SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to .
Commission file number:
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
Name of Exchange on Which Registered
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. YES ☐ ☑
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. YES ☐ ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. ☑ NO ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). þ NO ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). YES
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Stock held by non-affiliates based on the closing price on June 30, 2020, was approximately $
As of February 22, 2021, there were 58,882,549 shares of common stock, no par value, issued of which
Documents Incorporated By Reference
Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, which proxy statement will be filed no later than 120 days after the close of the Registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, are hereby incorporated by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
THE ST. JOE COMPANY
Item 1. Business
As used throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the terms “St. Joe,” the “Company,” “we,” “our,” or “us” include The St. Joe Company, its consolidated subsidiaries and consolidated joint ventures unless the context indicates otherwise.
St. Joe was incorporated in the State of Florida in 1936. We are a real estate development, asset management and operating company. We own 171,000 acres of land in Northwest Florida. The Bay-Walton Sector Plan (“Sector Plan”) entitles, or gives legal rights, for us to develop over 170,000 residential dwelling units, over 22 million square feet of retail, commercial and industrial space and over 3,000 hotel rooms on lands within Florida’s Bay and Walton counties. We also have additional entitlements, or legal rights, to develop acreage outside of the Sector Plan. Approximately 86% of our real estate is located in Florida’s Bay, Gulf, and Walton counties. Approximately 90% of our real estate is located within 15 miles of the Gulf of Mexico.
St. Joe believes its long-term, owner-oriented capital and management allows us to optimize the value of Northwest Florida real estate by developing residential, hospitality, and commercial projects that meet growing market demands. This strategy should provide opportunities to build recurring revenues and enterprise value for the foreseeable future. We may partner with or explore the sale of discrete assets when we and/or others can better deploy resources. In 2020, the majority of our revenue was generated from sales, activities and operations on approximately 2% of our land.
Capital is invested to achieve risk-adjusted rates of return and support future business initiatives that create value. New projects are planned for stand-alone profitably and to benefit other enterprise activities. Investments are funded with cash proceeds from existing projects, existing cash, land contributions, partner capital and project specific financing. Actual investments may vary from planned capital investments for various reasons. We do not anticipate immediate benefits from investments. We continue to maintain low fixed expenses, low corporate debt and high liquidity for sustainability in all environments.
We distribute cash in excess of expected operating needs to shareholders through cash dividends and common stock repurchases, as approved by the Board of Directors (the “Board”). A newly initiated quarterly cash dividend of $0.07 was paid in December 2020. During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, we repurchased 532,034 and 1,263,159 shares, respectively, of common stock. We have a total of $77.4 million available for the repurchase of shares pursuant to our Stock Repurchase Program (the “Stock Repurchase Program”). See Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities and Note 15. Stockholders’ Equity included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
St. Joe operations are reported in three segments: (1) residential, (2) hospitality and (3) commercial. For financial information about our reportable segments, see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, as well as Note 20. Segment Information included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
Seasonality and Market Variability
St. Joe’s operations may be affected by seasonal fluctuations. Hospitality revenues are normally higher in the second and third quarters and may vary with the timing of holidays and extraordinary events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Homesites sell in sporadic transactions in various communities that may impact quarterly results. Commercial sales may vary from period to period.
St. Joe competes with local, regional and national real estate related companies that may have greater financial, marketing, sales and other resources than us. Competition may adversely affect our ability to attract tenants to lease our commercial and multi-family properties or to attract purchasers of our residential and commercial real estate. Highly competitive companies participate in the hospitality business. Our ability to remain competitive and to attract new and repeat guests, customers and club members depends on our success in distinguishing the quality and value of our products and services from those offered by others. We compete based on location, price and amenities. The principal methods of competition are price and quality. Labor markets in the industries in which we operate are competitive. We must attract, train and retain a large number of qualified employees or subcontractors while controlling related labor costs. We face significant competition for these employees from the industries in which we operate as well as from other industries. Our forestry business competes with numerous public and privately held timber companies in our region. There can be no assurance we will be able to compete successfully against competitors or that competitive pressures will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
St. Joe operations are subject to federal, state and local government laws and regulations that affect every aspect of our business, including environmental and land use laws relating to, among other things, water, air, solid waste, hazardous substances, zoning, construction permits or entitlements, building codes and the requirements of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and comparable state statutes relating to the health and safety of our employees. Although we believe that we are in material compliance with these requirements, there can be no assurance that we will not incur significant costs, civil and criminal penalties, and liabilities, including those relating to claims for damages to property or natural resources, resulting from our operations. We maintain environmental and safety compliance programs for our facilities and timberlands to monitor compliance with these laws and regulations. Enactment of new laws or regulations, or changes in existing laws or regulations or the interpretation and enforcement of these laws or regulations, might require significant expenditures.
St. Joe employed 48 professionals in our corporate office who oversee operations, 5 professionals in our Watersound Closings & Escrow, LLC consolidated joint venture (“Watersound Closings JV”) and 399 full-time employees and 118 part-time and seasonal employees in the hospitality segment as of February 22, 2021. In addition to full-time employees, we engage part-time employees, independent contractors and strategic partners. Success depends upon our ability to attract and retain skilled employees, independent contractors and partners. As such, we offer rewarding compensation programs, including opportunities for continuing education and professional development.
St. Joe’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports may be viewed or downloaded electronically, free of charge, from our website: www.joe.com as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In addition, you may review any materials we file with the SEC on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. To obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference room, you may call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. Our recent press releases are also available to be viewed or downloaded electronically from the Investor Relations section of our website at www.joe.com. St. Joe will provide electronic copies of our SEC filings free of charge upon request. Any information posted on or linked from our website is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
You should carefully consider the risks described below, together with all of the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The risks described below are not the only risks facing us. Moreover, we operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to
predict all such risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may affect our business. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, may also materially and adversely affect our business. If any of these risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, strategies and prospects may be materially adversely affected.
Risk Factors Summary
The following is a summary of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, operations and financial results.
Risks Related to Our Current Business Strategy
|●||We may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy.|
|●||Our investments in new business opportunities are inherently risky.|
|●||Management has discretion as to the investments we make and may not use these funds effectively.|
|●||Our real estate investments are generally illiquid.|
|●||We face risks stemming from our strategic partnerships.|
|●||We intend to invest our assets in ways such that we will not have to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940.|
|●||If Fairholme controls us within the meaning of the Investment Company Act, we may be unable to engage in transactions with potential strategic partners.|
|●||The SEC could disagree with our Investment Company Act determinations.|
|●||Returns on our investments may be limited by our investment guidelines and restrictions.|
|●||Losses in the fair value of Securities, and the concentration of our investment portfolio in any particular issuer, industry, group of related industries or geographic sector could occur.|
|●||We face risks associated with short-term liquid investments.|
Risks Related to the Operation of Our Business
|●||Our long-term financial results are largely dependent on the economic and population growth of Northwest Florida.|
|●||Downturns of the real estate market in Northwest Florida may adversely affect our operations.|
|●||We are exposed to risks associated with real estate development and construction.|
|●||We are subject to various risks inherent to the hospitality industry beyond our control.|
|●||A decline in consumers’ discretionary spending or a change in consumer preferences may reduce our sales and harm our business.|
|●||We provide a guarantee of the debt for several of our JVs, and may in the future enter into similar agreements which may have a material adverse effect our business.|
|●||We face potential adverse effects from the loss of commercial tenants.|
|●||Our ability to attract homebuilder customers and their ability or willingness to satisfy their purchase commitments may be uncertain.|
|●||Our results of operations may vary significantly from period to period.|
|●||Our business is subject to extensive regulation and growth management initiatives.|
|●||Public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected, and could in the future, adversely affect our business.|
|●||Significant competition may have an adverse effect on our business.|
|●||Mortgage financing issues, including lack of supply of mortgage loans, tightened lending requirements and possible future increases in interest rates, may reduce demand for our products.|
|●||Natural disasters, manmade disasters, severe weather conditions or other significant disruptions affecting Northwest Florida may materially affect our business.|
|●||Our insurance coverage on our properties may be inadequate to cover losses we may incur.|
|●||Increases in property insurance premiums and decreases in availability of homeowner property insurance in Florida may reduce customer demand for homes and homesites in our developments.|
|●||Our leasing projects may not yield anticipated returns.|
|●||We are exposed to operational risks with respect to our senior living community.|
|●||We could face labor costs increases or we could fail to attract and retain qualified management and employees.|
|●||We face risks associated with third-party service providers.|
|●||Failure to maintain the integrity of internal or customer data may result in faulty business decisions, damage of reputation and/or subject us to costs, fines or lawsuits.|
|●||We face risks related to the sale of firearms.|
Risks Related to Laws and Regulations
|●||Changes to U.S. federal and state income tax laws may materially affect us and our stockholders.|
|●||We may be subject to periodic litigation and other regulatory proceedings.|
|●||Environmental and other regulations may have an adverse effect on our business.|
|●||Limitations on the access to the airport runway at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport may have an adverse effect on the demand for our VentureCrossings Land adjacent to the airport.|
|●||We may not be able to fully realize the benefits of the federal “qualified opportunity zone” program.|
|●||Uncertainty about the future of the London Interbank Offer Rate.|
Risks Related to Our Company or Common Stock
|●||The market price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be, highly volatile.|
|●||Decline in real estate values or operating losses in our properties may result in impairments.|
|●||Our common stock has low trading volume.|
|●||Fairholme has the ability to influence major corporate decisions and its interest in our business may conflict with yours.|
|●||We may not be able to utilize our net state operating loss carryforwards.|
|●||We cannot assure you that we will continue to pay dividends at the current rate or at all.|
|●||We utilize derivative financial instruments to reduce our exposure to market risks from changes in interest rates on some of our variable rate indebtedness and we will be exposed to risks related to counterparty credit worthiness or non-performance of these instruments.|
|●||Our financing arrangements contain restrictions and limitations.|
|●||Changes in accounting pronouncements may adversely affect our reported operating results.|
|●||Our business may be adversely impacted if we have deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting.|
Risks Related to Our Current Business Strategy
We may not be able to successfully implement our business strategy, which would adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and financial performance.
Our business strategy is the development of our residential real estate, expanding our commercial portfolio of income producing properties and expanding the scope of our hospitality assets and services and our new insurance offerings, while always maintaining more than sufficient enterprise liquidity. If we are not successful in achieving our objectives, our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition may be negatively affected.
Our investments in new business opportunities are inherently risky and may disrupt our ongoing business and adversely affect our operations.
We invest in new business opportunities, which may involve significant risks and uncertainties, including distraction of management from current operations, insufficient revenue to offset liabilities incurred and expenses associated with
these new investments, including development costs, inadequate return on our investments, and unidentified issues not discovered in our due diligence of such opportunities. Because these ventures are inherently risky, no assurance can be given that such strategies and offerings will be successful and will not adversely affect our reputation, financial condition and operating results.
Management has discretion as to the investments we make and may not use these funds effectively.
As of December 31, 2020, we had $157.5 million of cash, cash equivalents and investments. Management has discretion in the selection of the investments and may make decisions that do not improve our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition or enhance the value of our common stock or which result in financial losses that may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and stock price.
Our real estate investments are generally illiquid.
Real estate investments and timber holdings, are relatively illiquid; therefore, it may be difficult for us to sell such assets if the need or desire arises, which may limit our ability to make rapid adjustments in the size and content of our income property portfolio or other real estate or timber assets in response to economic or other conditions. Illiquid assets typically experience greater price volatility, as a ready market does not exist and therefore can be more difficult to value. In addition, validating third party pricing for illiquid assets may be more subjective than more liquid assets. As a result, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our real estate or timber assets quickly, we may realize significantly less than the carrying value of our assets.
We face risks stemming from our strategic partnerships.
We currently maintain, and in the future may seek additional strategic partnerships, including the formation of joint ventures (“JVs”), to develop real estate, capitalize on the potential of our residential, hospitality and commercial opportunities and maximize the value of our assets. These strategic partnerships, JVs and other ongoing strategic real estate investments may bring development experience, industry expertise, financial resources, financing capabilities, brand recognition and credibility or other competitive assets, but also involve risks not present where a third party is not involved. Some of these risks include:
|●||our partners may take actions contrary to our instructions or requests, or contrary to our policies or objectives with respect to the real estate investments;|
|●||we may not have exclusive control over the development, financing, management and other aspects of the property or JV, which may prevent us from taking actions that are in our best interest but opposed by our partners;|
|●||our partners may experience financial difficulties, become bankrupt or fail to fund their share of capital contributions, which may delay construction or development of property or increase our financial commitment to the strategic partnerships;|
|●||our partners may take actions that subject us to liabilities in excess of, or other than, those contemplated;|
|●||our partners may not maintain adequate internal controls, including controls related to cybersecurity and data privacy;|
|●||we may disagree with our partners about decisions affecting the real estate investments or partnerships, which may result in litigation or arbitration that increases our expenses, distracts our officers and directors and disrupts the day-to-day operations of the property, which may delay important decisions until the dispute is resolved;|
|●||actions by our partners may subject property owned by the partnerships to liabilities or have other adverse consequences, including if the market reputation of strategic partners deteriorates; and|
|●||if a JV agreement is terminated or dissolved, we may not continue to own or operate the interests or investments underlying the JV relationship or may need to purchase such interests or investments at a premium to the market price to continue ownership.|
In addition, we may not have sufficient resources, experience and/or skills to manage our existing strategic partnerships or locate additional desirable partners. We also may not be able to attract partners who want to conduct business in desirable geographic locations and who have the assets, reputation or other characteristics that would optimize our development and asset management opportunities. If we cannot successfully execute transactions with strategic partners, our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We intend to invest our assets in ways such that we will not have to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Investment Company Act”). As a result, we may be unable to make some potentially profitable investments.
We are not registered as an “investment company” under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and we intend to invest our assets in a manner such that we are not required to register as an investment company. This plan will require monitoring our portfolio so that on an unconsolidated basis we will not have more than 40% of total assets (excluding United States (“U.S.”) government securities and cash items) in investment securities or that we will meet and maintain another exemption from registration. As a result, we may be unable to make some potentially profitable investments, unable to sell assets we would otherwise want to sell or forced to sell investments in investment securities before we would otherwise want to do so.
If Fairholme controls us within the meaning of the Investment Company Act, we may be unable to engage in transactions with potential strategic partners, which may adversely affect our business.
Mr. Bruce R. Berkowitz is the Chairman of our Board. He is the Manager of, and controls entities that own and control, Fairholme Holdings, LLC, which wholly owns Fairholme Capital Management, L.L.C. (“FCM”, an investment advisor registered with the SEC). Mr. Berkowitz is the Chief Investment Officer of FCM, which has provided investment advisory services to us since April 2013. FCM does not receive any compensation for services as our investment advisor. As of December 31, 2020, clients of FCM, including Mr. Berkowitz, beneficially owned approximately 44.89% of our common stock. FCM and its client, The Fairholme Fund (“Fairholme”), a series of investments originating from Fairholme Funds, Inc., may be deemed affiliates of ours.
Under the Investment Company Act, “control” means the power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of a company, unless such power is solely the result of an official position with such company. Any person who owns beneficially, either directly or through one or more controlled companies, more than 25% of the outstanding voting securities of a company is presumed to control such company. The SEC has considered factors other than ownership of voting securities in determining control, including an official position with the company when such was obtained as a result of the influence over the company. Accordingly, even if Fairholme’s beneficial ownership in us is below 25% of our outstanding voting common shares, Fairholme may nevertheless be deemed to control us. The Investment Company Act generally prohibits a company controlled by an investment company from engaging in certain transactions with any affiliate of the investment company or affiliates of the affiliate, subject to limited exceptions. An affiliate of an investment company is defined in the Investment Company Act as, among other things, any company 5% or more of whose outstanding voting securities are directly or indirectly owned, controlled, or held with power to vote, by the investment company, a company directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with, the investment company or a company directly or indirectly owning, controlling, or holding with power to vote, 5% or more of the outstanding voting securities of the investment company.
This may adversely affect our ability to enter into transactions freely and compete in the marketplace. In addition, significant penalties and other consequences may arise as a result of a violation for companies found to be in violation of the Investment Company Act.
If the SEC were to disagree with our Investment Company Act determinations, our business may be adversely affected.
We have not requested approval or guidance from the SEC with respect to our Investment Company Act determinations, including, in particular: our treatment of any subsidiary as majority-owned; the compliance of any subsidiary with any exemption under the Investment Company Act, including any subsidiary’s determinations with
respect to the consistency of its assets or operations with the requirements thereof or whether our interests in one or more subsidiaries constitute investment securities for purposes of the 40% test. If the SEC were to disagree with our treatment of one or more subsidiaries as being majority-owned, exempted from the Investment Company Act, with our determination that one or more of our other holdings do not constitute investment securities for purposes of the 40% test, or with our determinations as to the nature of the business in which we engage or the manner in which we hold ourselves out, we and/or one or more of our subsidiaries would need to adjust our operating strategies or assets in order for us to continue to pass the 40% test (as described above) or register as an investment company, either of which may have a material adverse effect on us. Moreover, we may be required to adjust our operating strategy and holdings, or to effect sales of our assets in a manner that, or at a time or price at which, we would not otherwise choose, if there are changes in the laws or rules governing our Investment Company Act status or that of our subsidiaries, or if the SEC or its staff provides more specific or different guidance regarding the application of relevant provisions of, and rules under, the Investment Company Act.
If the SEC or a court of competent jurisdiction were to find that we were required, but failed, to register as an investment company in violation of the Investment Company Act, we would have to cease business activities, we would breach representations and warranties and/or be in default as to certain of our contracts and obligations, civil or criminal actions may be brought against us, certain of our contracts would be unenforceable unless a court were to require enforcement and a court may appoint a receiver to take control of us and liquidate our business, any or all of which would have a material adverse effect on our business.
Returns on our investments may be limited by our investment guidelines and restrictions.
On August 23, 2019, we entered into a new Investment Management Agreement (the “Investment Management Agreement”) with FCM, which contains investment guidelines and restrictions approved by the Company. The investment guidelines set forth in the Investment Management Agreement require that, as of the date of any investment: (i) no more than 15% of the investment account may be invested in securities of any one issuer (excluding the U.S. Government), (ii) any investment in any one issuer (excluding the U.S. Government) that exceeds 10% of the investment account, but not 15%, requires approval by a second member of the Company’s Board, (iii) 25% of the investment account must be held in cash and cash equivalents, (iv) the investment account is permitted to be invested in common equity securities; however, common stock investments shall be limited to exchange-traded common equities, shall not exceed 5% ownership of a single issuer and, cumulatively, the common stock held in our investment portfolio shall not exceed $100.0 million market value and (v) the aggregate market value of investments in common stock, preferred stock or other equity investments cannot exceed 25% of the market value of our investment portfolio at the time of purchase.
On February 23, 2021, the Company and FCM amended the Investment Management Agreement (the “Amended Investment Management Agreement”), to provide that the investment guidelines and restrictions described in the Amended Investment Management Agreement require that any new securities for purchase must be issues of the U.S. Treasury or U.S. Treasury Money Market Funds. The Amended Investment Management Agreement terminated specific restrictions from the previous investment guidelines and restrictions.
Investment limitations may negatively impact the return that we may otherwise receive from our investment accounts. This may adversely affect our cash flows and results of operations.
Losses in the fair value of Securities, and the concentration of our investment portfolio in any particular issuer, industry, group of related industries or geographic sector, may have an adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. In addition, our equity investments may fail to appreciate and may decline in value or become worthless.
As of December 31, 2020, we had $140.6 million in our investment accounts, some of which are classified as cash equivalents. The market value of these investments is subject to change from period to period, especially in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has caused elevated levels of market volatility. Our investments - debt securities and investments - equity securities (collectively, “Securities”) include investments in non-investment grade corporate debt securities of one issuer and preferred stock of three issuers. However, as previously noted, under the Amended Investment Management Agreement any new Securities for purchase must be issues of the U.S. Treasury or U.S.
Treasury Money Market Funds. We have exposure to credit risk associated with our Securities and these instruments are subject to price fluctuations as a result of changes in the financial market’s assessment of issuer credit quality, increases in delinquency and default rates, changes in prevailing interest rates and other economic factors. A downgrade of the U.S. government’s credit rating may also decrease the value of our Securities.
Credit related impairment losses can negatively affect earnings where fair value of an available-for-sale security is less than the amortized cost basis or if we intend to sell the security, or more likely than not will be required to sell the security before recovery of its amortized cost basis. Investments - equity securities with a readily determinable fair value are recorded at fair value and unrealized holding gains and losses are reported in earnings.
We face risks associated with short-term liquid investments.
We have significant cash balances that are invested in a variety of short-term investments that are intended to preserve principal value and maintain a high degree of liquidity while providing income. From time to time, these investments may include (either directly or indirectly):
|●||direct obligations issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”);|
|●||obligations issued or guaranteed by the U.S. federal government or its agencies;|
|●||obligations (including certificates of deposit) of banks and thrifts;|
|●||commercial paper and other instruments consisting of short-term U.S. dollar denominated obligations issued by corporations and banks;|
|●||both registered and unregistered money market funds; and|
|●||other highly rated short-term securities.|
Investments in these securities and funds are not insured against loss of principal. Under certain circumstances we may be required to redeem all or part of our investment, and our right to redeem some or all of our investment may be delayed or suspended. In addition, there is no guarantee that our investments in these securities or funds will be redeemable at par value. A decline in the value of our investment or a delay or suspension of our right to redeem may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
Risks Related to the Operation of Our Business
Our existing real estate investments are concentrated in Northwest Florida; therefore our long-term financial results are largely dependent on the economic and population growth of Northwest Florida.
The economic growth of Northwest Florida, where our land is located, is an important factor in creating demand for our products and services. We believe that the future economic growth of Northwest Florida will largely depend on the ability and willingness of state and local governments, in combination with the private sector, (i) to plan and complete significant infrastructure improvements in the region, such as new transportation hubs, roads, rail, pipeline, medical facilities and schools and (ii) to attract companies offering high-quality, high salary jobs to large numbers of new employees. If new businesses and new employees in Northwest Florida do not grow as anticipated, demand for residential and commercial real estate, as well as hospitality and related assets may be adversely affected.
In addition, the success of our communities will be dependent on strong migration and population expansion in Northwest Florida. We also believe that individuals seeking retirement or vacation homes in Florida will remain important target customers for our real estate products in the future. Florida’s population growth may be negatively affected in the future by factors such as adverse economic conditions, changes in state income tax laws, the occurrence of natural or manmade disasters and the high cost of real estate, insurance and property taxes. If Florida, especially Northwest Florida, experiences an extended period of slow growth, or even net out-migration, our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition may suffer.
Downturns of the real estate market in Northwest Florida may adversely affect our operations.
Demand for real estate is sensitive to changes in economic conditions over which we have no control, including the level of employment, consumer confidence, consumer income, the availability of financing and interest rate levels. In addition, the real estate market is subject to downturns, and our business is especially sensitive to economic conditions in Northwest Florida, where our developments are located, and, more broadly, the Southeast region of the U.S., which in the past has produced a high percentage of our customers. If market conditions experience volatility or worsen, the demand for our hospitality and real estate products may decline, negatively impacting our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
We are exposed to risks associated with real estate development and construction (including homebuilding of our unconsolidated JV) that may adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Our real estate development and construction (including homebuilding of our unconsolidated JV) activities entail risks that may adversely impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, including:
|●||Development and construction delays or cost overruns, which may increase project costs;|
|●||shortages of skilled labor, particularly as a result of the recent low unemployment rate in Northwest Florida;|
|●||claims for construction defects after property has been developed, including claims by purchasers and property owners’ associations, and claims for construction defects arising from third party contractors with whom we are in a principal-agent relationship;|
|●||the discovery of hazardous or toxic substances, or other environmental, culturally-sensitive, or related issues;|
|●||an inability to obtain required governmental permits and authorizations, an inability to secure tenants necessary to support commercial and multi-family projects;|
|●||compliance with building codes and other local regulations;|
|●||unavailability of raw materials when needed, which may result in project delays, stoppages or interruptions, which may make the project less profitable;|
|●||increased costs or decreased supply of building materials, including lumber;|
|●||insufficient infrastructure capacity or availability (e.g., water, sewer and roads) to serve the needs of our projects;|
|●||instability in the financial industry may reduce the availability of financing;|
|●||delay or inability to acquire property, rights of way or easements, which may result in delays or increased costs; and|
|●||weather-related and geological interference, including landslides, earthquakes, floods, drought, wildfires and other events, which may result in delays or increased costs.|
As certain approvals are subject to third party responses, it is not uncommon for delays to occur, which affect the timing of transaction closings and may also impact the terms and conditions of the transaction. Delays related to regulatory approvals may be due to the applicable governmental entity not being open due to the government being shut down or staffed sufficiently due to the government’s budgetary issues. These timing issues have caused, and may continue to cause, our operating results, particularly relating to the impact of our land sales, to vary significantly from quarter to quarter and year to year.
We are subject to various risks inherent to the hospitality industry beyond our control, any of which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and value of our hospitality assets.
Our business is subject to a number of business, financial and operating risks inherent to the hospitality industry and the agreements under which we operate, including, but not limited to:
|●||significant competition from other hospitality providers and lodging alternatives;|
|●||an increase in supply of hotel rooms that exceeds increases in demand;|
|●||dependence on business and leisure travel;|
|●||governmental action and uncertainty resulting from U.S. and global political trends, including potential barriers to travel, trade and immigration;|
|●||increases in energy costs and other travel expenses, which may adversely affect travel patterns;|
|●||our relationships with and the performance of third-party managers and franchisors;|
|●||our ability to satisfy our obligations under our franchise agreements;|
|●||reduced travel due to geo-political uncertainty, including terrorism, legislation or executive policies, travel-related health concerns, including the widespread outbreak of infectious or contagious diseases in the U.S., such as the COVID-19 pandemic, inclement weather conditions, including natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and airline strikes or disruptions;|
|●||reduced travel due to adverse national, regional or local economic and market conditions;|
|●||changes in desirability of geographic region in which our hotels are located;|
|●||increases in operating costs, including increases in the cost of property insurance, utilities and real estate and personal property taxes, due to inflation and other factors that may not be offset by increased room rates;|
|●||labor shortages and increases in the cost of labor due to low unemployment rates or to government regulations surrounding wage rates, health care coverage and other benefits;|
|●||changes in governmental laws and regulations, fiscal policies and zoning ordinances and the related costs of compliance with applicable laws and regulations;|
|●||natural or man-made disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides and floods; and|
|●||any inability to remodel outdated buildings as required by a franchise or lease agreement.|
Any of these factors may increase our costs or limit or reduce the prices we are able to charge for our hospitality products or services, or otherwise affect our ability to maintain existing properties, develop new properties or add amenities to our existing properties. As a result, any of these factors may reduce our revenues and limit opportunities for growth.
A decline in consumers’ discretionary spending or a change in consumer preferences may reduce our sales and harm our business.
Our real estate and hospitality revenue ultimately depends on consumer discretionary spending, which is influenced by factors beyond our control, including general economic conditions, the availability of discretionary income and credit, weather, consumer confidence and unemployment levels. Any material decline in the amount of consumer discretionary spending may reduce our revenue and harm our business. Alternatively, increases in consumer spending through e-commerce channels may significantly affect our tenants’ ability to generate sales in their stores, which could affect their ability to make payments to us. These economic and market conditions, combined with continuing difficulties in the credit markets and the resulting pressures on liquidity, may also place a number of our key customers under financial stress, which may adversely affect our occupancy rates and our profitability, which, in turn, may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
We provide a guarantee of the debt for several of our JVs, and may in the future enter into similar agreements, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
We have provided a guarantee of the debt in connection with several of our JVs, and may in the future agree to similar agreements. In certain instances, these guarantees provide for the full payment and performance of the borrower. See Note 11. Debt, Net and Note 21. Commitments and Contingencies included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information. If we were to become obligated to perform on any of these guarantees our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We face potential adverse effects from the loss of commercial tenants.
The default, financial distress, or bankruptcy of a major tenant may adversely affect the income produced by our commercial properties. If one or more of our tenants, particularly an anchor tenant, declares bankruptcy, defaults or voluntarily vacates from the leased premises, we may be unable to collect rent payments from such tenant, re-lease such space or to re-lease it on comparable or more favorable terms. Additionally, the loss of an anchor tenant may make it more difficult to lease the remainder of the affected properties, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition. This may adversely affect our properties and growth.
Our ability to attract homebuilder customers and their ability or willingness to satisfy their purchase commitments may be uncertain.
We are highly dependent upon our relationships with homebuilders to be the primary customers for our homesites and to provide construction services in our residential developments. The homebuilder customers that have already committed to purchase homesites from us may decide to reduce, delay or cancel their existing commitments to purchase homesites in our developments. From time to time we finance real estate sales with mortgage note receivables. If these homebuilders fail to pay their debts to us or delay paying us, it would reduce our anticipated cash flows. Homebuilders also may not view our developments as desirable locations for homebuilding operations or they may choose to purchase land from other sellers. Any of these events may have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Our results of operations may vary significantly from period to period, which may adversely impact our stock price, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Residential real estate sales tend to vary from period to period, particularly sales to homebuilders, who tend to buy multiple homesites in sporadic transactions. Commercial real estate projects are likewise subject to one-off sales and the timing of development of specific projects depends on demand. Therefore, there may be reporting periods in which we have no, or significantly less, revenue from residential or commercial real estate sales.
In addition, hospitality operations are affected by seasonal fluctuations. Revenue from our hospitality operations are typically higher in the second and third quarters; however, they can vary depending on the timing of holidays and school breaks, including spring break and may also be impacted by extraordinary events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This seasonality causes periodic fluctuations in room revenues, occupancy levels, room rates and operating expenses in particular hotels.
These variables have caused, and may continue to cause, our operating results to vary significantly from period to period, which may have an adverse impact on our stock price, cash flows, results of operations and financial condition.
Our business is subject to extensive regulation and growth management initiatives that may restrict, make more costly or otherwise adversely impact our ability to develop our real estate investments or otherwise conduct our operations.
A large part of our business is dependent on our ability to develop and manage real estate in Northwest Florida. Approval to develop real property in Florida entails an extensive entitlements process involving multiple and overlapping regulatory jurisdictions and often requiring discretionary action by local governments. This process is often political, uncertain and may require significant exactions in order to secure approvals. Real estate projects in Florida must generally comply with the provisions of the Local Government Comprehensive Planning and Land Development Regulation Act (the “Growth Management Act”) and local land development regulations. Compliance with the Growth Management Act and local land development regulations is usually lengthy and costly and can be expected to materially affect our real estate development activities.
The Growth Management Act requires local governments to adopt comprehensive plans guiding and controlling future real property development in their respective jurisdictions and to evaluate, assess and keep those plans current. Included in comprehensive plans is a future land use map, which sets forth allowable land use development rights. Some of our land has an “agricultural” or “silviculture” future land use designation and we are required to seek an amendment
to the future land use map to develop real estate projects. Approval of these comprehensive plan map amendments is highly discretionary.
All development orders and permits must be consistent with the comprehensive plan. Each plan must address such topics as future land use and capital improvements and make adequate provision for a multitude of public services including transportation, schools, solid waste disposal, sewerage, potable water supply, drainage, affordable housing, open space, parks and others. The local governments’ comprehensive plans must also establish “levels of service” with respect to certain specified public facilities, including roads, schools and services to residents. In many areas, infrastructure funding has not kept pace with growth, causing facilities to operate below established levels of service. Local governments are prohibited from issuing development orders or permits if the development will reduce the level of service for public facilities below the level of service established in the local government’s comprehensive plan, unless the developer either sufficiently improves the services up front to meet the required level of service or provides financial assurances that the additional services will be provided as the project progresses. In addition, local governments that fail to keep their plans current may be prohibited by law from amending their plans to allow for new development.
If any one or more of these factors were to occur, we may be unable to develop our real estate projects successfully or within the expected timeframes. Changes in the Growth Management Act or the interpretation thereof, new enforcement of these laws or the enactment of new laws regarding the development of real property may lead to a decline in our ability to develop and market our communities successfully and to generate positive cash flow from these operations in a timely manner, which may have a materially adverse effect on our ability to service our demand and negatively impact our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
Public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected, and could in the future, adversely affect our business or financial results.
An epidemic, pandemic or similar serious public health issue, and the measures undertaken by governmental authorities to address it, could significantly disrupt or prevent us from operating our business in the ordinary course for an extended period, and thereby, and/or along with any associated economic and/or social instability or distress, have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
In December 2019, a novel coronavirus outbreak was reported in China, and, in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared such outbreak a pandemic. Numerous states and municipalities also declared public health emergencies. Along with these declarations, extraordinary and wide-ranging actions have been taken by international, federal, state, and local public health and governmental authorities to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including quarantines, stay-at-home orders and business closure mandates requiring that individuals substantially restrict daily activities and that businesses substantially modify, curtail or cease normal operations. There is significant uncertainty regarding the extent to which and how long the COVID-19 pandemic and related government directives, actions and economic relief efforts will disrupt the U.S. economy and level of employment, capital markets, secondary mortgage markets, consumer confidence, demand for our homes and availability of mortgage loans to homebuyers.
Our hospitality operations have been, and may continue to be, disrupted by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the federal, state and local government actions to address it. Beginning in mid-March 2020 we were forced to temporarily close, reduce capacity or alter the operations of several hospitality assets we own or operate, including the WaterColor Inn, WaterSound Inn, The Pearl Hotel, retail outlets, food and beverage operations and beach clubs due to implementation of social distancing and other COVID-19 pandemic mandates from public health and governmental authorities. Our hospitality assets gradually reopened in May 2020, but could be ordered to close again. See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. Further, some guests may choose for a period of time not to travel or visit our properties for health concerns, which could lead to lower occupancy and lower room rates at our hotels or additional disruptions in our hospitality operations.
Our business could also be negatively impacted over the medium-to-longer term if the ongoing disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic result in, among other things, any of the following:
|●||decrease in consumer confidence generally or with respect to purchasing a home;|
|●||continued decrease in business and leisure travel or the ability to travel;|
|●||significant decreases in the value of residential and/or commercial real estate;|
|●||increased political polarization;|
|●||prolonged economic downturn and/or an extended rise in unemployment or tempering of wage growth, any of which could lower demand for our products;|
|●||impaired ability for us to develop and sell homesites in a typical manner or at all;|
|●||labor shortages, particularly if an outbreak were to occur within one of our hotel or food and beverage operations;|
|●||increased costs or decreased supply of building materials or the availability of subcontractors and other talent, including as a result of infections or medically necessary or recommended self-quarantining, or governmental mandates to direct production activities to support public health efforts;|
|●||increased operational costs related to workplace safety and hygiene protocols;|
|●||the inability of our third-party managers and franchisors to perform;|
|●||the inability of our tenants to pay their rent when due;|
|●||public health, governmental authority or industry-initiated action limiting our ability to collect rent or enforce remedies for the failure to pay rent; and|
|●||reduced revenue and cash flows and/or access to the capital or lending markets (or significantly increased costs of doing so), which could lead to insufficient liquidity and inability to satisfy our anticipated working capital needs, expected capital expenditures and/or principal and interest payments on our long-term debt.|
The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our results will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and difficult to forecast. Should any of the adverse impacts described above (or others that are currently unknown) occur, whether individually or collectively, we would expect to experience, among other things, material adverse impacts on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Significant competition may have an adverse effect on our business.
Our business is highly competitive and fragmented. We compete with local, regional and national real estate leasing and development companies, some of which may have greater financial, marketing, sales and other resources than we do. Competition from real estate leasing and development companies may adversely affect our ability to attract tenants and lease our commercial and multi-family properties, attract purchasers and sell residential and commercial real estate and attract and retain experienced real estate leasing and development personnel. In addition, we face competition for tenants from other retail shopping centers, commercial facilities and apartments, as well as for our senior living community.
A number of highly competitive companies participate in the hospitality industry. Our ability to remain competitive and to attract and retain guests, customers and club members depends on our success in distinguishing the quality and value of our products and services from those offered by others.
The forestry business is also highly competitive in terms of price and quality. Wood products are subject to increasing competition from a variety of substitute products, including non-wood and engineered wood products.
There can be no assurance we will be able to compete successfully against current or future competitors or that competitive pressures we face in the markets in which we operate will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Mortgage financing issues, including lack of supply of mortgage loans, tightened lending requirements and possible future increases in interest rates, may reduce demand for our products.
Many purchasers of our real estate products obtain mortgage loans to finance a substantial portion of the purchase price or they may need to obtain mortgage loans to finance the construction costs of homes to be built on homesites purchased from us. Also, our homebuilder customers depend on retail purchasers who rely on mortgage financing. The availability of mortgage financing is significantly influenced by governmental entities such as the Federal Housing
Administration, Veteran’s Administration and Government National Mortgage Association and government-sponsored enterprises known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If these or other lenders’ borrowing standards are tightened and/or the federal government were to reduce or eliminate these mortgage loan programs (including due to any failure of lawmakers to agree on a budget or appropriation legislation to fund relevant programs or operations), it would likely make it more difficult for potential purchasers of our products, including our homebuilder customers to obtain acceptable financing, which may have a negative effect on demand in our communities.
Increases in interest rates increase the costs of owning a home and may adversely affect the purchasing power of consumers and lower demand for residential real estate. In addition to residential real estate, increased interest rates and restrictions in the availability of credit may also negatively impact sales or development of our commercial properties or other land we offer for sale. If interest rates increase and the ability or willingness of prospective buyers to finance real estate purchases is adversely affected, our sales, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition may be negatively affected.
We have significant operations and properties in Northwest Florida that may be materially affected by natural disasters, manmade disasters, severe weather conditions or other significant disruptions.
Our corporate headquarters and properties are located in Northwest Florida. Because of its location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Florida is particularly susceptible to the occurrence of hurricanes. Depending on where any particular hurricane makes landfall, our developments in Northwest Florida, especially our coastal properties, may experience catastrophic damage. Such damage may materially delay sales or lessen demand for our residential or commercial real estate and lessen demand for our hospitality operations and leasing operations. If our corporate headquarters facility is damaged or destroyed, we may have difficulty performing certain corporate and operational functions.
The occurrence of other natural disasters and climate conditions in Florida, such as tornadoes, floods, fires, unusually heavy or prolonged rain, droughts, extreme heat, or other adverse weather events may have a material adverse effect on our ability to develop and sell properties or realize income from our projects. In addition, our timber assets are subject to damage by fire, insect infestation, disease, prolonged drought, flooding, hurricane and natural disasters, which may adversely affect our timber inventory and forestry business. Furthermore, sea level rise due to climate change may have a material adverse effect on our coastal properties.
The occurrence of natural disasters and the threat of adverse climate changes may also have a long-term negative effect on the attractiveness of Florida as a location for residences and as a location for new employers that can create high-quality jobs needed to support growth in Northwest Florida. Manmade disasters or disruptions, such as oil spills, acts of terrorism, power outages and communications failures may cause disruption to our properties, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Furthermore, any adverse change in the economic, political or regulatory climate of Florida, or the counties where our land is located, may adversely affect our real estate development activities. Ultimately, our business may be adversely affected by weak economic conditions or restrictive regulations.
Our insurance coverage on our properties may be inadequate to cover losses we may incur.
We maintain insurance on our properties, including property, liability, fire, flood and extended coverage. However, we do not insure our timber assets and we self-insure home warranty claims. Additionally, our insurance for hurricanes has limitations per named storm and is subject to deductibles. We use our discretion when determining amounts, coverage limits and deductibles for insurance. These terms are determined based on retaining an acceptable level of risk at a reasonable cost. This may result in insurance coverage that in the event of a substantial loss would not be sufficient to pay the full current market value or current replacement cost of our lost investment. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations and other factors also may make it unfeasible to use insurance proceeds to replace a facility after it has been damaged or destroyed. Under such circumstances, we may not receive insurance proceeds or the insurance proceeds we receive may not fully cover business interruptions or losses and our earnings, liquidity, or capital resources may be adversely affected.
Increases in property insurance premiums and decreases in availability of homeowner property insurance in Florida may reduce customer demand for homes and homesites in our developments.
Homeowner property insurance companies doing business in Florida have reacted to previous hurricanes by increasing premiums, requiring higher deductibles, reducing limits, restricting coverage, imposing exclusions, refusing to insure certain property owners, and in some instances, ceasing insurance operations in the state. It is uncertain what effect these actions may have on future property insurance availability and rates in the state.
Furthermore, Florida’s state-owned property insurance company, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., underwrites homeowner property insurance. If there were to be a catastrophic hurricane or series of hurricanes to hit Florida, the exposure of the state government to property insurance claims may place extreme stress on state finances.
The high costs of property insurance premiums in Florida may deter potential customers from purchasing a homesite in one of our developments or make Northwest Florida less attractive to new employers that can create high quality jobs needed to increase growth in the region, either of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Our leasing projects may not yield anticipated returns, which may harm our operating results, reduce cash flow, or the ability to sell commercial assets.
Our business includes the development and leasing of commercial and multi-family properties, management of commercial properties and commercial assets for sale. These commercial developments may not be as successful as expected due to leasing related risks, including the risk that we may not be able to lease new properties or obtain lease rates that are consistent with our projections, as well as the risks generally associated with real estate development. Additionally, development of leasing projects involves the risk associated with the significant time lag between commencement and completion of the project. This time lag subjects us to greater risks relating to fluctuations in the general economy, our ability to obtain construction or permanent financing on favorable terms, if at all, our ability to achieve projected rental rates, the pace that we will be able to lease to new tenants, higher than estimated construction costs (including labor and material costs), and delays in the completion of projects because of, among other factors, inclement weather, labor disruptions, construction delays or delays in receiving zoning or other regulatory approvals, or man-made or natural disasters. If any one of these factors negatively impacts our leasing projects we may not yield anticipated returns, which may have a material adverse effect on our operating results, cash flows and ability to sell commercial assets.
We are exposed to operational risks with respect to our senior living community that may adversely affect our revenue and operations.
We are exposed to various operational risks with respect to our senior living community that may increase our costs or adversely affect our ability to generate revenues. These risks include:
|●||fluctuations in occupancy, including as a result of general economic conditions and the COVID-19 pandemic, competition and willingness or ability of prospective residents to relocate to our senior living community;|
|●||federal, state, local, and industry-regulated licensure, certification and inspection laws, regulations, and standards;|
|●||state regulations regarding senior living resident agreements, which typically require a written resident agreement with each resident;|
|●||the availability and increases in cost of general and professional liability insurance coverage;|
|●||state regulation and rights of residents related to entrance fees; and|
|●||the availability and increases in the cost of labor (as a result of unionization or otherwise).|
Any one or a combination of these factors may adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
If labor costs increase or we fail to attract and retain qualified management and employees, our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Our business is dependent on our ability to attract and retain experienced and knowledgeable management and other professional staff.
The labor markets in the industries in which we operate are competitive. We must attract, train and retain a large number of qualified employees while controlling related labor costs. Tighter labor markets may make it even more difficult for us to hire and retain qualified employees and control labor costs. Our ability to attract qualified employees and control labor costs is subject to numerous external factors, including prevailing wage rates, employee preferences, employment law and regulation, labor relations and immigration policy. A significant increase in competition or labor costs increasing from any of the aforementioned factors may have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
In addition, our hospitality operations are highly dependent on a large seasonal workforce. We have historically relied on the H-2B visa program to bring workers to the United States to fill seasonal staffing needs and ensure that we have the appropriate workforce in place. If we are unable to obtain sufficient numbers of seasonal workers, through the H-2B program or otherwise, we may not be able to recruit and hire adequate personnel as the required, and material increases in the cost of securing our workforce may be possible in the future. Increased seasonal wages or an inadequate workforce may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
We face risks associated with third-party service providers, which may negatively impact our profitability.
We rely on various third-parties to conduct the day-to-day operations of our multi-family properties and some of our commercial properties. Failure of such third parties to adequately perform their contracted services may negatively impact our ability to retain customers. As a result, any such failure may negatively impact our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Failure to maintain the integrity of internal or customer data may result in faulty business decisions, damage of reputation and/or subject us to costs, fines or lawsuits.
We face risks associated with security breaches or disruptions, whether through cyber-attacks or cyber intrusions over the Internet, malware, computer viruses, attachments to emails, persons inside our organization or persons with access to systems, energy blackouts, natural disasters, terrorism, war, and other significant disruptions of our networks and related systems. For a number of years, we have been increasing our reliance on computers and digital technology. While all of our business and internal employment records require the collection of digital information, our hospitality segment, in particular, requires the collection and retention of large volumes of internal and customer data, including credit card numbers and other personally identifiable information of our customers, as such information is entered into, processed, summarized, and reported by the various information systems we use. All of these activities give rise to material cyber risks and potential costs and consequences that cannot be estimated or predicted with any certainty. The integrity and protection of our customer, employee and other company data, is critical to us. Although we make efforts to maintain the security and integrity of these networks and related systems, we have implemented various measures to manage the risk of a security breach or disruption, and to date, have not had a significant cyber breach or attack that has had a material impact on our business, there can be no assurance that our security efforts and measures will be effective or that attempted security breaches or disruptions would not be successful or damaging.
The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyber-attacks or cyber-intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments, and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased.
Even the most well protected information, networks, systems and facilities remain potentially vulnerable because the techniques used in such attempted security breaches evolve and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, and in some cases are designed not to be detected and, in fact, may not be detected. Accordingly, we and our service providers may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate security barriers or other preventative measures, and thus it is impossible for us and our service providers to entirely mitigate this risk. Our failure to maintain the security of the data, which we are required to protect, including via the penetration of our network security and the misappropriation of confidential and personal information, may result in business disruption, damage to our reputation, fines, penalties, regulatory proceedings and other severe financial and business implications.
We face risks related to the sale of firearms.
We face risks relating to our recently constructed Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center in Panama City Beach, Florida, which includes a 17,000 square feet facility with a retail store as well as training and educational space and 14 shooting lanes. We may incur losses due to lawsuits relating to, among other things, our compliance with state and federal law, as well as lawsuits relating to the improper use of firearms at our facility or sold by us. Our insurance coverage may be inadequate to cover these potential claims and liabilities. The sale of fire-arm related products may also present reputational risks and negative publicity, which could harm our results of operations and financial condition.
Risks Related to Laws and Regulations
Changes to U.S. federal and state income tax laws may materially affect us and our stockholders.
The enacted 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Tax Act”) made substantial changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Among those changes are a significant permanent reduction in the generally applicable corporate tax rate, changes in the taxation of individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers that generally but not universally reduce their taxes on a temporary basis subject to ‘‘sunset’’ provisions, the elimination or modification of various currently allowed deductions (including substantial limitations on the deductibility of interest and, in the case of individuals, the deduction for personal state and local taxes), certain additional limitations on the deduction of net operating losses, and certain business income derived by non-corporate taxpayers in comparison to other ordinary income recognized by such taxpayers. The effect of these, and the many other, changes made in the Tax Act is highly uncertain, both in terms of their direct effect on the taxation of an investment in our common equity and their indirect effect on the value of our assets or market conditions generally. Furthermore, many of the provisions of the Tax Act will require guidance through the issuance of Treasury regulations in order to assess their effect. There may be a substantial delay before such regulations are promulgated, increasing the uncertainty as to the ultimate effect of the statutory amendments on us. There may also be technical corrections or superseding legislation proposed with respect to the Tax Act, the risk of which may be elevated due to newly elected members to the U.S. Congress and the election and inauguration of a new U.S. President following the 2020 U.S. federal elections, the effect and timing of which cannot be predicted and may be adverse to us or our stockholders.
From time to time, we may be subject to periodic litigation and other regulatory proceedings, which may impact our financial results of operations.
From time to time, we may be involved in lawsuits and regulatory actions relating to our business, our operations or our position as an owner and operator of real estate and related ventures. An adverse outcome in any of these matters may adversely affect our financial condition, our results of operations or impose additional restrictions or limitations on us. In addition, regardless of the outcome of any litigation or regulatory proceedings, these proceedings may result in substantial costs and may require that we devote substantial resources to defend our Company.
In addition, the land use approval processes we must follow to ultimately develop our projects have become increasingly complex. Moreover, the statutes, regulations and ordinances governing the approval processes provide third parties the opportunity to challenge the proposed plans and approvals. As a result, the prospect of third-party challenges to planned real estate developments provides additional uncertainties in real estate development planning and entitlements. Third-party challenges in the form of litigation may result in denial of the right to develop, or would, by
their nature, adversely affect the length of time and the cost required to obtain the necessary approvals. In addition, adverse decisions arising from any litigation would increase the costs and length of time to obtain ultimate approval of a project and may adversely affect the design, scope, plans and profitability of a project.
Environmental and other regulations may have an adverse effect on our business.
Our properties are subject to federal, state and local environmental regulations and restrictions that may impose significant limitations on our development ability. In most cases, approval to develop requires multiple permits, which involve a long, uncertain and costly regulatory process. Our land holdings contain jurisdictional wetlands, some of which may be unsuitable for development or prohibited from development by applicable law. Development approval most often requires mitigation for impacts to wetlands that require land to be conserved at a disproportionate ratio versus the actual wetlands impacted and approved for development. Some of our property is undeveloped land located in areas where development may have to avoid, minimize or mitigate for impacts to the natural habitats of various protected wildlife or plant species. Additionally, much of our property is in coastal areas that usually have a more restrictive permitting burden or must address issues such as coastal high hazard, hurricane evacuation, floodplains and dune protection.
In addition, our current or past ownership, operation and leasing of real property, and our current or past transportation and other operations, are subject to extensive and evolving federal, state and local environmental laws and other regulations. The provisions and enforcement of these environmental laws and regulations may become more stringent in the future. Violations of these laws and regulations can result in, among other things, civil penalties, remediation expenses, natural resource damages, personal injury damages, potential injunctions, cease and desist orders and criminal penalties. In addition, some of these environmental laws impose strict liability, which means that we may be held liable for any environmental damage on our property regardless of fault.
Some of our past and present real property, particularly properties used in connection with our previous transportation and papermill operations, were involved in the storage, use or disposal of hazardous substances that have contaminated and may in the future contaminate the environment. We may bear liability for this contamination and for the costs of cleaning up a site at which we have disposed of, or to which we have transported, hazardous substances. The presence of hazardous substances on a property may also adversely affect our ability to sell or develop the property or to borrow funds using the property as collateral.
Additionally, in recent years, assessments of the potential impacts of climate change have begun to influence governmental authorities, consumer behavior patterns and the general business environment of the U.S., including, but not limited to, energy-efficiency measures, water use measures and land-use practices. The implementation of these polices may require us to invest additional capital in our properties or it may restrict the availability of land we are able to develop. These changes, or changes in other environmental laws or their interpretation thereof, new enforcement of laws, the identification of new facts or the failure of other parties to perform remediation at our current or former facilities may lead to new or greater liabilities that may materially adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
Limitations on the access to the airport runway at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport may have an adverse effect on the demand for our VentureCrossings Land adjacent to the airport.
Our land donation agreement with the Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District (the “Airport Authority”) and the deed for the airport land provide access rights to the airport runway from our adjacently-owned lands (the “VentureCrossings Land”). We subsequently entered into an access agreement with the Airport Authority that provides access to the airport runway. Under the terms of the access agreement, we are subject to certain requirements of the Airport Authority, including but not limited to the laws administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (the “FAA”), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (the “FDEP”), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the “Corps of Engineers”) and Bay County, Florida. Should security measures at airports become more restrictive in the future due to circumstances beyond our control, FAA regulations governing these access rights may impose additional limitations that may significantly impair or restrict access rights.
In addition, we are required to obtain environmental permits from each of the Corps of Engineers and the FDEP in order to develop the land necessary for access from our planned areas of commercial development to the airport runway. Such permits are often subject to a lengthy agency administrative approval process, and there can be no assurance that such permits will be issued, or that they will be issued in a timely manner.
We believe that runway access is a valuable attribute of some of our VentureCrossings Land, and the failure to maintain such access, the imposition of significant restrictions on such access, or any associated permitting delays or issues, may adversely affect the demand for such lands and our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
We may not be able to fully realize the benefits of the federal “qualified opportunity zone” program, which may adversely affect our financial performance.
As part of the Tax Act, Congress established the Qualified Opportunity Zone program (the “QOZ Program”), which provides preferential tax treatment to taxpayers who invest eligible capital gains into qualified opportunity funds (“QOFs”). QOFs are self-certifying entities that invest their capital in economically distressed communities that have been designated as qualified opportunity zones (“QOZs”) by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Treasury. We have positioned ourselves to take advantage of the tax benefits offered by the QOZ Program. While the IRS has recently issued final regulations which address some of the uncertainties under the QOZ Program, because the QOZ Program is relatively new, a number of open questions remain. To the extent the IRS issues additional interpretive guidance that renders ineligible certain categories of projects that are currently expected to qualify, we may be unable to fully realize the benefits of the QOZ Program as anticipated, which may impact our investment strategy.
Uncertainty about the future of the London Interbank Offer Rate ("LIBOR") may adversely affect our business and financial results.
Many of our current debt agreements have an interest rate tied to LIBOR. In July 2017, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced its intent to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2021. The cessation date for submission and publication of rates for certain tenors of LIBOR has since been extended by the ICE Benchmark Administration until mid-2023. While this announcement extends the transition period, the United States Federal Reserve issued a statement advising banks to stop new LIBOR issuances by the end of 2021. Accordingly, the potential effect of the phase-out or replacement of LIBOR cannot yet be determined and it is not possible to predict the effect of this announcement, including whether LIBOR will continue in place, and if so what changes will be made to it, what alternative reference rates may replace LIBOR in use going forward, and how LIBOR will be determined for purposes of loans, securities and derivative instruments currently referencing it if it ceases to exist. If the method for calculation of LIBOR changes, if LIBOR is no longer available or if lenders have increased costs due to changes in LIBOR, we may suffer from potential increases in interest rates on our debt agreements. These uncertainties or their resolution also may negatively impact our borrowing costs and other aspects of our business and financial results.
Risks Related to Our Company or Common Stock
The market price of our common stock has been, and may continue to be, highly volatile.
The market price of our common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) has been volatile. We may continue to experience significant volatility in the market price of our common stock. Numerous factors may have a significant effect on the price of our common stock, including:
|●||announcements of fluctuations in our operating results;|
|●||other announcements concerning our Company or business, including acquisitions or litigation announcements;|
|●||changes in market conditions in Northwest Florida or the real estate or real estate development industry in general;|
|●||economic and/or political factors unrelated to our performance;|
|●||impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic;|
|●||changes in recommendations or earnings estimates by securities analysts;|
|●||less volume due to reduced shares outstanding; and|
|●||execution of the Stock Repurchase Program will reduce our “public float.”|
In addition, the stock market in general has experienced significant price and volume fluctuations in recent years, which have sometimes been unrelated or disproportionate to operating performance. Continued volatility in the market price of our common stock may cause shareholders to lose some or all of their investment in our common stock.
A decline in real estate values or operating losses in our operating properties may result in impairments, which would have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
As of December 31, 2020, we had approximately $551.7 million of real estate investments, $38.0 million of investment in unconsolidated JVs and $20.8 million of property and equipment recorded on our books that may be subject to impairment. If market conditions were to deteriorate, our estimate of undiscounted future cash flows may fall below their carrying value and we may be required to take impairments, which would have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
Our common stock has low trading volume.
Although our common stock trades on the NYSE, it is thinly traded and our daily trading volume is low compared to the number of share of common stock we have outstanding. The low trading volume of our common stock can cause our stock price to fluctuate significantly as well as make it difficult for a stockholder to sell their common stock quickly. As a result of our stock being thinly traded, institutional investors might not be interested in owning our common stock.
Fairholme has the ability to influence major corporate decisions, including decisions that require the approval of stockholders, and its interest in our business may conflict with yours.
As of December 31, 2020, clients of FCM, including Mr. Berkowitz, beneficially owned approximately 44.89% of our common stock. Given that the Fairholme Funds, Inc. may be deemed affiliates of ours (as previously explained), Fairholme is in a position to influence:
|●||the vote of most matters submitted to our shareholders, including any merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets;|
|●||the nomination of individuals to our Board; and|
|●||a change in our control.|
These factors may discourage, delay or prevent a takeover attempt that shareholders might consider in their best interests or that might result in shareholders receiving a premium for their common stock. Additionally, our articles of incorporation and certain provisions of Florida law contain anti-takeover provisions that may make it more difficult to effect a change in our control.
In addition, Fairholme is in the business of making or advising on investments in companies and may hold, and may, from time to time in the future, acquire interests in or provide advice to businesses that directly or indirectly compete with certain portions of our business. Fairholme may also pursue acquisitions that may be complementary to our business, and, as a result, those acquisition opportunities may not be available to us.
Furthermore, future sales of our common stock by Fairholme, or the perception in the public markets that these sales may occur, may depress our stock price.
We may not be able to utilize our net state operating loss carryforwards.
We have generated significant state net operating loss carryforwards. These state net operating loss carryforwards may be used against taxable income in future periods; however, we will not receive any tax benefits with regard to tax losses incurred except to the extent we have taxable income in the remaining net operating loss carryforward periods.
We cannot assure you that we will continue to pay dividends at the current rate or at all.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, we paid a cash dividend of $0.07 per share on our common stock and we expect to continue to pay quarterly dividends. The declaration and payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of our Board after taking into account various factors, including without limitation, our financial condition, earnings, capital requirements of our business, the terms of any credit agreements or indentures to which we may be party at the time, legal requirements, industry practice, and other factors that our Board deems relevant. By paying cash dividends rather than investing that cash in our business or repaying any outstanding debt, we risk, among other things, slowing the expansion of our business, having insufficient cash to fund our operations or make capital expenditures or limiting our ability to incur borrowings. Our Board will periodically review the cash generated from our business and the capital expenditures required to finance our growth plans and determine whether to modify the amount of quarterly dividends. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will continue to pay dividends at the current rate or at all.
We utilize derivative financial instruments to reduce our exposure to market risks from changes in interest rates on some of our variable rate indebtedness and we will be exposed to risks related to counterparty credit worthiness or non-performance of these instruments.
We have entered into interest rate swap instruments and may enter into others to limit our exposure to changes in variable interest rates. While our hedging strategy is designed to minimize the impact of increases in interest rates applicable to some of our variable rate debt, there can be no guarantee that our hedging strategy will be effective, and we may experience credit-related losses in some circumstances. See Note 6. Financial Instruments and Fair Value Measurements included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information.
Our financing arrangements contain restrictions and limitations that could impact our ability to operate our business.
Our financing arrangements contain customary representations and warranties and customary affirmative and negative covenants that restrict some of our activities. See Note 11. Debt, Net included in Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K for additional information. Our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions contained in our financing arrangements may be affected by economic, financial and industry conditions beyond our control, including credit or capital market disruptions. The breach of any of these covenants or restrictions could result in a default that would permit the applicable lenders to declare all amounts outstanding thereunder to be due and payable, together with accrued and unpaid interest. In any such case, we may be unable to repay the amounts due under such financing arrangements, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Changes in accounting pronouncements may adversely affect our reported operating results, in addition to the reported financial performance of our tenants.
Accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. Uncertainties posed by various initiatives of accounting standard-setting by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and the SEC, which create and interpret applicable accounting standards for U.S. companies, may change the financial accounting and reporting standards or their interpretation and application of these standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. These changes and others may have a material impact on our reported financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we may be required to apply a new or revised standard retroactively, resulting in potentially material restatements of prior period financial statements.
Our business may be adversely impacted if we have deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting.
The design and effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting may not prevent all errors, misstatements, or misrepresentations. While management will continue to review the effectiveness of our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting, there can be no guarantee that our internal control over financial reporting will be effective in accomplishing all control objectives at all times. Deficiencies, including any material weakness, in our internal control over financial reporting, which may occur in the future, may result in misstatements of our results of operations, restatements of our financial statements, a decline in our stock price, or otherwise materially adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
St. Joe owns 171,000 acres in Northwest Florida. The Sector Plan entitles, or gives legal rights, for us to develop over 170,000 residential dwelling units, over 22 million square feet of retail, commercial and industrial space and over 3,000 hotel rooms on lands within Florida’s Bay and Walton counties. We also have additional entitlements, or legal rights, to develop acreage outside of the Sector Plan. Approximately 86% of our real estate is located in Florida’s Bay, Gulf, and Walton counties. Approximately 90% of our real estate is located within 15 miles of the Gulf of Mexico. Undeveloped land is managed as timberlands until designated for development. We anticipate a wide range of residential, commercial and hospitality uses on these land holdings. We have operating assets and projects under development in our residential, hospitality, and commercial segments. For more information on our real estate assets, see “Item 1. Business” and “Schedule III (Consolidated) - Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation” included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further information.
In our residential segment, we develop land in multiple residential communities into homesites for sale to homebuilders and retail customers. As of December 31, 2020, we had completed homesites, homesites under development, engineering or in conceptual planning in 18 separate communities. These include Watersound Origins, Breakfast Point, Watersound Camp Creek, Watercolor, WindMark Beach, SouthWood, Titus Park, Ward Creek and other Northwest Florida locations. In our hospitality segment, we own a beach club and three golf courses that are situated in or near our residential communities. We own the WaterColor Inn and the WaterSound Inn, along with nearby retail and commercial space. We own properties under construction for an Embassy Suites hotel (the “Pier Park Resort Hotel JV”), Hilton Garden Inn hotel, Homewood Suites hotel, Camp Creek Inn and The Lodge 30A hotel (“The Lodge 30A JV”). We own additional properties in Panama City Beach, Florida that we operate as rental property. We own two marinas. We have leased land for development in downtown Panama City. In our commercial segment, we own the properties used in our operations, which include multi-family, retail, office and commercial property located in Beckrich Office Park, where we are headquartered; Pier Park North (the “Pier Park North JV”), Pier Park Crossings (the “Pier Park Crossings JV”), Pier Park Crossings II (the “Pier Park Crossings II JV”), Watersound Origins Crossings (the “Watersound Origins Crossings JV”), Watercrest Senior Living (the “Watercrest JV”), WindMark Beach, VentureCrossings and other Northwest Florida locations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We are subject to a variety of litigation, claims, other disputes and governmental proceedings that arise from time to time in the ordinary course of our business, none of which we believe will have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position, results of operations or liquidity. In addition, we are subject to environmental laws and regulations, which include obligations to remove or limit the effects on the environment of the disposal or release of certain wastes or substances at various sites, including sites which have been previously sold. See Note 21. Commitments and Contingencies included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further discussion.
Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
On February 22, 2021 we had approximately 862 registered holders of record of our common stock. Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol “JOE.”
In the fourth quarter of 2020, we paid a cash dividend of $0.07 per share on our common stock and we expect to continue to pay quarterly dividends. We did not pay cash dividends in 2019. The declaration and payment of any future dividends will be at the discretion of our Board after taking into account various factors, including without limitation, our financial condition, earnings, capital requirements of our business, the terms of any credit agreements or indentures to which we may be party at the time, legal requirements, industry practice, and other factors that our Board deems relevant. See Item 1A. Risk Factors – Risks Related to our Common Stock – We cannot assure you that we will continue to pay dividends at the current rate or at all.
The following performance graph compares our cumulative shareholder returns for the period December 31, 2015, through December 31, 2020, assuming $100 was invested on December 31, 2015, in our common stock, in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index, and a custom real estate peer group (the “Custom Real Estate Peer Group”), which is composed of Alexander & Baldwin Inc. (ALEX), CTO Realty Growth, Inc. (CTO), Five Point Holdings, LLC (FPH), The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC), Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. (MLP), Stratus Properties Inc. (STRS) and Tejon Ranch Co. (TRC). Total returns shown assume that dividends are reinvested. Total return for the Custom Real Estate Peer Group use an equal weighting for each of the stocks within the peer group. The stock price performance shown below is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.
The St. Joe Company
S&P SmallCap 600 Index
Custom Real Estate Peer Group
Stock Repurchase Program
Our Board has approved the Stock Repurchase Program pursuant to which we are authorized to repurchase shares of our common stock. The Stock Repurchase Program has no expiration date. As of December 31, 2020, we had a total authority of $77.4 million available for purchase of shares of our common stock pursuant to the Stock Repurchase Program. We may repurchase our common stock in open market purchases from time to time, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, pursuant to Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The timing and amount of any additional shares to be repurchased will depend upon a variety of factors. Repurchases may be commenced or suspended at any time or from time to time without prior notice. The Stock Repurchase Program will continue until otherwise modified or terminated by our Board at any time in its sole discretion. Execution of the Stock Repurchase Program will reduce our “public float”, and the beneficial ownership of common stock by our directors, executive officers and affiliates will proportionately increase as a percentage of our outstanding common stock. However, we do not believe that the execution of the Stock Repurchase Program will cause our common stock to be delisted from NYSE or cause us to stop being subject to the periodic reporting requirements of the Exchange Act. There were no stock repurchases during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Item 6. Reserved
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the accompanying audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes included in this annual report on Form 10-K. The statements in this discussion regarding industry outlook, our expectations regarding our future performance, liquidity and capital resources and other non-historical statements in this discussion are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties described in “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in this annual report on Form 10-K. Our actual results may differ materially from those contained in or implied by any forward-looking statements. We assume no obligation to revise or publicly release any revision to any forward-looking statements contained in this annual report on Form 10-K, unless required by law.
St. Joe is a real estate development, asset management and operating company with real estate assets and operations in Northwest Florida. We intend to use existing assets for residential, hospitality and commercial ventures. We have significant residential and commercial land-use entitlements. We actively seek higher and better uses for our real estate assets through a range of development activities. We may partner with or explore the sale of discrete assets when we and/or others can better deploy resources. We seek to enhance the value of our owned real estate assets by developing residential, commercial and hospitality projects to meet market demand. Approximately 86% of our real estate is located in Florida’s Bay, Gulf, and Walton counties. Approximately 90% of our real estate land holdings are located within fifteen miles of the Gulf of Mexico.
We believe our present capital structure, liquidity and land provide us with years of opportunities to increase recurring revenue and long-term value for our shareholders. We intend to focus on our core business activity of real estate development, asset management and operations. We are developing a broad range of asset types that we believe will provide acceptable rates of return, grow recurring revenues and support future business. Capital commitments will be funded with cash proceeds from completed projects, existing cash, owned-land, partner capital and financing arrangements. We do not anticipate immediate benefits from investments. Timing of projects may be subject to delays caused by factors beyond our control.
Our real estate investment strategy focuses on projects that meet long-term risk-adjusted return criteria. Our practice is to only incur such expenditures when our analysis indicates that a project will generate a return equal to or greater than the threshold return over its life.
COVID-19 Pandemic Update
The economic conditions in the United States have been and continue to be negatively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in among other things, quarantines, “stay-at-home” orders and similar mandates for many individuals to substantially restrict daily activities and for many businesses to close or significantly reduce normal operations, and we expect these negative impacts to continue. Beginning in mid-March 2020, in response to federal, state and local orders and guidelines, we took a number of protective measures, including temporarily closing the WaterColor Inn, WaterSound Inn and The Pearl Hotel for overnight guests, closing retail outlets and beach clubs, closing or limiting restaurant activities at our food and beverage operations to pick up only (and in certain locations, local delivery), implementing cost reduction measures and “work from home” policies. Our hospitality assets gradually reopened in May 2020, but could be ordered to close again.
While the breadth and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic impact is still unknown, we could experience material declines within each of our reportable segments in one or more periods in 2021 and beyond compared to the historical norms. We will continue to monitor the potential impacts and evaluate each new project day by day and phase by phase and take prudent measures and respond as needed based on market conditions. Further discussion of the potential impacts on our business from the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed in Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors.
We have the following three reportable segments: 1) residential, 2) hospitality and 3) commercial. Prior to the first quarter of 2020, commercial leasing and sales, as well as forestry were treated as individual reportable segments. Commencing in the first quarter of 2020, due to organizational changes, our previously titled “commercial leasing and sales” and “forestry” segments are reported as one segment and retitled to “commercial.” This change is consistent with our belief that the decision making and management of the assets in these segments are being made as one group. All prior year segment information has been reclassified to conform to the 2020 presentation. Also commencing in the first quarter of 2020, our previously titled “residential real estate” segment was retitled to “residential.” The change had no effect on the consolidated balance sheets, statements of income, statements of comprehensive income or statements of cash flows for the periods presented.
The following table sets forth the relative contribution of these reportable segments to our consolidated operating revenue:
Year Ended December 31,
Segment Operating Revenue
Consolidated operating revenue
|(a)||Includes revenue of $23.1 million in 2018 for a one-time receipt of RiverTown impact fees related to the 2014 RiverTown transaction. See Note 18. RiverTown Impact Fees included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further discussion.|
|(b)||Other includes mitigation bank credit sales and title fee revenue. For 2018, other includes revenue of $2.2 million related to a specific sale of mitigation bank credits.|
For more information regarding our reportable segments, see Note 20. Segment Information included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
Our residential real estate segment typically plans and develops residential communities of various sizes across a wide range of price points and sells homesites to homebuilders or retail consumers. Our residential real estate segment
also evaluates opportunities to enter into JV agreements for specific communities such as Latitude Margaritaville Watersound.
Watersound Origins, Watersound Camp Creek, Breakfast Point, Titus Park, College Station, Park Place, WindMark Beach and SouthWood are large scale, multi-phase communities with current sales activity and future phases. Homesites in these communities are developed based on market demand and sold primarily to homebuilders and retail customers on a limited basis.
Other residential communities of SummerCamp Beach and RiverCamps have homesites available for sale or lands for future development. In addition, the residential communities of WaterSound Beach, WaterSound West Beach, WaterColor and Wild Heron that are substantially developed, with homesites in these communities available for sale.
The Latitude Margaritaville Watersound community is a planned 55+ active adult residential community under development in Bay County, Florida. The community is located near the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway with convenient access to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. The community is being developed as an unconsolidated JV with our partner Minto Communities USA, a homebuilder and community developer, and is estimated to include approximately 3,500 residential homes, which will be developed in smaller increments of discrete neighborhoods. The sales center and 13 model homes are currently under construction. In addition, homesite infrastructure for the initial neighborhoods including models is underway, with site development of 629 homesites.
Planned residential projects of East Lake Powell, Mexico Beach, Ward Creek and other Watersound communities are in the planning and engineering stages of development.
The residential homesite pipeline by community/project are as follows:
Residential Homesite Pipeline (a)
Breakfast Point (b)
Bay County, FL
Bay County, FL
East Lake Powell (c)
Bay County, FL
Latitude Margaritaville Watersound (d) (e)
Bay County, FL
Mexico Beach (b)
Bay County, FL
Bay County, FL
Bay County, FL
Leon County, FL
SummerCamp Beach (b)
Franklin County, FL
Bay County, FL
Walton County, FL
Watersound Camp Creek (f)
Walton County, FL
Watersound Origins (f)
Walton County, FL
Ward Creek (d)
Bay County, FL
WaterColor Park District
Walton County, FL
Walton County, FL
WaterSound West Beach
Walton County, FL
Bay County, FL
WindMark Beach (f)
Gulf County, FL
|(a)||The number of homesites are preliminary and are subject to change.|
|(b)||Planned Unit Development (“PUD”).|
|(c)||Development Agreement (“DA”).|
|(d)||Detailed Specific Area Plan (“DSAP”).|
|(e)||The unconsolidated Latitude Margaritaville Watersound JV (the “Latitude Margaritaville Watersound JV”), plans to build and sell homes in this community.|
|(f)||Development of Regional Impact (“DRI”).|
As of December 31, 2020, we had 1,269 residential homesites under contract with ten different local, regional, and national homebuilders, which are expected to result in revenue of approximately $115.0 million at closing of the homesites, which are expected over the next several years. As of December 31, 2019, we had 930 residential homesites under contract, which are expected to result in revenue of approximately $84.3 million ($20.3 million has been realized through December 31, 2020). The increase in homesites under contract is due to the development of additional homesites and increased homebuilder contracts for residential homesites. The number of homesites under contract are subject to change based on homesite closings and homebuilder interest in each community.
Our hospitality segment features a private membership club (“The Clubs by JOE”), hotel operations, food and beverage operations, golf courses, beach clubs, retail outlets, gulf-front vacation rentals, management services, marinas and other entertainment assets. The hospitality segment generates revenue and incurs costs from membership sales, membership reservations, golf courses, the WaterColor Inn and WaterSound Inn, short-term vacation rentals, management of The Pearl Hotel, food and beverage operations, merchandise sales, marina operations, charter flights, other resort and entertainment activities and beach clubs, which includes operation of the WaterColor Beach Club. Hospitality revenue is generally recognized at the point in time services are provided and represent a single performance obligation with a fixed transaction price. Hospitality revenue recognized over time includes non-refundable club membership initiation fees, club membership dues, management fees and other membership fees. From time to time, we may explore the sale of certain hospitality properties, the development of new hospitality properties, as well as new entertainment and management opportunities. Some of our JV assets and other assets incur interest and financing expenses related to the loans as described in Note 11. Debt, Net included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
The Clubs by JOE provides club members and guests in some of our hotels access to our member facilities, which include the Camp Creek Golf Club, Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, WaterSound Beach Club and our Pilatus PC-12 NG aircraft (“N850J”). The Clubs by JOE offers different types of club memberships, each with different access rights and associated fee structures. The Clubs by JOE is focused on creating a world class membership experience combined with the luxurious aspects of a destination resort. Club operations include our golf courses, beach club and facilities that generate revenue from membership sales, membership reservations, daily play at the golf courses, merchandise sales, charter flights and food and beverage sales and incur expenses from the services provided, maintenance of the golf courses, aircraft, beach club and facilities and personnel costs. Watersound Origins includes a six-hole golf course, resort-style pool, fitness center, two tennis courts and private lake dock located in the community. Access to amenities are reserved to Watersound Origins members consisting of the community residents. The golf course is available for public play.
WaterSound Beach Club is The Clubs by JOE’s private beach club located in Watersound, Florida, which includes over one mile of Gulf of Mexico frontage, two resort-style pools, two restaurants, three bars, kid’s room and a recreation area. Shark’s Tooth Golf Club includes an 18-hole golf course, a full club house, a pro shop, as well as two food and beverage operations. In addition to the golf course, The Clubs by JOE tennis center is located in the Wild Heron community near the Shark’s Tooth golf course. Camp Creek Golf Club is an 18-hole championship golf course located in Watersound, Florida. In the fourth quarter of 2019, we commenced construction on new club amenities adjacent to the Camp Creek golf course. Amenities are planned to include a health and wellness center, restaurants, a tennis center, pickle ball courts, a resort-style pool complex with separate adult pool, a golf teaching academy, pro shop and multi-sport fields. Once complete, these amenities will be available to The Clubs by JOE members and guests at some of our hotels. The Clubs by JOE also offers members private air charter flights through our N850J aircraft.
We own and operate the award-winning WaterColor Inn, which includes the FOOW restaurant, the WaterSound Inn and two gulf-front vacation rental houses. We own and operate retail and commercial outlets near our hospitality facilities. We also operate the award-winning The Pearl Hotel and Havana Beach Bar & Grill restaurant and the WaterColor Beach Club, which includes food and beverage operations and other hospitality related activities, such as beach chair rentals. Revenue is generated from (i) the WaterColor Inn, WaterSound Inn and operation of the WaterColor Beach Club, (ii) management of The Pearl Hotel, (iii) short-term vacation rentals, (iv) food and beverage operations and (v) merchandise sales. The WaterColor Inn, WaterSound Inn and operation of the WaterColor Beach Club generate
revenue from service and/or daily rental fees and incur expenses from the cost of services and goods provided, maintenance of the facilities and personnel costs. Revenue generated from our management services include management fees. Management services expenses consist primarily of internal administrative costs. Hotel operations and short-term vacation rentals generate revenue from rental fees and incur expenses from the holding cost of assets we own and standard lodging personnel, such as front desk, reservations and marketing personnel. Our food and beverage operations generate revenue from food and beverage sales and incur expenses from the cost of services and goods provided and standard personnel costs. Our retail outlets generate revenue from merchandise sales, which are recognized at the point of sale and incur expenses from the cost of goods provided, personnel costs and facility costs.
We are in the process of constructing an Embassy Suites hotel, with our JV partner, planned for 255 guest suites in the Pier Park area of Panama City Beach, Florida; an upscale 75 room boutique hotel located adjacent to the Camp Creek Golf Club near the highly desirable Scenic Highway 30A corridor; a Hilton Garden Inn near Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (“ECP”), which is planned to feature 143 guest rooms; a Homewood Suites by Hilton adjacent to the new Panama City Beach Sports Complex in Panama City Beach, Florida, which is planned to feature 131 one and two-bedroom guest suites; and The Lodge 30A, with our JV partner, an 85 room boutique hotel on Scenic Highway 30A in Seagrove Beach, Florida. In the third quarter of 2020 we executed a long-term land lease to develop, construct and operate a new waterfront Hotel Indigo and standalone restaurant in Panama City, Florida’s downtown waterfront district. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2021. Once complete, we will manage the day-to-day operations of all planned hotels and restaurants.
We own and operate two marinas consisting of the Bay Point Marina and Port St. Joe Marina. Our marinas generate revenue from boat slip rentals and fuel sales, and incur expenses from cost of services provided, maintenance of the marina facilities and personnel costs. At present, we are redeveloping the marinas. See Note 7. Hurricane Michael included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information.
We own and operate the WaterColor retail store that generates revenue from merchandise sales, which are recognized at the point of sale, and incur expenses from the cost of goods provided, personnel costs and facility costs. We own and operate the Powder Room Shooting Range and Training Center (“The Powder Room”) in Panama City Beach, Florida. The approximately 17,000 square feet facility was completed in December 2020 and includes a retail store with firearms and ammunition, as well as training and educational space and 14 shooting lanes. The Powder Room generates revenue from service fees and merchandise sales, which are recognized at the point of sale, and incurs expenses from the cost of services and goods provided, personnel costs and facility costs.
Our commercial segment includes leasing of commercial property, multi-family, a senior living community and other assets. The commercial segment also oversees the planning, development, entitlement, management and sale of our commercial and rural land holdings for a variety of uses, including a broad range of retail, office, hotel, senior living, multi-family, self-storage and industrial properties. We provide development opportunities for national, regional and local retailers and other strategic partners in Northwest Florida. We own and manage retail shopping centers and develop commercial parcels. We have large land holdings near the Pier Park retail center, adjacent to the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, near or within business districts in the region and along major roadways. We also lease land for hunting, rock quarrying and other uses.
The commercial segment also manages our timber holdings in Northwest Florida which includes growing and selling pulpwood, sawtimber and other products, such as fill dirt. As of December 31, 2020, we had an estimated 2.3 million tons of marketable pulpwood and 3.2 million tons of marketable sawlogs on approximately 64,000 acres. Based on our annual harvest plan, we anticipate harvesting approximately 260,000 tons of pulpwood and sawlogs during 2021.
The commercial segment generates leasing revenue and incurs leasing expenses primarily from maintenance and management of our properties, personnel costs and asset holding costs. Our commercial segment also generates revenue from the sale of developed and undeveloped land, timber holdings or land with limited development and/or entitlements and the sale of commercial operating properties. Real estate sales in our commercial segment incur costs of revenue directly associated with the land, development, construction, timber and selling costs. Our commercial segment
generates timber revenue primarily from open market sales of timber on site without the associated delivery costs. Some of our JV assets and other assets incur interest and financing expenses related to the loans as described in Note 11. Debt, Net included in Item 15 of this Form 10-K.
The commercial segment’s portfolio of leasable properties continues to expand and diversify. Through wholly-owned subsidiaries and consolidated and unconsolidated joint ventures we are in the process of constructing 739 apartment units, in addition to the 378 apartment units and 107 senior living units that have recently been completed.
Pier Park Crossings, which was developed in two phases, includes 360 completed apartment units in Panama City Beach, Florida. In addition to Pier Park Crossings, we have three apartment communities under development or construction. Watersound Origins Crossings, consisting of 217 units, with 18 units completed as of December 31, 2020, is adjacent to the Watersound Town Center in Watersound, Florida. Sea Sound apartments, an unconsolidated JV consisting of 300 units, is located in Panama City Beach, Florida near the Breakfast Point residential community. Star Avenue apartments, consisting of 240 units, is located in Panama City, Florida.
Our leasing portfolio consists of approximately 908,000 square feet of leasable space for mixed-use, retail, industrial, office and medical uses. Within the leasing portfolio, our mixed-use lease space totals approximately 134,000 square feet. It consists primarily of WaterColor Town Center, WindMark Beach Town Center, WaterSound Gatehouse, WaterColor Crossings and various flex-space buildings. Our retail lease space totals approximately 352,000 square feet. It consists primarily of Pier Park North JV and other leasable properties. Our industrial lease space totals approximately 304,000 square feet, primarily located at VentureCrossings. Our office lease space consists of approximately 96,000 square feet, primarily located in the Beckrich Office Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. Our medical lease space consists of approximately 22,000 square feet. It consists of a medical clinic at the Watersound Town Center and medical space at Beckrich Office Park. Through separate unconsolidated JVs other commercial properties include a 124 room TownePlace Suites by Marriott operated by our JV partner in Panama City Beach, Florida and a Busy Bee branded fuel station and convenience store operated by our JV partner in Panama City Beach, Florida.
We have other commercial projects in the planning, engineering or construction stages. This includes a Publix supermarket totaling approximately 50,000 square feet, a self-storage facility totaling approximately 71,000 square feet and a new multi-tenant commercial building in the Watersound Town Center totaling approximately 20,000 square feet. In addition to the properties listed above, we have a number of projects in various stages of planning, including additional commercial buildings, apartment communities and an additional senior living community.
Results of Operations
Revenue and expenses. The following table sets forth a comparison of the results of our operations:
Year Ended December 31,
Real estate revenue
Cost of real estate revenue
Cost of hospitality revenue
Cost of leasing revenue
Cost of timber revenue
Other operating and corporate expenses
Depreciation, depletion and amortization
Other income (expense):
Investment income, net
Gain on land contribution to equity method investment
Other income, net
Total other income, net
Income before equity in loss from unconsolidated affiliates and income taxes
Equity in loss from unconsolidated affiliates
Income tax (expense) benefit
Results of operations in this Form 10-K generally discusses 2020 and 2019 items and comparisons. For a detailed discussion of results of operations and comparisons for 2019 and 2018, see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, included in our Annual Report on Form 10‑K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the SEC on February 26, 2020.
Real Estate Revenue and Gross Profit
The following table sets forth a comparison of our total real estate revenue and gross profit for the three years ended December 31, 2020:
Dollars in millions
Residential real estate revenue
Residential real estate revenue
RiverTown impact fees
Total residential real estate revenue
Commercial and rural real estate revenue
Real estate revenue
Residential real estate
Residential real estate
RiverTown impact fees
Total residential real estate
Commercial and rural real estate