Nick Chop Commercial Appraisals

Commercial real estate valuation throughout North Florida.

CDD Land, when there is little demand – what to do?

CDD Communities – Eagle Harbor and Fleming Island Plantation

What happens when CDD (Community Development District) communities that came on line in last ten or 15 years are fully entitled but not fully developed?  I’ve seen some that are in real bad shape (i.e. RiverTown) where both the residential and commercial components were caught in the economic downturn of the mid/late 2000’s – and little has been developed. But what about communities that the residential component is mostly built-out, but still have some commercial land available? I live in an area of two excellent examples. Within Fleming Island, Florida are two large-scale CDD’s.  The Crossings at Fleming Island, or more commonly known as Eagle Harbor and Fleming Island Plantation CDD (Fleming Island Plantation).

Both are awesome places to live and raise a family. I know because I live in one of these great communities.  But the mega pools with waterslides, high dives, tennis courts, golf, lake access, etc. comes with a price of a CDD fee. A CDD fee is initially imposed by the community developer to cover the cost of amenities and/or infrastructure (roads, drainage, utilities) in that  neighborhood. It allows the developer to create a quasi-governmental entity to acquire bonds to cover the costs.  The payment of the CDD fee is paid in the end by the homeowner or business owner of the real estate within the CDD area over a pre-determined timeframe.

I’ve often wondered what the future holds for undeveloped CDD commercial entitled land.  Areas like Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island Plantation and the ilk still have vacant commercial parcels of land ready for development. The CDD fees can be quite high for residential homeowners ($100 to $200 per month) and even more for a commercial property. When the commercial real estate owners develop the land, they have to re-coup the imposed CDD fees within the asking rents. It can be difficult to compete in this market with non-CDD commercial real estate.

Developer requests a rezoning for CDD land

Recently, the original Eagle Harbor developer – Fleming Island Joint Venture requested that some of their undeveloped land be re-zoned from commercial/light industrial to residential/commercial/light industrial.  In turn The Crossings at Fleming Island CDD Board (i.e. Eagle Harbor CDD Board) collectively opposed this action.  They are concerned that the community needs to be perceived as not simply a rooftop community but an employment center; the added residents will put stress on the current recreational facilities and additional homes may impact home prices and occupancy negatively.  A resolution from the CDD Board will be sent to the local Clay County Board of Commissioner Mr. Travis Cummings, Chairman and Ms. Stephanie Kopelousos, Clay County Manager.

I understand the CDD Board’s concerns on the residential impact. However, it appears to me with the residential component nearly 100% built-out, the commercial demand is lacking.  Heck, I am not sure if enough commercial absorption will occur due to the number of homes being finite and nearly all are developed. Why an oversupply of commercial square footage was initially planned/entitled is not known, although it’s unfortunate. The problem here is a microcosm of what is likely being faced elsewhere or will be soon.


Highest and Best Use almost always prevails in figuring out what is to be done with real estate.  I recommend listening to developers and the commercial owners on a potential plan.  The solution should include not just homes, but an improvement for recreational uses too. i.e. parks, fields, upgrade &/or expand existing facilities. Existing CDD homeowners should have an input too.  A solution is possible and needed for what will be a continual problem in the future.


  1. I would prefer the land that is left be converted to residential. We are out of single family home sites in Eagle Harbor (except Black Creek), and we have a much higher demand for new construction homes than commercial. There are many businesses that continue to struggle, and many, as you know don’t make it. I am not at all concerned about additional homes affecting the current amenity structure, as there are very few people that actually use the pools, tennis courts, walking trails, etc… There has rarely been a time when an amenity has been at capacity, and never a time that they all have been at capacity on the same day. Schools, are a different situation, as they are already crowded, but with the portable units being added as class size grows it works fine.

    Fleming Island is already considered a “bedroom community”, and one of the best places in all of North Florida to raise a family. I say we stick with what works and allow our community to continue to grow, one family at a time…. Let’s give our current business owners a change to flourish instead of giving them more competition by adding additional commercial real estate.

    • Thanks Marla, you certainly have your finger on the pulse of Eagle Harbor real estate. Agree with everything you said, but feel developer should give something back. It’s not a good precedent to allow the residential change and not provide some type of ‘goodwill’ i.e playground, $ towards current or proposed amenities, etc. I hope Eagle Harbor Board/CDD doesn’t just say ‘no way’. This would be foolish. I don’t want vacant land in our community residential or commercial. There is another meeting tonight. I’ll report back on what transpires.


  1. […] on the AHCA decision.  There was never an intention to sell the entitled land located within the Fleming Island Plantation DRI.  The original entitlements were for up to 250 in-patient bed facility (up to 123,500 SF) or […]

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