc. is helping to both revitalize an aging industry — timber — and launch a new one — alternative energy — with construction of the world’s largest wood pellet plant at Cottondale. The $100-million project will convert waste wood to “green” fuel. Destination: European power plants via nearby Port Panama City.
Jefferson & Wakulla Counties
- Jefferson County is seeing rapid subdivision development, with some 445 new home sites made available in the past year. “We’re what’s left of country living,” says Ray Cichon, editor of the Monticello News. But also: “We’re creeping closer to Tallahassee, in terms of business development along the way.”
- Wakulla County, long known as an outdoor lover’s paradise, is home to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, world-famed Wakulla Springs and St. Marks Lighthouse. A “Green Guide” program provides visitors with certified nature-based tour guides, trained in a 90-hour course at the Wakulla Center of Tallahassee Community College.
Calhoun & Gadsden Counties
Sky, a 571-acre community being planned for Calhoun County, could become a national model for energy efficiency and environmental compatibility. The 10-year project of White Starr Inc. will launch in 2008, aided by a $1.8-million state grant. Sky’s 624 homes will be clustered in Old World-style villages incorporating geothermal loops and solar energy systems.
2007 marks the completion of the 3.9-mile Blountstown Greenway Bike Path in Calhoun County — now part of the Florida National Scenic Trail— stretching from the Apalachicola River through Blountstown.
Historically significant Gadsden County, important today for its thriving plant nurseries and agricultural research, also provides residential areas and business sites for neighboring Leon County.