The unincorporated area of Crawfordville is recognized as the county seat of Wakulla County and is centrally located in the community. Crawfordville Highway (319) is the main thoroughfare through this community that connects Tallahassee to the north with the southern coastal communities. Commercial and residential development is booming in this community, guided by a county-led and publicly driven vision found in the Crawfordville Town Plan, which directs growth while being mindful of the environmental features unique to Wakulla. The implementation of this plan, adopted in 2011, can be seen in the new businesses flourishing along Crawfordville Highway, the significant amount of workforce housing under construction, and many improvements to infrastructure to allow for the growth projected in this plan.
The Community of Panacea is a historic waterfront on Dickerson Bay that has evolved its approach to the commercial seafood and fishing industry over the past fifty years. Currently, this coastal region produces over 40 percent of the state’s farm-raised oysters using state-of-the-art technology and new practices. Panacea is also home to a local aquarium that offers hands-on learning experiences for children and adults. A designated Scenic Byway with breathtaking views of the saltmarsh runs through this community dotted with small businesses and local restaurants. A dedicated group of leaders and volunteers have actively led economic development and revitalization efforts for over two decades, most recently producing an economic development strategy that will guide its work for the next decade.
The City of Sopchoppy is located on the banks of the Sopchoppy River and includes a historic downtown that provides visitors with the sense of stepping back in time. However, as the location of the County’s first and only local craft brewery, unique boutiques, and an upcoming craft bakehouse, the community is alive and thriving. The city created a forward-thinking [economic development strategy] and through specific projects, downtown revitalization efforts are well underway. The city offers beautiful parks with access to the river and space for community gatherings. On the second Saturday of each month, Sopchoppy hosts a Community Market where local farmers, artists and producers gather to offer their products in a relaxed community setting.
The City of St. Marks is located at the convergence of the St. Marks River and the Wakulla River, with direct access to Apalachee Bay. This coastal community is home to a large marina, a town center with shops and restaurants, and an industrial park. St. Marks Innovation Park is the ideal spot for a business that requires access to the water, with a new commercial dock and ample space for growth. The City of St. Marks was recently selected as a Competitive Florida Partnership Community and will be developing an economic development plan to leverage its unique assets for growth and development while preserving the charming coastal character of the community. The iconic St. Marks Lighthouse, often associated with this community, can be found in the nearby St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
The Wakulla Station commercial corridor area of Crawfordville and home to Wakulla County’s signature industrial park, Opportunity Park, is certified by the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program and just minutes away from the City of Tallahassee. Wakulla County has an adopted Wakulla Station Overlay district, and the EDC is currently evaluating current and future land uses needed to accommodate projected growth along State Road 363 (Woodville Highway), including Commerce Boulevard, the main road through Opportunity Park, and the accompanying Longleaf Plantation Planned Unit Development. There is a significant amount of housing under development in this area to help grow the workforce of Wakulla County.