The St. Joe Company was incorporated in 1936 by executors of the Alfred I. duPont Trust. Today, it's now one of the largest real estate companies operating in Florida. JOE owns 586,000 acres concentrated in Northwest Florida. The land was acquired decades ago and has a very low cost basis. About 406,00 acres are within 15 miles of the Gulf Of Mexico.
JOE is engaged in town, resort, commercial and industrial development and land sales. JOE also has significant interests in timber. JOE creates shareholder value by moving our low-basis land holdings to higher and better uses through a planning, entitlement and development process that creates a pipeline of real estate products for a wide variety of uses.
One such project involves the relocation of the Panama City-Bay County International Airport. The new airport is being built on a 4,000-acre site in western Bay County that the company donated to the Panama City/Bay County Airport and Industrial District. Construction of the airport began in late 2007 and almost half of the site infrastructure work, including 75 percent of the primary runway, is now complete. Funding for the budgeted construction costs of the airport has been obtained. The Airport Authority continues to project a May 2010 opening date for the new airport. The new airport is located West Bay, one of the largest planned mixed-use developments in the United States. JOE owns all of the land in West Bay surrounding the airport (approximately 71,000 acres, including approximately 41,000 acres dedicated to preservation). The West Bay land has entitlements for over four million square feet of commercial and industrial space and over 5,800 residential units.
On April 6, 2009 JOE entered into an standsill agreement with Fairholme Funds, Inc. and Fairholme Capital Management, L.L.C. permitting Fairholme, the largest shareholder, to acquire beneficial ownership of up to 30% of outstanding common stock if Fairholme acquires 20% or more within two years. The company expects Fairholme will acquire their additional shares through open-market transactions. As a result , the control share acquisition provisions of the Florida Business Corporation Act, which generally provide that shares acquired in excess of 20% will not possess any voting rights, will not apply. The boards's approval ceases to apply if Fairholme’s ownership of the Company’s outstanding common stock drops below 20% for a continuous six month period. Fairholme owned 21,979,614 shares or 23.8 percent of JOE common stock.